Tuesday, April 15, 2008

F&I Tips: Setting the Proper Image

In business, image is everything. Your customers will make assumptions about you based on your image. If you look professional, they will see you as professional. This positive image sets the stage for sales success. Remember: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The same hold true for the product as well, which is why the presentation should be polished and informative. Factors essential to creating a successful overall image include the quality of your wardrobe, grooming, politeness, voice, size, posture, body language, etc.


It’s a well-known fact that people make assumptions based on a person’s attire. While there are certainly exceptions to this rule, the surest method of maintaining success is consistently putting your best foot forward. Your customer’s first impression will lead them to form assumptions about some important attributes, which will, in turn, influence the way the customer responds to you during the business transaction. Should your appearance lend itself to a poor first impression, you have sabotaged yourself from the start. Some of the assumptions your customer may make based on your appearance are your:



Economic well-being

Success level

Moral fiber

Take whatever time is necessary to select the proper wardrobe. If you want to be taken seriously by customers who are going to spend a lot of money at your dealership, honor them by wearing appropriate attire. Customers should have an idea if they like you or not, if they feel comfortable with you or not, based on your appearance. This gives you a significant advantage during the sales process: if your customers take you seriously in your capacity as an advisor, they will be listening attentively as you discuss product knowledge and other aspects of the sales process.


Your customers are hoping to spend a lot of money with you – that’s why they are at the dealership. Treat them with respect. These are people who generally have worked hard for the money they are about to spend, and they deserve to be treated accordingly. Be polite to them, and remember where you are: You are in a professional dealership, be careful with the car lingo!


Always smile, let your customers see that you care about them. Your facial expressions and body language communicate a great deal; in fact, communication is primarily non-verbal. No matter how courteous your words are, they will be undercut by body language and facial expressions that seem disrespectful or insincere. Let your non-verbal communication say you have an interest in presenting your products to your customers, rather than trying to force them into a particular decision. Let them feel that the decision is their choice, not yours. In other words, don’t give them an opportunity to dislike you. That’s self-defeating, and will result in fewer sales.

How you project your voice is important too. Project with confidence, and convey enthusiasm and sincerity. In the old days, customers were wary about fast-talking salesmen. They still are. Remember, these are people, not dollar signs! Look at them. Talk to them. After all, you know your product. Let them hear your expertise in your voice.

The way you shake hands never goes unnoticed by the recipient. Let it represent your professionalism and attention. Let the customer know you really are pleased to meet them, that you’re not just saying that.

In the end, you are responsible for what your customers see. If you put forth the effort to present a polished, friendly appearance, your interactions with your customers will be more productive and more enjoyable for everyone involved. Taking the time to create a professional image for yourself is an investment in your own success.


Source article by: Arzu Algan


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