You are seriously selling yourself and your employer short!4 januari 2024, Paul
To get straight to the point, if you, as a salesperson, dare to respond like in the image below, then you are worth nothing. Perhaps as a writer, but not as a salesperson who tries to make something out of every opportunity…
What’s going on? I often receive questions during my presentations and training sessions about how to deal with ‘offers’ from Marktplaats that seem off, according to the seller. Sometimes offers can be challenging, but there is often a underlying reason why the bid doesn’t align with the seller’s expectations.
Discounts are back to normal
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Wherever he looks, he sees beautiful dealership buildings with hundreds of cars. Without knowing the industry, he thinks that a lot of money is circulating and being earned by selling used and new cars. This perception is reinforced by the bold stories of others at parties. One has negotiated even more discount than the other.
Discounts of thousands of euros or free money lending are back to normal.
Logical, because discounts gradually returned in 2023, and my expectation is that in 2024, discounts on a new car will be given more often. Discounts of thousands of euros or free money lending are back to normal. And with all this information, we train our customers that there is room between the asking price and the purchase price. Whether it’s true, I’ll leave that open; the perception is, in any case, that there is a lot of room to negotiate.
Marktplaats is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and has become big with bidding and haggling on products. No ‘marketplace,’ not even eBay, comes close to what Marktplaats generates for its advertisers and buyers. Bidding is also part of Marktplaats’ character. You can turn off the ‘bid button,’ but interested parties can and will still bid via a message.
The most important thing is that bidding on Marktplaats is above all the starting point of a dialogue.
The most important thing is that bidding on Marktplaats is above all the starting point of a dialogue. Nothing more and nothing less. The bid starts the conversation because even if someone bids the asking price and you agree, the deal is often not closed, and there needs to be a discussion about the conditions. Every bid is really the starting point of a dialogue.
We as sellers must be able to deal with various customers of various kinds, each with its peculiarities. We must be chameleons! All we need is a chance, a dialogue with someone who might be interested in the offered car.
In this example, you see that an offer of €30,000 is made for a Mini, while the asking price is €39,995. Okay, the amount is significantly lower, but you don’t know what’s behind that low bid. Maybe there’s a budget of €30,000, and you can perhaps offer another Mini. Maybe there’s a trade-in? Or is there a need for financing? Plenty of possibilities.
The seller, with his response, shows that he is an amateur, someone who gets frustrated immediately if approached not in the right way. And that frustration is shown to the customer in an extremely unpleasant way, despite his creativity in text and image.
The result is clear. He loses the customer, respect, and thus the opportunity. Now the seller will defend himself by saying that the customer was not serious and that there was no deal anyway, but he takes that mindset to the next customer as well.
The result is clear. He loses the customer, respect, and thus the chance.
If this were to happen in my company, I would give the seller a final warning immediately. I don’t want to communicate like this with potential customers who can pass on this unprofessional response to dozens of people through a review. And don’t forget, the customer has heard that brand X is giving a €5,000 discount on a new, available-from-stock car, and with brand Y, there is even a €7,000 advantage. In other words, the customer thinks there is a lot of room for negotiation and only wants to be helped.
If you have a 15% conversion rate, then you lose 85 opportunities out of 100 chances. Losing is part of it, but don’t let frustration take over, and respond just like a professional. Like,
for example, with this text:
- How nice that you’re making an offer on our Mini Countryman!
- Many of our customers use bidding on Marktplaats to see if prices can still go down.
- I’m happy to tell you that we compare our prices with the market every day so that you can be sure you’re paying a correct price! Our prices are fixed all-in prices.
- We have the Mini ready for a great test drive, for example, on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning?
- When can you come by?
5 push messages on Marktplaats
Of course, you respond with five different messages so that the customer receives five push notifications! Of course, this doesn’t always work, but if the customer doesn’t respond, you, as a professional, have answered the question without lowering yourself. And yes, among colleagues, such a creative and worthless answer may be amusing, but be a sales professional in 2024 and give a professional response.
In the past three years, you had ten customers for one car, now the customer has ten cars from ten different companies, and you are one of them. Be the best, the most professional, and not the most frustrated seller who can only sell cars if the customer buys the car. If you’re such a seller who’s only there to write the order, 2024 is going to be an extremely challenging year.