Arouse Emotions in Auto Sales

What is the emotional process that leads to the purchase of a new vehicle? It begins with a new development in the buyer’s self-image. That is, the buyers see themselves in a new way — as the owners of that new car, truck, van, or SUV and all the status it affords them.

If the projected vehicle purchase is small in relation to the buyer’s income, the self-image change need only be small. But if the purchase is a large one, the change in self-image that makes the purchase possible will be large. Such a change can come about very quickly. It can take place within a few minutes, or even within a few seconds.

Champion automotive salespeople are adept at spotting these changes in self-image as they occur during sales presentations. They are quick to reinforce the buyers’ realization that they can have, enjoy, deserve, need, and are worthy of the marvelous new vehicle they like. Do that, and they won’t just like it; they’ll want it, need it, and realize they can’t get along without it — then they’ll buy it.

First, be genuinely interested in doing your best for them. Once they see that you’re on their side, they’ll begin to like you and trust you. Then, they will tell you what they’re seeking to accomplish. Rise above the limitations of your own tastes and preferences. Recognize that what’s right for you isn’t right for everyone, and make an intense effort to see the world through your customer’s eyes.

Second, use your expertise to guide your customers to the best solution, which your inventory provides, for them.

Third, wait for positive stimulus from your customers. If you believe they’ve found something that helps them satisfy their needs, reinforce their image about that purchase. Avoid worn out phrases they’ve heard a thousand times. Stay away from the words clients stopped believing years ago.

Concentrate on your customers. Say sincere and positive things that reflect their uniqueness, and you’ll not only make sales, you’ll create clients who’ll send you referrals and buy from you again.

The key is to be disciplined to wait for positive input. Unless you do that, you’ll find yourself going on and on something they don’t like, and before you know it, you’re caught in a web of obvious insincerity. Stick to the facts.

The mere fact that you’re a salesperson will arouse their negative emotions and they’ll want to emotionally fight you. You need to get their emotions focused on their own needs and desires in relation to the vehicle they’re interested in. Then, you’ll build their emotions to where they will have convinced themselves of the decision to own.

To get a thorough education in the emotions that sell, watch television commercials, especially those aimed at children. Logic in sales is a gun without a trigger. You can twirl it all you care to, but you can’t fire it. Emotion is the trigger. You can hit the target with it. Every time you generate another positive emotion, you’re pulling the trigger on another accurate shot at closing the sale.

No skill that you can acquire in sales will enhance your earning power more than learning how to arouse emotions in your buyers in ways that are positive to the sale. The exact words that you use will depend on your offering, your personality, your buyers, and market conditions.

Some clients will see a new feature such as the GPS systems or USB ports and find no reason to have it other than the fact that suddenly they want it. It’s the latest and greatest. None of their friends have it. They start to feel excited, important and “rich” in thinking that they’ll be ahead of the crowd by being the first in their group of friends to own it.

Or, they might be feeling the pull to get it because their friends already have it and can’t stop talking about how cool it is or how much time it has saved them.

As you work at developing the skills to evoke emotions in your customers, always keep that concept in mind. You can destroy sales as rapidly as you can create them through the clumsy use of, or the lack of control over, the emotional setting. Also remember that your actions, manners, words (how you say them), your grooming, and your clothes are all things that trigger emotions in your future clients — whether you want them to or not.

There’s no way around it. People will react emotionally to you. It is important not to have them react with fear, anger, or disgust. To see some salespeople approach clients as though they had just fallen off the garbage truck, you’d swear that they don’t realize that future clients have feelings, too. Clients suffer the effects of fear when a salesperson comes on too strong; clients get angry when a salesperson patronizes them; clients feel disgust when a salesperson is non-professional. Play the odds. Always be professional and keep their emotions in mind when meeting new people. Do that and you’ll close more sales.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc. For permission to reprint this article, contact Judy Slack (



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