This Hyundai Salesman Learned What Customers Hate and Does the Opposite |

This Hyundai Salesman Learned What Customers Hate and Does the Opposite

Just the Facts:
  • Keyes Hyundai salesman Richard Chan is one of the top performers in the country.
  • His sales methods came from watching unhappy customers and learning how to avoid common sales mistakes.
  • He regularly uses text messaging for fast communication and hired an assistant out of his own pocket to make deal completion faster.

LOS ANGELES — At 20, Richard Chan saw a want ad in a newspaper for a nearby car dealership. The dealer was looking for salespeople, and with nothing to lose, Chan decided to give it a shot. At first, he says, he wasn't very good.

But he made it a point to observe car shoppers and learn their buying habits, he says. He paid special attention to unhappy customers: He wanted to understand what made them unhappy, and to avoid doing whatever it was that took the fun out of car shopping.

Fast-forward 13 years. Chan now works at Keyes Hyundai in the Los Angeles community of Van Nuys and is one of the country's top salespeople for the brand.

In 2013, Chan averaged 40 deals a month. Most car salespeople are happy to do 15 deals per month and the national average is around 10, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. Chan has earned a slew of customer service awards, including being honored by Hyundai for outstanding sales and customer service for the past four years.

The recipe for his success is no secret, Chan says. Just give people what they want. What car shoppers want is good service, he says. And they want it fast. So Chan accommodates. Indeed, he says, most of his customers complete their deals in the showroom within an hour.

Does it sound impossible? Here's how Chan says he does it:

Chan works in the Internet department, so he meets most of his customers via e-mail. He targets a near-immediate response time for shoppers looking for a price quote, and responds with both a phone call and email.

But what works best is a text message, he says. "Text is quick, but engaging. People are often unable to take a phone call, but can usually text," he says. "The sooner I can answer customers' questions, the better."

He also makes a point of offering to work out most of the purchase with customers before they come to the dealership. He tries to ensure that the car a shopper has selected has been prepped and is ready to be driven home prior to the buyer's arrival. That way, all the shoppers have to do when they come to the dealership is test-drive the car, fill out some forms and go home with a new car.

To make the most of his customers' time, Chan did something really novel: Out of his own pocket, he hired an assistant to help him demonstrate cars, conduct test-drives and teach car owners the finer points of their new vehicles. While Chan does paperwork and calculations, the assistant is available to show off the features of the car and keep the deal moving. Waiting around, Richard says, is a sore point with car shoppers.

"My job is so simple," he says. "It really is: Please my customers, build trust, and make the deal quick and painless. This is how car sales should be. Why should a customer be at a dealership for seven hours?

"Although I work for Keyes, my true boss is my customer," he says. "I never forget that and it has served me well."

Edmunds says: Sales and promotions are good ways to sell cars. But nothing beats having salespeople who focus on satisfying customers.


  • pqlyur1 pqlyur1 Posts:

    Blasphemer! You're supposed to run back and forth between the sales manager and the customer at least 5 times with different payments then inform the customer the car they wanted isn't available but you have this loaded version for just $50/mo more.

  • jeffinoh jeffinoh Posts:

    Its so simple and yet so brilliant- have enough respect for the customer to give them what they want. Most dealers really think they can lie to and manipulate people and still win the game. They never even consider that an informed consumer is ready to buy if you can meet his needs. Sites like edmunds allow people to make the purchase decision at home. All a smart agent has to do is close the deal.

  • mitt_zombie mitt_zombie Posts:

    I went with my dad last time to buy a car. The salesman asked if we wanted literature, we said sure. After a bit we got up to leave and found him standing at the desk with his buddies gloating about how he was "wearing us down". I literally pointed at him and laughed, no sale for you boy!

  • pommah pommah Posts:

    Sometime in about 2017-2018, the last stupid customer will walk into an auto showroom. Yet 90% of salespeople treat everybody as if they are that stupid guy

  • smulvey smulvey Posts:

    My last deals were with Dorschel Kia and Vision Kia in Rochester Ny. In each case, after I already had "bought " the car and had the plates and insurance issued and on the car, each dealer makes me sit in a "delivery " seesion FORCES ME to sit in a post sale "sale" where they try to make me buy more stuff to add on the car. I tried to explain a car that is on lease for 36 months, an dhas a 100K mile warranty does not need rust proofing and an extended warranty. It is just awful how Rochester NY Car Dealers think people would WANT to sit through this crap. But they do!

  • debralee80 debralee80 Posts:

    I purchased a vehicle from Richard last month...I had gone to another dealer, took a few vehicles for a test drive, and decided on the car I wanted...they did not have what I wanted as far as color, options, etc..They kept trying to sell me on another vehicle. The next day I spoke with Richard, and told him what I wanted...I live 50 miles away, so I wasn't making the trip unless He had what I wanted at a good price. He said he had the vehicle and quoted me the price I was expecting to pay! I filled out the application online, drove to Key's Hyundai. My car was detailed, full gas tank and ready to go!! We signed docs and I was on my way back home with in an hour. Thanks Richard for valuing my time.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    When I was shopping for a new car last August, I worked almost exclusively online. allowed me to automatically get price quotes from area dealerships. After seeing the cars in person, and test driving them, all my negotiating was done via email or text message. Once we agreed on a price, all I had to do was show up and sign. Still, communicating this way has its downsides. One salesman did not have the car prepped at all when I showed up for the scheduled test drive - dirty inside and out. I didn't buy from him. A different salesman simply would not leave me alone despite being told repeatedly that I had bought a different car and was no longer in the market. Still, I was not displeased with the overall experience.

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