Automotive Internet Sales Director Shares Secrets For Handling Prospects
1. "I'm Just Looking" / "I am NOT Buying Today" / "This is the FIRST place I Have Looked" / "I've Just Started My Research"
All of these are the same basic objection
Yes Sir/Ma'am, I understand completely! I have discovered that many of my customers would
prefer to do some research, drive a few vehicles of interest, and gain some financial information like price, payments, and the value of their trade before they would even consider purchasing a vehicle. Does that sound like the way you like to do business? Now, I know my inventory better than anyone. Were we looking at cars, Sport Utility Vehicles, vans, or trucks?
Certainly, Mr./Ms. Jones, I wouldn't have it any other way! Every journey begins with the first step. The good news is that you are half way there because you have made it out to the dealership to see what is available. I really appreciate you giving us the opportunity to earn your business. Now, I know my inventory very well. Were we looking at cars, Sport Utility Vehicles, vans, or trucks?
I completely understand! The car buying process can be a daunting endeavor. We have a HUGE
lot. Follow me inside, I will have just a few questions and then I can bring the vehicles that fit your wants, needs and desires to you! (Turn and walk towards the showroom)
Yes Sir/Ma'am, I completely understand! Most of my customers prefer to do some leg work,
compare a variety of vehicles and get some realistic prices so that they actually have some information to ponder. Then, return tomorrow or perhaps next week to really nail down a deal. Would you agree? I know my inventory better than anyone. What is the most important feature you want out of your next vehicle?
Yes Sir/Ma'am, I understand completely! The selection of a vehicle is one of the largest purchases we have to deal with. Many folks take the spending of their hard earned cash way to flipantly. I hope you will allow me to assist you in this process. Perhaps I can even make it a little simpler? Follow me inside, I will have just a few questions and then I can bring the vehicles that fit your wants, needs and desires to you! (Turn and walk towards the showroom)
That is GREAT Mr./Ms. Smith! I have been assisting people in the purchase of vehicle for over 25 years! I will be here tomorrow, next week and next year. Now, I know my inventory very well. Were we considering cars, Sport Utility Vehicles, vans, or trucks?
Yes Sir/Ma'am, I understand completely! The LAST THING I would ask you to do today is buy a car. Perhaps I can even make it a little simpler? Follow me inside, I will have just a few questions and then I can bring the vehicles that fit your wants, needs and desires to you! (Turn and walk towards the showroom)
NOTE: A seed is actually planted here. Later in the process, once you have earned the right to ask for the sale, you can say "Remember when I said:
"The LAST THING I would ask you to do today is buy a car", Well...
2. What is your BEST price?
The rebuttal to this objection depends on where you are in the sales process.
Option #1, BEFORE the customer has landed on a vehicle
I am SO GLAD you asked me that, Mr./Ms. Smith! We do things a little different here at Rolling Hills Auto Plaza. We do our best to make the shopping experience as enjoyable as possible. So, we have marked the prices clearly on ALL of our Pre-Owned vehicles. We believe in giving you a fair price up front so I don't have to go back and forth with my manager, multiple times, to get you the exact same price. Does that make sense?
Customer:"Does that mean the prices are non-negotiable?"
Depending on the vehicle, there may be some wiggle room, but if you are thinking thousands then purhaps we should look at another vehicle. Actually, some of our vehicles have been discounted so drastically they ARE non-negotiable. Our customers have told us that they simply do not like the "games" and haggling that other dealers play, especially when it comes to Used Cars. Did you notice that this car has BlueTooth and a touch screen?
Certainly, Mr./Ms. Jones! Being confident that you have not overpaid for a vehicle is VERY important. I will tell you this, If I couldn't give you the absolute BEST DEAL on the vehicle of your choice I would NEVER expect you to buy it from me. Now, I know my inventory very well. Were we looking at cars, Sport Utility Vehicles, vans, or trucks?
