We as car salespeople often like to preach about how selling cars is secondary to building relationships.

Problem is, when the rubber hits the road (pun intended), many sales managers are much more interested in getting the contact signed and moving on to the next customer.

While this strategy may work in the short-term, it’s a long-term loser.


Let me repeat the adage again; You’re building relationships, not selling cars.

For those that incorporate this into their business model, the world is yours.

So let’s take a moment and reflect what relationship-building is all about..

Being empathetic and gracious

Let me repeat the adage again; You’re building relationships, not selling cars.
For those that incorporate this into their business model, the world is yours.

Sometimes the good old ways are the best and the one thing that will never go out of style no matter how advanced or technologically complicated our businesses become and that is good manners.

Always be courteous yet approachable when interacting with your customers.

Your body language, eye-contact and your words should project a sense of warmth that will make your customers feel right at home and get them talking and interacting with you freely.

This way you can close deals with ease while also leaving your customers happy and not feeling like a cog in a machine.

Being TOTALLY transparent

One of the biggest weapons you can have in making your dealership a high performing one is the trust the customer can have for your dealership.

So the customer how things work. Even tell them how your dealership makes money.

Any questions your customer has? Don’t even flinch, just answer them as honestly as possible. You’d be surprised at how smart people are at detecting BS.

When pitching a product be sure to include possible flaws so that the customer can make an informed decision and at no point do they feel like they are being cheated.

The more a customer trusts in your business, the more they will look at it in a positive way. This good image can only result in better performance as a business.

Pleasantly surprising them

People love to be treated like royalty, especially in the luxury dealer realm. So surprise them by giving discounts and free add-ons with their purchase. This isn’t an optional thing either – it’s mandatory.

Look, no matter how rich someone is, everyone likes free stuff.

Sure, this might slightly reduce your profit margin a little, but your looking to make a long term relationship happen, and this relatively innocuous gesture can go a long way in making that happen.

Not only will you be getting a returning customer, you’ll likely get their referral as well giving your business a boom in the long run.

Being a human

It is often quite easy to approach every dealing in too much of a formal manner.

Taking the human touch out of your interactions will make you appear distant and cold. Instead be human in how you say things and how you react to their opinion.

Be genuine and try to interact in the same way you would react to a close friend. This will shine your dealership in a very positive light and will go a long way in making it a really high performing dealership.

Being a good listener

Interactions should be a two-way street and your customers should feel like their opinion matters.

Seek and accept feedback in a very positive manner. Even if it the feedback is critical in nature, don’t be defensive. Instead of look at ways on avoiding making other customers feel the same way in the future.

If possible let the customer know how you plan to address their issue after you have apologized to them. Even if the criticism in baseless, do not appear judgemental and be courteous and thank them for giving their opinion.

Being empathetic

Often business interactions in the car dealership industry fail because dealerships do not think about stuff from the perspective of their customers. This is the biggest blunder you can commit.

Everything should be customer-centric and the primary focus of every interaction should be to make the entire process as convenient and hassle free as possible. This can only be achieved if you can judge the exact needs of the customer and the best way to do so is by looking at things through their eyes

Go forth and build!

While running a profitable business would be your ultimate aim, you can do so while serving the best interests of your customer.

Interact in such a way that they feel like you are genuinely considering their needs while recommending a car.

If you are selling add-on features then don’t recommend stuff they won’t find useful. Instead make everything they buy useful so that every interaction counts towards something positive.