No one likes a pushy salesman-the type who pressures clients to make THE DECISION immediately. It doesn't matter if you're buying a used car, a new home, or a plasma TV, aggressive, know-it-all behaviors intimidate customers. Rather than establishing a foundation of mutual respect and trust, a sales representative with a penchant for manipulating customers, creates an adversarial role with little potential for honest . Resorting to psychological games to convince customers to make decisions to purchase goods or services without first assessing what the customers need or want is reprehensible. Whether ill advised or unscrupulous, these strong-arm tactics relegate the sales experience to a "tug-of-war" where someone has to win and someone has to lose. Even if the buyer emerges as the victor by making a good purchase in the end, the likelihood of that same buyer making a return purchase or referring a friend or family member to is remote.
Recently, I had the pleasant surprise! Out of the blue, I pulled into the parking lot of our local Toyota car dealership where I was met by a smiling, affable sales associate named Greg. Immediately I could tell that Greg exuded a receptive and welcoming demeanor. This veteran salesperson listened attentively as I explained why I was considering trading my small sedan for the beautiful white 2007 Toyota Highlander in the lot. Asking open-ended questions, Greg helped me to articulate why I was motivated to stop by the dealership on a whim that day. Throughout the lengthy conversation, Greg allowed me to think out loud and talk through my goals and needs. In short, I wanted a 4-wheel-drive vehicle with good gas mileage and plenty of room for boxes and shopping bags. It was important for my next vehicle to sit high off the ground, be comfortable, and retain its value. Additionally, I did not want to incur a car payment!
Not once did I feel pressured to make a split-second decision. Instead, I felt validated when Greg summarized the criteria that I had established for choosing my next vehicle. Rather than trying to steer me to purchase a new car with a higher price tag, Greg focused on the inventory of pre-owned cars in stock. During the entire transaction, I felt comfortable with Greg's demeanor. I had the impression that my peace of mind and satisfaction were far more important than the eventual commission that Greg would earn. Upon raising questions or concerns about items such as mileage, trade-in value, warranty, etc., I was met with honest and open responses. Greg took time to build rapport, listen to my needs and wants, formulate an action plan, and ask me which option would work best. At no time, did he have to ask for the CLOSE. I closed the deal for him! Simply stated, Greg understood the importance of addressing questions before they arose. He recognized the value in communicating effectively, without dominating the conversation. In a short time, Greg succeeded in establishing a high level of trust. Assuming the role of counselor or advisor, Greg empowered me to choose the most appropriate course of action among the numerous options that were before me. What might have been a daunting task full of angst and doubt was actually a pleasant experience. Greg's spirit of authenticity gave me the confidence to purchase the Highlander that day. All my objections were met; all my concerns addressed. Now all that was left was driving my practical, but handsome SUV for the first time!
As a professional REALTOR®, I am constantly aware of how I treat customers and clients. Regardless of how badly I need or want a sale, try to remember to follow the Golden Rule. Similarly, I hope to retain clients for life and to earn referrals of new business from those whom I have served previously. Helping people to attain their dreams begins with building rapport and ends with creative, sound-problem solving.
Creating value for clients beyond the price that they will pay for our service is exactly what Greg does for his clients. With a positive view of his product, an arsenal of product and service information, consummate communication skills, and a strong commitment to hard work, Greg exemplifies the crux of client-centered service. I would not hesitate to recommend Greg to any family members or friends in search of a new vehicle. That's the best compliment that I could ever give or receive.