Seven Steps to a Sale. Step One: Meet and Greet
—Salesman’s Goal: Establish Rapport and Control.
This step is designed to welcome the customer to the dealership and to allow the salesman to introduce himself. However, the salesman’s primary concern is to establish control of the process (Read more about salesperson control in the Dealer Secrets section). Most often, customers will try to avoid talking to a salesman, and will maintain a defensive posture. When greeted by a salesman, the customer will almost always respond, “I’m just looking.” Keep in mind that the management requires that every customer be assisted by a salesman. This philosophy is paramount to dealerships. Every customer must be properly greeted or “Upped” upon arrival. If a salesman greets a customer who is “just looking” and doesn’t engage him properly, he will run the risk that the customer will buy a car somewhere else. Even worse, the customer may buy from another salesperson at his own dealership.
During this step, the salesman is instructed to establish rapport with the customer. Rapport is extremely important and without it the salesman knows he has a slim chance of selling a car. This is why salespeople are sometimes viewed as phony, because during the “meet and greet,” they attempt to find some common ground quickly. The next challenge for the salesperson during the “meet and greet” is to get the customer to reveal a “need.” Once a customer expresses what he is looking for, the salesman can proceed to satisfy that need. They will then move to the next step: Qualifying.