Best Practices

Don’t Be Weak Sauce

That’s what we used to call our fellow coworkers on the showroom floor when they couldn’t close a deal. “WeakSauce”.

It was a put-down. Naturally, this happened at the end of the showroom visit with a customer. The salesperson would attempt to walk them through the sales process, showing off the car, taking them on a demo drive, maybe asking for the sale too late. Then, during the write-up, they’d get hit with an objection that would have them backtracking, and the prospect would leave the store.

That is when you were WeakSauce.

However, I realize that the reason to call someone WeakSauce has changed. Over the years, car dealers have constructed a showroom process that serves more our desire to stay in control, than it does the customers’ needs.

Within this process, there is very little to object to until the very end. In my opinion, if you’re waiting until the end of a customer’s visit to discuss numbers, trade value, financing approval and more, holding off until the very last minute of their time in store to field an objection, you’re WeakSauce.

The best automotive retail professionals today (notice that I didn’t say “salespeople”) know they should seek out objections early and often when working with a potential client face to face. (It’s somewhat the opposite of a sales call where you should never actively seek objections).

Nonetheless, from the Needs Assessment, you must be asking clients about their previous experiences, research, questions, concerns, expectations, and more.

The Needs Assessment has become the most imperative element of a retail professional’s duties. You are in the industry of finding answers, solutions, and inventory for car shoppers, so needs assessments must be ongoing.

It is more important for you to be fluid and flexible in your process than it is to be rigid and disciplined to a “road to the sale”. Nowadays, if you don’t have the skills to shift your process to the in-store customers’ needs, you’re WeakSauce. If you try to “slow the customer down” so they fall in line with your process, then you’re WeakSauce.

WeakSauce no longer applies to the salesperson that couldn’t sell a car because they weren’t strong enough to walk a client through the entire road to the sale. No. Today you’re WeakSauce if you aren’t strong enough to adapt to each customer’s specific needs and goals for that particular visit, shifting the process to accommodate their preferred buying habits.

Get strong. Don’t be WeakSauce.

Marketing consultant & process leader, specializing in automotive. I'm also a writer, speaker, movie buff, and Dad. --President of DealerKnows--