Selling is a difficult profession regardless what you market. Your job becomes somewhat easier if you learn to break the code to earn the benefit of the doubt with your prospects. Let me share a personal selling experience involving this very principle. As you read this unfolding story highlight the things you notice that might earn the benefit of the doubt.
Recently one of our neighbors died, leaving behind a legally blind widow. After the funeral when we asked Sue how we could help, she smiled and asked us to sell their car. It was a mid-size SUV similar to one of my vehicles. It was four years old, in pristine condition with only 15K miles on the odometer. Mine was five years old with 75K miles. Long story short I decided to buy her’s and Sue and I were both thrilled. Now I was the guy who needed to sell a car.
Here’s my strategy
That process began with a detailing job, although the car was garage-kept and normally very clean. The next step was staging a series of photos of the car, not 7 or 10, but 19. I snapped them from every angle, inside and out, making sure of no glare or shadows. One pic even showed an open manila folder of the service records with a typed chronological recap from the day I bought the car.
I wrote a short description of the vehicle and included why it was for sale and the fact that it had no mechanical issues. This bio, confirmed an accident-free history, verified by a Carfax report. It also stated the car was a non-smoking vehicle that always garage-kept. I also printed the KBB private party pricing report, which I used to set the asking price. An ad was then placed on Craigslist, Cars.com, and Facebook Marketplace, consisting of all this information.
The very next day I got a call from a man who asked if the car was still available. He wanted to see it ‘as soon as possible,’ so we agreed to meet 30 minutes later at a neutral site. I made sure the service record folder was in the passenger seat as I backed out of my garage.
Mr. Car Buyer’s first words were, “After seeing your online ad and now the car, I’m curious to know if you are a car salesman.” I responded with, “Today I am.” He smiled and began a walk-around to size up the vehicle. He stated he was looking for a car for his wife and this nameplate was one she liked. I then asked several questions to gauge their seriousness and timetable for purchasing. His answers quickly convinced me he was prepared to buy as soon as the right vehicle came along.
He told me he was 63 years old and had never seen a used car for sale with the level of transparency for potential buyers as this one. Following that he added that he had also never seen a car as clean inside and out as mine. After one look at the service recap I compiled he only said one word, “Wow.” When he noticed the name of the automotive shop I use he smiled again saying, “I use them for my vehicles too.”
I held out the key for him to drive it and he said that wasn’t necessary. He stated that it checked all of his boxes and that his wife needed to see and drive it. Before I could say anything else he asked if I could follow him home for that purpose. I agreed and he immediately called her to say we were on the way.
Next time in Part II I’ll finish the story and compare notes with you to earn the benefit of the doubt.
How long has it been since you holed up for a while and read part of a book that would increase your income, but was also enjoyable? I thought so. Well take your bad self to my online man cave and check this out!
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