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It’s evident that time is a critical factor in completing sales, building and keeping the relationship. Given that, what strategy does your dealership have in place to shorten the time it takes to close a deal?


Time is one of the biggest complaints that customers have about purchasing a new vehicle. Spending too much time purchasing a vehicle has been one of the loudest and more persistent complaints within the industry. And, in some cases, time becomes more important than virtually any other process of the purchasing decision.

When it comes to time, the first question dealerships should ask is, “How much time does it take to lose a customer?”

Consider this real-life example.

A woman and her husband had visited a several dealerships looking for a new car for her to drive. After making a decision, she returned to the dealership and told them that she’d like to complete all the paperwork so that she and her husband could come back that evening, so he could sign the papers and pick up the car. She spent three hours going through every detail, providing copies of insurance, license and other items required to complete the transaction. When she and her husband returned, they were informed that since the car was going to be in his name, a point she had told them earlier day, he would need to start completely over and redo all the paperwork. It took the customers more time, in fact it wasted their time, all because the salespeople did not listen. If he had, they would have spent much less time, had a more pleasant experience and most likely would have come back in the future. Instead, the first thing this woman told her friends about the experience was about how the dealership wasted their time, and that even though she loved her car, they would never do business there again.

How long did it take to lose this customer? The time it would have taken the salesperson to listen so that the paperwork could have been done right the first time. If time is so important, why did this take so long?

It’s evident that time is a critical factor in completing sales, building and keeping the relationship. Given that, what strategy does your dealership have in place to shorten the time it takes to close a deal?

There are three basic things that every salesperson is selling: the product, the dealership and themselves. There is really nothing else. If salespeople don’t understand this, no approach to selling will make a difference. After that, salespeople are responsible for helping customers select the right vehicle.

To do so, they must focus their time on:

  • Being 100% present and work with a single-minded focus for each customer.
  • Asking probing questions to develop an understanding of the customers’ unique wants, needs, and desires.  It’s always about what the customer thinks.
  • Listening, learning and having empathy with the customers, understand problems from their point-of-view and discover minor details in order to successfully guide the selection process and find an exact fit.
  • Helping the customers try it on.”  Throughout the introduction and demo drive the salesperson should guide customers as they experience the features that will satisfy the wants, needs, and desires communicated earlier.  The salesperson should help customers build an emotional bond and fall in love with the product or service.

Once customers fall in love with their choice, price becomes a secondary concern, which is why it should always be the last point of discussion.

Time creates an obligation and is the foundation of all relationships. The more time you spend, the stronger the relationship — if the time is perceived as quality, adding value, enjoyable or important.  When you spend the right kind of time not only will you win customers, but you will build loyal clientele who will feel an obligation to return and to recommend your product, your business and you to others.


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About the author

Richard F. Libin

Richard F. Libin

Richard F. Libin has written two acclaimed books that help people of all walks…

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