Wealth and Fitness

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MFG CEO Declan Gaule shares the secrets of selling to high-net-worth individuals.

(This article first appeared in IMI Magazine - download PDF)

According to figures released by Cap HPI earlier this year, the average new car price has risen 38% in the last decade: from £24,383 in February 2008 to £33,559 in February 2018. As significant a rise as this is for most car buyers – even allowing for inflation – dealers and manufacturers continually find ways to ensure targets are hit.

Every day sales teams are dealing with customers who are willing to spend at this level. As a result, most feel comfortable throughout the sales process and understand what they need to do to negotiate and close the deal on an ‘average’ car.

However, the same can’t be said when it comes to dealing with those customers who have significantly higher disposable income who are looking for something extra special.

Selling to high net worth customers can be daunting and incredibly difficult as the usual tried and tested sales techniques don’t seamlessly transfer to the selling of top-spec or high-performance vehicles.

PECUNIARY PROFILING

Whilst we would always avoid sweeping generalisations and encourage sales personnel to react to what is presented, not preconceptions, there is no doubt from our experience that certain characteristics prove prevalent. Having run over 9,000 prospecting events across 30 countries for the full spectrum of automotive brands, these are some of the oft-recurring traits of high-net-worth individuals that sales associates have reported to us:

  • Refusal to adhere to the conventional sales process

  • Strong brand advocates

  • Less inclined to give full attention

  • Confident and direct

  • Difficult to build rapport with

  • Strong on negotiation

  • Cash-rich, time-poor

Selling cars is difficult full stop. Throw in some or all of the above attributes and it becomes a real challenge. But not an impossible one.

By sharing some of the psychology involved and appreciating the nuances of this situation, we see sales associates grow in confidence and embrace the opportunity that is in front of them.

THE KEY ADJUSTMENTS

So what are some of the most important things to consider?

CONFIDENCE

It’s important to be confident in yourself and your product/s. After all, these individuals are in your showroom because they want what you sell.

NEGOTIATION

Negotiation is a badge of honour to these customers but price is often not the sole driver of the negotiation so don’t get fixated on it. Be sure to know your ‘wish, want and walk’ positions in the deal. They will respect this.

EMPATHY

Always try to put yourself in their shoes. Even though you may not want to spend thousands on a top of the range sound system, they might!

FLEXIBILITY

Be prepared to be fluid with your sales process. High-net-worth individuals don’t usually like to be ‘processed’ and may be time poor so will try to cut to the chase. Allow for this in a controlled manner but get through your pitch swiftly when detecting wavering attention.

EARLY TEST DRIVE

Some high-net-worth individuals have learned that being difficult or demanding gets them what they want. Use this to your advantage and get them into an appropriate test drive earlier than normal. This will focus them on the product and help you understand their buying motives in a less challenging environment.

ATTITUDE

Stay relaxed. Whilst certain individuals may present more challenges than others, they are talking with you because you have something they want. Show your passion for your brand, unleash your product knowledge, and you’ll give yourself the best chance of ensuring a sale will follow.

To find out more about how we can help you drive footfall and increase sales with our sales generator events please contact Pita Marroni via pita.marroni@mfg-group.co.uk or call Pita on +44 (0) 7544 761566.