VW not so much for the “people” after all?

VW not so much for the “people” after all?

I’m after a new car.

My lease expires in January, and I’m in the process of using the end of quarter sales targets to get a brilliant deal.

And yes, I want ‘brilliant’, not just ‘good’.

Last weekend we went round 8 car showrooms, on the search for a crossover.

When you meet so many sales staff, one after the other, some patterns start to emerge.

Turns out that VW is actually the least “people friendly” showroom, at least as far as I am concerned.

I turned up with 3 teenagers who went round all the cars, getting in and out of them. Normally this ensures that I get prompt attention, so that they can get rid of us if we’re not serious.

However, VW not only managed to ignore me and the teenagers, but even when I went to ask for a sales advisor, I had to wait – even though there were several just standing around, they had to get a specific person to talk to me.

At that stage I was just browsing, so I wasn’t after any specialist product knowledge, just someone who I could explain what I needed, but they still made me wait for the specific salesman, who didn’t seem to know much beyond what he read off his iPad.

I told him I was interested in a car like a Tucson, X1 or Qashqai, only to be met with the bland statement:

“This one’s got alloy wheels”

(Presumably ‘this one’ is the one he needs to sell to meet his quota!)

The reality is that I don’t give two hoots about which “alloys” a car has got – it’s well down my priority list.

I’m after a good satnav, cruise control, parking sensors, heated seats and so on – I’d given him no indication that I cared about wheels, and yet that was what he was using to try and sell me the car.

In other words, he was a lazy salesman, and there’s a big lesson here.

When we’re talking to potential customers, do we first work out what their problem or desire is, and then show that our product meets their need?

Or do we just assume we know what they need, or try and sell them that?

Don’t let your business be as lackadaisical about sales as the car industry seems to be – business is all about fulfilling a need, but if you can’t be bothered to work out what your prospects’ needs actually are, the chances of you fulfilling them are drastically reduced.

If you know of a business that could do with our help, please let us know – we always reward referrals with chocolate!

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