Does your sales team sell, or are they ‘museum curators’?

Our company applies the term, ‘museum curator’ to describe salespeople who are friendly and knowledgeable and will happily answer any customer questions, but don’t actively try to turn shoppers into buyers. Be careful, because when customers are asked about their experience with museum curator salespeople, the customers will often describe the experience positively, which can mislead.

When customers visit a dealership they are thinking about all kinds of subjects (Should I buy the Honda or the Yamaha? How much can I get for my trade if I sell it through Cycle Trader? Should I try to finance at the dealership or through  my credit union? And so forth.) What customers are NOT thinking about is whether the salesperson is selling effectively. As long as the salesperson is friendly and helpful, it will not bother a customer at all if the salesperson never asks for the sale, never gives reasons to buy from this dealership, never asks for contact information and more.

Because of this, even if you ask your customers about their shopping experience at your dealership, the answers will be only partly helpful. What a customer sees throughout the sales process is the tip of the iceberg, but what’s submerged invisible beneath the surface are many of the sales behaviors which actually sell motorcycles.

How can you figure out whether your salespeople are selling effectively or are acting like museum curators? Make sure that your dealership has a written sales process as a guideline for all salespeople. Not every customer interaction will allow a salesperson to follow the same sales process, but over time you will be able to see whether a salesperson understands and is trying to follow the dealership’s prescribed sales process or is only acting like a museum curator.

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