How much information does a salesman need?

  24 September 2012

Last week I wrote about the problem of customers knowing more details about the car they’re about to buy than the salesman selling said car.

Following my comments, which questioned if it was ever possible for a salesman to know more than the customer any more, a few additional points came out.

The first point came from Hyundai boss Tony Whitehorn who said that it wasn’t necessary for a salesperson to have the detailed specification for every car in their heads, but instead they needed to be able to explain why a particular feature was important on a car. Essentially being able to sell the benefit of a feature for a customer was a far more important than holding all the stats for a car in their heads.

The second point was from a constructive chat about the subject on the Auto Retail Network LinkedIn group. The question raised was “should it be a salesperson” that deals with these customers?

A valid point. I’ve heard from a few retailers recently that say they’re questioning the whole sales procedure because of the way the internet allows buyers to do all their research (including price offers and finance) before speaking to a dealer.

This leads me to suspect that the customer doing all their shopping online is actually making the sale easier, because they’ve already chosen the car they want and know what they want to pay. Retailers have to just make sure it’s then their showroom the customer walks into.

Tristan Young

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