Published 12 May 2022

The Greeting | Showroom Floor Best Practices


Automotive Sales Training

United States

Sales Process

The Greeting

car sales training

dealership best practices

sales process

the greeting

The Greeting – The First Step in Showroom Sales Success

Once the buyer hits the showroom floor, you want to have them hooked on the car buying experience you provide! Right at the first handshake, you want to have the buyer at hello by executing the first step of the sales process perfectly – the greeting! With the right word track and process, you can put the customer at ease and set yourself up for success from the get-go. So, it’s important to develop a warm, friendly greeting that impresses buyers. As a result, you can make the buyer comfortable, naturally build rapport, and get the buyer committed to going through your sales process!

In the greeting, salespeople need to slow the deal down to avoid getting ahead of themselves. At this step, you are not selling a car. During the meet and greet, there are a few goals every salesperson should focus on. These are selling the next step of your sales process, building rapport, and committing the buyer to going through the entirety of your sales process! In turn, take control at the handshake, disarm the customer, and sell the car-buying process to the buyer before you even show off your inventory!

Let’s take a look at how to develop the perfect greeting that paves the way for deals to progress to the close nearly every time!

Starting off the Greeting on the Right Foot

First impressions can be a powerful tool for success, or even the deciding factor that kills a deal. Therefore, the first few seconds of the greeting are vital to your ability to move through the deal. Everything from appearance, attitude, and body language are important factors for a good first impression. So, dress professionally, be excited, and smile! Before you even speak, the buyer will unconsciously start to assess the situation. So, look the part and get the buyer happy that they came to your dealership!

Right at the start of the greeting, thank the buyer and agree with whatever they say. The greeting is not the time to get into the weeds of the deal. Agree with the buyer and let them know that you can help them! Essentially, you want to go into full agreement mode. Let buyers know that you have the best price, you are the fastest dealership, and you have the best selection. In other words, whatever they need, let them know that they are in the right place! When you go into agreement mode, it makes your job much easier, the sales process smoother, and it makes it more likely that you! 

An early, sincere compliment is a great way to build rapport! So, do not miss the opportunity to pay a compliment on the buyer’s choice of vehicle, or even the third-party provider they used! Many salespeople forget to do this because they are hyper-focused on getting to the close. However, slowing down the deal to complement the buyer is a great way to score points early. Furthermore, after complimenting their choice, tell the customer why it's a great choice, explain why the timing is perfect, and why they came to the best place. We already know that they buyer is interested in a vehicle or they would not be standing in front of you. So, start off with a sincere compliment!
Complement the Buyer's Choice by Webinarinc

On the other hand, building rapport on things like politics or sports can be a dangerous game. It could possibly build rapport, yet it could also kill the deal. Since building rapport with touchy subjects can be extremely hit or miss, it is best to avoid them altogether. If you’re going to talk about these topics, the buyer should be the one to bring them up. So, in order to naturally build rapport without the risk, build it around the vehicle they’re interested in and the buying experience at your dealership!

Handling Early Objections

The greeting is never the time to dive into objections. These early objections typically come from the fact that the buyer is worried about getting taken advantage of. Consequently, they aren't serious objections. This means that objections in the greeting can almost always be handled by agreeing with the buyer and letting them know that they came to the right place! After this, just move on with your sales process as normal.

Here are some common early objections and examples of how to handle them in the greeting:

 Objection: "I'm looking for the best price."

Response: "Great! If I was shopping for a car, I’d want the best price too! You came to the right place. Everyone who’s looking for the best price comes here!”

Objection: “I’m not buying today. I’m shopping around at a few dealerships.”

Response: “That’s exactly how I would do it if needed a new car. we will do everything those other dealerships can do for you and more! We will get you the best price, best value, and even get your vehicle appraised.”

Objection: “I’m on my lunch break and only have 30 minutes.”

Response: “No problem! In thirty minutes, we can get a lot done. We’d better get started.”

Objection: “I just came to see what my vehicle is worth.”

Response: “Excellent. You came to the right place. We’re always looking to buy cars.”

Objection: “Can you do better than the internet pricing?”

Response: “If anybody can beat the internet deal, it’s going to be us.”

Sell the Write-Up in the Greeting

On average, buyers have done approximately 15 - 20 hours of research before even coming to the dealership. So, we know they are committed and almost always knows all of the information before coming in. As such, treat them as buyers and be forthright about the process they will experience. Additionally, let them know that you will get them all of the information they need – including the price, payment, down-payments, and trade-in.

When you explain the car buying experience and tell the buyer that you will give them this information, you are selling the write-up. By agreeing to this, the customer is committing to going through your sales process and getting written-up. Remember, whoever writes up the most customers will typically make the most car deals! So, we want to get that commitment in the greeting!
Four Square by Webinarinc

The Early Manager T.O.’s

When possible, always aim to get sales managers involved in your deals early on. Every time you get a sales manager to T.O. your deal in the greeting, you’re increasing your chances of success! When a manager gets involved in your deal, a few important things occur. To start, the customer feels special when a manager is brought out to greet them. This is a great way to establish high-quality customer service early. In addition, this also gives your sales manager an opportunity to talk you up to the buyer, which lets the buyer know that they’re in good hands!

Finally, this is a great way to ensure that problems can be overcome smoothly later down the road. When you can’t close a deal or have some issue with the buyer, the early T.O. can save the deal. Having the manager meet the buyer when there’s an issue can cause some problems. Buyers can become more defensive because they feel that the manager is there to put down whatever they have to say. On the other hand, when they’ve already been introduced, the manager can just smoothly jump back into the deal and help! So, in order to sell more cars, get your managers involved early and watch your paycheck rise!

Transitioning to the Next Step 

When you shake the buyer’s hand, you should have a clear-cut direction in which you are trying to go. Lately, there has been a shift towards appraisal/fact-finding as the second step in the sales process after the initial greeting. If your dealership is looking to do early appraisals, try moving towards the demonstration drive. However, before the buyer actually takes the drive, ask what the customer is currently driving, complement their old car, and offer an appraisal to be completed WHILE you perform the demo drive. This will speed the deal along and also help you land the buyer on the right car before the demo!

If your dealership is implementing a fact-finding sheet, then explain to the customer that you have a sheet to fill out so that you can update yourself on where the buyer is at in the buying process and what the buyer’s needs are. Whether your dealership is sticking with the demonstration drive as the second step in the sales process or is trying something new, you want to make sure that the end of your greeting smoothly moves you in the direction of that second step!


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