At many dealerships, the Qualify step of the sales process is used to qualify the customer to buy a vehicle. Some dealerships have a process to run credit during this step to determine what vehicle a customer is eligible to buy and then “land them” on this vehicle.

Unfortunately, this can be off-putting for the customer, and can occasionally completely derail the transaction.

The reason is that it further separates the customer and the salesperson, pitting them against themselves. But start approaching qualifying with a new perspective and you’ll discover a dramatic shift in customers buying habits at your dealership.

If you look up qualify in the dictionary, you’ll find that it means, “to provide with the proper or necessary skills, knowledge and credentials.”

So the real focus of qualifying shouldn’t be about the customer’s credit. The real focus of this step should be two-fold:

  1. To demonstrate that we are qualified to solve the customer’s problem.
  2. To qualify the scenario to ensure that you are in fact able to help the customer get what they want and need.

That means that your new goal with qualifying should be about building rapport with the customer, so you can discover their wants and needs.

Building rapport will allow you to have a natural conversation with your customer that focuses on what they need and how you can help. So even if your dealership’s process is to run credit during this step of the sale, it’s essential that you work with the customer to make sure the bank’s solution is truly going to fit their situation.

But first, you need to understand their situation. And by qualifying the customer’s problem rather than the customer, you demonstrate that you are qualified to help—which will gain the customers’ trust and help you sell more cars.