My message today comes courtesy of a close friend of mine who recently went to lease a new car. Now having a background in the auto industry her situation was very familiar to me. But anyone watching this who has ever purchased the vehicle I’m sure can relate.

Before I share the scenario. I’m just going to give you the moral of the story upfront

You must remember that you can and should listen to your customer but that doesn’t mean you give up control.

And by the way control is not a dirty word. See listening to the customer intently should be providing you valuable information to help make a deal happen. It doesn’t matter what you sell if you’re in business for yourself or working for a company.

Now back to my friend. So she’s a repeat customer of the dealership and it’s completely reasonable as a customer meaning she has no problem with the dealership making a profit. She has a budget goal, is ready to do business and is highly qualified to buy. Her only ask was that her time be respected and that the back and forth be kept to a minimum. So now let me quickly recap this qualified buyer. Repeat customer, ready to purchase and wants to make it quick. This should be a sales persons dream.

Unfortunately the dealership didn’t see it that way and what should have been an easy process resulted in my friend leasing the same car from another dealership for almost twenty five dollars less per month. Now what happened. Well the first dealership decided to disregard the clear messages of how this customer wanted to be sold and instead decided that they knew better and they went a step further and tried to challenge her intelligence by telling her they were losing money on the vehicle and forgot that they had to detail it and fill it up with gas. I mean it got pretty ridiculous. She got smart and another dealer put a deal together and won a new customer.

My challenge to you this week is ask yourself is there a part of your sales process that should be more flexible based on the actual real time engagement with the customer.

Remember you can listen, adapt and close more business and stay in the driver’s seat. Pun intended, at the same time!

I’ll see you next week.