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Can you trust someone who doesn't listen?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 3/29/23 1:57 PM


What's going on behind the buyers' eyes and minds? How do the things that we salespeople do impact their buying decisions and the perception of sales? Jeff Peterson, sales manager at Spin Linen Management, shares a car buying experience with us in this post. 

So how did it go? You said they wouldn't take your money, but what went down? 
Any number of things. And from being just completely ghosted when I build out an online submission. Right? --Not contacted at all. You obviously won't get a sale if you don't reach out—to prospect. We're engaged with them. That was strike one and two for a couple of places. 

Some places would misrepresent their pricing

They would try to do many deceptive things, tack on surcharges, and say things were mandatory at their specific dealership. My question is why they couldn't point out their stupid car dealership fees like the rust protection and the dashboard in the ad.

They put the dashboard protection on there. You know, just a lot of tick checks or charges. 

And how they treated me when I had expressed that this was a company vehicle, and they weren't even listening to the purpose I would use it for. So they were talking about features of benefits that might have appealed to someone who would be lugging around a lot of kids or things like that. 

Or they weren't listening to the kind of buyer I was. 

I said I don't need a lot of that stuff. I need this specific set of criteria here, and then they wouldn't give it to me. 

And then the pricing was insanely frustrating just from I gave them my budget, and then a couple of them would just come in five thousand dollars over it. And I'm like, if you can't do it, just say you can't. 

I teach my sales rep this too. If we can't make a deal at the price the buyers are requesting, let's be transparent about it. That credibility and honesty, and integrity will pay dividends in some fashion.

But this industry, on the whole, doesn't seem like they grasp that concept. So it was a litany of things, but overall, just not listening to the buyer, not empathizing, and not selling at a high trust level. It was primarily the macro symptoms. 

how can you trust someone who won't even listen to you? 

They clearly put themselves and their company's best interests over mine. And I understand it has to be a mutually beneficial transaction. I sell myself. So I get it. You can't enter unfavorable deals. But I think in that scenario, the worst thing you can do is misrepresent your intent and what you're selling. 

So when you encounter that, it's definitely a turn-off. It doesn't make you feel listened to. It doesn't make you feel like you trust the person on the other side of the table. And I feel bad because I picked the most stereotypical bad experience industry ever. And I'm sure there are wonderful dealerships and things nationwide.

But this industry is generally notoriously unfavorable for these kinds of situations. It makes me question the entire model of why they have to sell vehicles this way. 

And to expand that out, like, the whole model of selling, to begin with, because if you've read Daniel Pink's book, "To Sell As Humans," seven out of ten of us associate sales with something negative.

The image that comes to mind is a used car salesman. This is the perception of sales, unfortunately. And the next part that's most unfortunate about that is whether you're selling software, linens, or anything else. This is the perception buyers have been bringing, and it's only getting reinforced by their interactions with sellers. 

Most people have bought a car. And if they have a negative experience, the next time they're in a selling or sales scenario, they will be countering as a salesperson with many gauges that are different from what you're doing. So it's just another hurdle we all have to clap over to gain trust and earn the buyer's respect and sell things right with the confidence and values that we all bring to the table. 

Because sales is an honorable profession when done correctly

And I'm passionate about it. I don't like to see things and industries and bad-faith actors soil the entire industry. It's a huge problem. If you think about it, I can hear in the minds of some B2B SaaS tech salesperson right now saying there's no way you can compare the type of sale I do and the strategies and tactics I use to a used car salesman. 

So then let me ask everyone out there: When was the last time a customer said this is my budget, and I can't go over it, and you replied, “Let me talk to my manager.”?

Please comment below. I want to hear your thoughts on this topic.

 We've all been guilty of this at some point, whether you're a car salesman or if you're selling stocks or anything else. It permeates the industry.


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Topics: sales, sales best practices, sales training, Buyer First