An older couple had come in to collect their new Kia Sorento. It was obvious that the couple felt comfortable with their Sales Consultant however it was disappointing to observe that the consultant was not prepared for the delivery as I heard him say “oh, I didn’t expect you for another hour” as he rushed to finish covering the cars with the blue cloth and quickly add the delivery bow.
The car for delivery was presented in a cold, unattractive area which was ear tagged to become the new display area for an additional brand in the near future. At this stage, the area seemed to be the dumping ground for any unwanted article for the Dealership, as it housed 2 other cars for delivery, old office furniture, empty boxes and miscellaneous materials.
Hubby took the obligatory photos of his wife with what appeared to be her new car. The Salesman did not offer to take a photo of the husband and wife together and he did not take a delivery photo for his own records. The wife appeared excited, as she should be, about picking up her new car. Hubby said to me that I was her 5th new car. I responded, “every new car purchase is an exciting experience and nothing can replace that new car smell”. His wife quickly added, that her last new car was 10 years go before hubby went on to tell me more about that new car smell.
I congratulated them on their new purchase and turned back to my desk. I was then able to listen to the Salesperson as he conducted the delivery.
I could hear both the husband and wife asking questions to which the Sales Consultant answered professionally. “Does this take 95 or 98 petrol?” “It can take either”. “What’s in the tank now?” “It has 95.” “How do I connect my phone?” The Salesman demonstrated and connected her phone to the system and hubby placed a call to his wife to ensure it was working. Most questions came from the husband who seemed to be seeing the vehicle for the first time. At no stage did the sales consultant take control of the delivery to go over the features with the wife or present the vehicle to the husband. And judging by the questions asked, I doubt that a comprehensive FAB (Feature Advantages & Benefits) was conducted during the sales process. Throughout the entire delivery, the salesperson’s voice was very even and he showed no real enthusiasm for what he was doing.
Then hubby noticed that the mats were missing from the vehicle and he inquired as he stated that they had been requested and paid for. The Salesperson looked blank before going off to investigate.
In his absence, the wife started asking hubby more questions about certain features of the car and how they worked. As he was unsure, he told her to ask the Sales Consultant when he returned. Hubby was also getting anxious about the time as it appeared that they had other commitments to attend to.
When the Salesman returned, he confirmed that they did have the mats and that someone was coming to fit them now.
This done, he opened the doors so that she could exit the delivery area.
No “do you have any other questions?”
or “simply contact me if you need any assistance”
or “I contact you in a few days to make sure everything is going well after you’ve explored your new vehicle”
or a reminder that the first service is due at ____ etc etc……
During a chat with this salesperson later, I learnt that he was a veteran of the industry with over 30 years experience and that he had a lot of repeat customers like this particular couple. He also shared that he had seen many eager salespeople come and go who thought they were going to set the world on fire but then leave for an extra $10 down the road.
Whilst I commend this sales person on his commitment to the industry and staying in the same location and building his return customer client base. There are many things that he could do to improve his delivery and customer service – starting with being prepared. The dealership had not been busy during the morning and he did not have the car properly prepared for delivery and he had not checked that it had been accessorised properly.
Even if a 6 Position Sell had been conducted during the sales process, it is important to go back over features at the delivery time especially as this lady had not had a new vehicle in 10 years and there are many new features in the marketplace. From looking at the brochure on this vehicle even the base model is fitted with a burglar alarm and anti-theft immobiliser, reversing camera, keyless entry and keyless start – all features I am fairly confident her previous vehicle did not have. I could just imagine the poor lady, on her first solo trip to the supermarket with her brand new vehicle beeping loudly and not being able to disable the alarm!!! Or being at the service station and being unable to put fuel in her car because she can’t find the fuel cap release button. I remember myself the frustration and embarrassment I felt when driving a hire car and I could not find the fuel release button to only discover from another motorist that it did not have a button but opens automatically when the vehicle is unlocked by simply pressing on the fuel door.
Sales consultants often forget the nervousness that a new vehicle own experiences when driving away for the first time. I recently picked up my own new car, an experience very different from what I observed today. Even though I have been driving for over 35 years, the car and its features were very well presented and explained to me before I left the Dealership and I still felt nervous as I exited the Dealership. Even then, as I was driving down the road, I realised that I had forgotten to adjust the mirrors correctly.
All customers, no matter how experienced or inexperience as drivers, need to feel comfortable and confident when driving their new vehicle away solo. So take the time to deliver the car properly, go over the features and ensure that the new owner understands how things work etc.
Ensure you advise the clients how long the delivery process will take so that they are not rushed to meet other scheduled commitments.
Sales consultants, please put yourself in the shoes of the customer and become a Champion Sales Consultant!!!
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