What I Learned Car Shopping


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I recently helped my daughter shop for a car. Next to having teeth pulled, I would rate this as one of my favorite activities. To my pleasant surprise, we encountered many very professional salespeople. Kudos to an industry that is obviously stepping up their game.

While many of the salespeople were professional, there was one that truly stood out of the pack. Cameo Buckner is a sales representative at a local dealership. I had met him when I purchased a car several months ago and even though I didn’t purchase from his dealership at that time, I remembered his positive and professional approach and thus brought my daughter by and asked for him.

Cameo has several qualities that could be instructive to anyone in a sales position.

  1. A warm and sincere smile
  2. A conversational and friendly sales style
  3. Exceptional product knowledge even on used cars not in his dealership’s main line
  4. Incredible follow up and follow through
  5. Honesty and Integrity

Over the course of the several weeks that we were looking for a magical solution that would fit her insurance settlement and her parents ‘safe car’ requirements, Cameo must have called three or four times to let me know what new vehicles had arrived and why they would be a good fit for our daughter. He would always point out something that we had identified as important to our search.

After several weeks of intensive search, my daughter’s job got to a slow point where she had more time to search on her own. Knowing as a mom that anything I pushed too hard for would immediately be rejected, I sent her out on her own on a bright Saturday in December. A few short hours later as I was putting up Christmas lights, I saw a red Mazda pull in the driveway. “They let a 22 year old drive a vehicle 6 miles home?!” was the thought that immediately entered my brain. Soon I saw her open the door with a big smile on her face. Then came the real shock. Cameo opened the passenger side door and greeted me with a smile and a handshake.

I couldn’t believe that a sales person had taken the time on a busy Saturday at the dealership to drive with my daughter all the way to our home. He reviewed all the features of the car and compared it to another car she was considering at his dealership. Then he said the words that cemented the deal… “Maggie, both cars are great, but I think this car suits you perfectly.”

It did suit her and we bought the car later that afternoon.

So many sales lessons, so little time….

  1. Be likeable
  2. Be thorough
  3. Know your products and your competitor’s products
  4. Listen to your customer and find out their needs and buying criteria
  5. Follow up and follow through
  6. If a customer is comparing products, make the decision between two of your products
  7. Put your product in the hands of your customer on their turf
  8. Go the extra mile and stand out from the pack
  9. Summarize your sales pitch into a single meaningful statement

Congrats Cameo – job well done. Perhaps your next career should be as a sales instructor!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Teresa Allen
Teresa Allen is a nationally recognized customer service speaker and customer service author. Allen is owner of Common Sense Solutions, a national training and consulting firm focused on bringing common sense to business and life. Allen is author of Common Sense Service: Close Encounters on the Front Lines and is co-author of The Service Path: Your Roadmap for Building Strong Customer Loyalty.


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