Yes Sir/Ma'am!, You deserve the BEST DEAL! However, I can tell that you have done this before and would like to buy a vehicle with the least amount of stress possible, am I correct? I will let you in on a little "car industry secret", the best way to get the VERY BEST DEAL possible is to first find the vehicle that is right for you. Once we do that, be be prepared to BUY THAT VEHICLE! My Sales Manager is much more apt to give you his very best deal if you are prepared to take advantage of it! Perhaps I can make it even simpler? Follow me inside, I will have just a few questions and then I can bring the vehicles that fit your wants, needs and desires to you! (Turn and walk towards the showroom)
Yes Sir/Ma'am!, I WANT you to get the BEST possible deal! I have been selling vehicles for over 25 years and I depend on return and referred business! When I see you at the Gas Station or the Grocery Store, I want to be able to great you with an outstretched hand and a smile. Not be ducking behind the isle thinking "OH NO! There's that guy/gal that paid for my Hawaii Vacation!" What is the most important feature you want out of your next vehicle?
Option #2, AFTER the customer has landed on a vehicle
I am sorry Mr./Ms. Smith, I really must apologize to you. I must not have been clear when I spoke to you about Market Pricing. We do things a little different here at Rolling Hills
Auto Plaza. We do our best to make the shopping experience as enjoyable as possible. So, we have marked the prices clearly on ALL of our Pre-Owned vehicles. We believe in giving you a fair price up front so I don't have to go back and forth with my manager, multiple times, to get you the exact same price. Does that make sense?
Customer:"Does that mean the prices are non-negotiable?"
Depending on the vehicle, there may be some wiggle room, but if you are thinking thousands then purhaps we should look at another vehicle. Actually, some of our vehicles have been discounted so drastically they ARE non-negotiable. Our customers have told us that they simply do not like the "games" and haggling that other dealers play, especially when it comes to Used Cars.Customer: How do you decide what is a fair "Market Price"?
That is a great question! It starts online. We have a computer program that shows us what competitive vehicles are selling for based on condition, miles and options in our area. Then we look to see how long a vehicle has been here and once we gather all of that information, the computer tells us what a fair price would be for that vehicle.
Absolutely Mr./Ms. Smith! But please let me ask you this: Other than price, is there anything else preventing you from buying this vehicle today?
The price question is often the STATED OBJECTION, however it quite possibly
may not be the REAL objection. The customer's response to this question will tell you whether you are actually at the PRICE stage or if there is more work to be done.
Certainly, Mr./Ms. Jones! I am on your side, I want you to get the Best Deal Possible! Now, before I go to work on my Sales Manager, if we come to terms on the numbers, are you prepared to drive this vehicle home today?
Again, the price question is often the STATED OBJECTION, however it quite possibly may not be the REAL objection. The customer's response to this question will tell you whether you are actually at the PRICE stage or if there is more work to be done.
Yes Sir/Ma'am! Being confident that you have not overpaid for a vehicle is VERY important. I will tell you this, If I couldn't give you the absolute BEST DEAL on this vehicle I would NEVER expect you to buy it from me. Now, assuming we come to terms, where is the first place you will be driving your new vehicle to show it off?
3. I Need To Speak With My Spouse
Absolutely Mr./Ms. Smith! I know my wife would need to give the okay on such a purchase. Is she available? (if yes)Let's hop in the car and go show it to her RIGHT NOW! (if no) Alright Mr./Ms. Smith, other than him/her seeing the vehicle, is there ANYTHING ELSE that would prevent you from taking this car home today?
If there are other "things" you are not done. If there are no other "things", and you believe the person in front of you whole heartily supports the buying of the vehicle, BCA them in the car.
There are no other rebuttals here. If there is a spouse, they must be involved, one way or another.
4. I Didn't Bring My Trade
Absolutely Mr./Ms. Smith! But please let me ask you this: Other than your trade-in's value, is there anything else preventing you from buying this vehicle today?
