Profile of a Champion Closer
Profile of a Champion Closer

When you hear the phrase, "closing the sale," what comes to mind? Force? Intimidation? Manipulation? Coercion?

For me, "closing the sale" means helping people make decisions that are good for them. The key words here are "good for them." If you plan to be in the automotive sales business any length of time, you'd better get a handle on that point. The pros in this industry understand that they are serving a need: to help people make automotive decisions that are truly good for them.

In order to succeed at this, you must have the ability to get people to like you and trust you. If they like you and trust you, they won't fight the sales process. However, if they don't like or trust you, not only will any strategies you try not work, they'll backfire, and your clients will feel you are getting pushy. When that happens, they’ll push back. The balance you must achieve is to radiate empathy, while being able to ask leading questions, qualify, present to their needs, call for a decision and then close the sale.

Well-trained salespeople radiate competence and confidence that inspires trust. Top salespeople are confident in their abilities to serve the needs of others in a professional manner. People can sense it in the way they walk, talk and demonstrate a sincere concern about the reasons they are in the dealership.

When salespeople are not well-trained, their lack of confidence shows. They radiate a sense of not being in control — of uncertainty. It almost comes across as a fear of making a mistake that can kill the desire of potential new customers to want to do business with your dealership. Most fears are generated by a lack of knowledge about selling. Selling is an easy business, but it does take some effort to learn to do it well. Most of those fears can be overcome by learning how to ask the right questions to lead and control the sales process, and learning the most psychologically powerful words to speak with clients. By doing this we build our confidence — just by using the right words and making them a natural part of our speech patterns.

The greatest closing tool of all boils down to a single word: "enthusiasm." I don't mean the type of enthusiasm that is outward, bubbly, ranting and raving, but the enthusiasm that you have inside of you for the vehicles you represent and the benefits they provide to their owners. To have enthusiasm, close sales and be successful in selling, commit to live by the four Ps of Presentation.

The four Ps

The first is Preplan. Preplan every presentation. Before you meet your clients, preplan. Before you demonstrate a vehicle, preplan. Before you handle an ad call, preplan. All professionals preplan — they don't wing it! They don't just get in front of a qualified decision maker and start talking. They know exactly where they are going and have their strategies and techniques planned out in advance.

The second P is Practice. Perfect practice makes perfect. There are many people who practice what doesn't work. They hear and watch an incompetent salesperson not recognizing the incompetence, and they start doing the same thing. The key is to find a professional who has achieved what you want to do. Set a goal to practice what he or she does and then perfect it.

Third, you must always work to Perfect what you do. If ever you feel you know it all, you are in trouble. The more you know, the more you need to know. As you sell more vehicles and expand your clientele, you're going to need to increase your knowledge level, too. Remember, there is always a better way of saying and doing things. Don't allow yourself to plateau.

The final P is Performance. You are putting on a performance each time you interact with a potential buyer or existing client. This doesn't mean you are phony. It means you are saying the right words the right way to get the end result that is in the best interests of your clients. So, when you talk on the phone, when you meet people in the showroom, when you go on a test drive, it's a performance. Everything you say and do is part of your performance.

Become a student of selling, study the four Ps, watch what the professionals are doing and search for new techniques, and you'll be closing more sales!

About the author

Tom Hopkins


Tom Hopkins is world renowned for teaching practical, how-to selling strategies. His training increases competence and builds confidence when it comes to qualifying, presenting and closing sales. Or, Click Here to download a free e-book titled, “6 Practical Tips for Making More Automotive Sales.”

View Bio