The "trade is not here" is often the STATED OBJECTION, however it quite possibly
may not be the REAL objection. The customer's response to this question will tell you whether your customer is actually ready to buy or if there is more work to be done. If the customer states that their "trade not being here" is absolutely the ONLY thing stopping business at this point, then the response is: "GREAT! Let's go get it!". If this is impossible (wife-son-daughter have it hours away, it is in the body shop getting painted, or any reason that makes it impossible to go get, then, work the deal
sight-unseen."What do you think your vehicle is worth? How did you get to that number? How many miles? Can we run a CarFax? Do you have maintenance records? When was the last time you purchased tires? On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your car mechanically Cosmetically? Based upon the information YOU have provided to me, if we can come to terms on a number for your trade, are you ready to do business TODAY?"
Again, There are no other rebuttals here. Generally, we will HAVE to see the trade to finalize the deal.
5. I Saw It Cheaper Somewhere Else
Normally this customer statement is a lie or defense mechanism. If it is determined to be such go to the "What is your BEST price" rebuttals. However, it is occasionally a legitimate objection, in which case:
WOW Mr./Ms. Smith, I can see that you have REALLY done your homework here. Nobody could accuse you of being impulsive! I cannot speak for the vehicles found on other lots or in other towns, I can only represent a vehicle that I have in inventory here, RIGHT NOW. The car business is very complicated. I think the first thing I would ask myself is, "is that other vehicle EXACTLY THE SAME as this vehicle, the one you have already told me you are ready to drive home if we can agree to terms?" Is it the same year, make and model? Is it the same trim level package Does it have exactly the same options? How many miles were on it? What did the CarFax look like? Who owned it before? How was it cared for? Was it fully serviced before they placed it on the lot? Has it been Certified? Was it the Color you want? (Finally) Why didn't you purchase that CHEAP vehicle there?The answers to these questions will guide you as to how to proceed. Even in the very rare instance where a customer has found THE EXACT same vehicle that is proveably cheaper, there are plenty of other things to sell. Yourself, the dealership, our financing, the trade value, add-on fees, proximity, reputation, and convenience. These things have value! NEVER DROP YOUR PANTS and don't bad-mouth other retailers.
6. I don't want to test drive.
Often this objection is more a symptom of poor salesmanship. The salesman has not done a proper job of fact-finding and rapport building and has failed to do a strong walk-around presentation. A demo drive is the natural and logical next step if the sales process has been followed. However, for the sake of this exercise we will assume we have that rare 1% that has gone through the proces and still refuses to test drive the vehicle.
I understand Mr./Ms. Smith, when you see a car that is NEW (is in this great of condition *used*), it is probably safe to assume that it will be in excellent mechanical condition. However, the automobile industry has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last few years. There are options on cars now that may surprise you and cannot properly be demonstrated on a parked car. Buckle that seat belt, I will get us rolling.
I completely understand Mr./Ms. Smith. I have heard of people who feel the exact same way! They felt like there was nothing to gain by driving a vehicle they have not yet purchased. However, most of my customers have found that by actually driving the vehicle they get a better feel for the road and a greater understanding of new breaking systems, crash avoidance technology, back-up sensors and cameras as well as ergonomic and entertainment features like the telescoping steering column, adjustable pedals, satellite radio, and personal synchronization features that let you use electronics devices like your cell phone and iPod, hands-free, while driving down the road!
I understand exactly how you feel Mr./Ms. Jones! I used to feel the same way. Let's look at it like a pair of shoes. I wear a size 11 shoe. I have worn a size 11 shoe for 30 years. When I go to the shoe store I always go to the size 11 rack because I know, I wear size 11 shoes! Once in a great while, however, I am in a hurry and I just buy a pair of size 11 shoes and run to the check out because I am in a hurry. It NEVER FAILS, if I do not TRY ON the shoes they hurt my feet so bad, I can never wear them! Do you try on your shoes before you purchase them? Alright then! I REFUSE to sell you a car that will hurt your feet! Buckle up that safety belt!
7. I need to check with my bank on rates.
Absolutely Mr./Ms. Smith! In fact we may have YOUR Bank's Rates right here! Our Business Office has done an outstanding job of building relationships with both local and national banks. Sometimes they can actually get a better financial package that YOU CAN at the same bank you have done business with for years! So, WORST CASE SCENARIO, Our Business Office gets you an amazing finacial package and you somehow find a way to do better!
Rebuttal #2 Works for majority of customers with little to no cash down or are upside-down in a trade. I understand completely! Keep in mind however, banks normally require a 20% investment from their customers in order to approve a loan. Obviously Sir/Ma'am with us carrying over $2753.00 from your last automobile and no cash down, you are a long way from 20% down. The great thing about using our Business Office is that we deal in volume. This means that, because of our strong bank relationships, we can often give our customers very competitive financial packages and get the substantial down-payment requirements waved! So, if we can get your financing handled AND not require you to put more of your hard earned cash down, doesn't it make more sense to give us a shot?
Rebuttal #2 Works for the minority of customers with strong financial backgrounds, large down payments or good trade equity. I agree with you 100% Mr./Ms. Smith! You have handled your business dealings impeccably from the very first time I spoke with you. You did your research, did your comparisons and spoke with other dealers to insure you were getting a great deal on your vehicle! I would expect no less on the financial aspect of our dealings. Doesn't it make sense to do the same due diligence and see what our Business Office has to offer vs. your local bank?
Answering An Internet Sales Coordinator (Appointment Setter)'s Questions on How To Be Prepared For the Sales Call or Internet Lead...
We know the fun part. When you first get your hands on one. They are new to you. All coddling is out the window and it is time for action. These first intimate interactions are exciting. It is that magical time when you first get together…
I am speaking of the moment the lead arrives.
Imagine a lead, as it grows, becomes an infant. It enters your dealerships CRM world brand-spanking new. It is helpless. It needs your immediate attention and devotion. Like a baby, it needs your warmth and your motherly/fatherly care. This is a beautiful time. You get to read the information the customer submitted on the lead, read into the customer with a little lead deconstruction and smile at their peccadillos. You get to garner pricing for it, check the inventory, and coddle the lead with a detailed, personalized first manual email response and phone call. The world is new and you love that lead. It represents hope…the future… a sale.
While a good motherly/fatherly Internet Sales Manager is still caring for that newborn lead at three months with the same utter devotion they did at one day old, other ISMs do not. Unfortunately, for some, that new baby smell wears off. They don’t feed the lead daily. They don’t call out to it. They don’t keep a watchful eye and make sure it isn’t in need of help. And this is the problem with lead management at car dealerships.
I’ve devoted my life to only a few things.
- My children and family. (I am insanely proud of the Dad I’ve become).
- My comedy and writing. (Hey, everyone needs a creative passion outside of their daily duties).
- Improving the way dealers do business. (More specifically, how improved communication with customers can change the way car dealers are perceived.)
At DealerKnows, from our in-store consulting to our Virtual Dealer Training…from the watchful eye we are in a dealer’s CRM and website to the honest and progressive brand that DK has become, our love of improving dealers’ phone, email, chat, text and video practices make us incredibly proud. We witness the growth and transformation of their Internet profitability the same way a good parent cherishes watching their children grow and learn. Now why can’t more Internet Sales Managers feel the same way about their very own leads?
Today’s ISMs must take ownership of their leads and be proud of the care they give them. They must recognize that managing a lead isn’t just a Day 1 wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am task, but a consistent, long-term daily regimen with each and every lead they parent.
Regardless of the statistics showing that Internet sales are being closed sooner and sooner to their arrival in the CRM, we believe that a lead has value (and the ability to sell) at any point in its lifetime. And this is where Internet teams fail. They give up. They skirt their responsibilities of being the lead’s guardian all the way through from conception to conversion. They like the lead when it is new to them, but don’t want to participate in the diaper-duty associated with long-term lead management.
What are you doing to ensure all tasks are completed in the CRM?
How often are you looking to guarantee leads aren’t being flipped to lost or bad far too early in the cycle?
You need to check regularly. We find this to be one of the most common process breaks and profit leaks in every dealership. As we at DealerKnows monitor the daily goings-on inside our clients’ CRMs, we see when they are ignoring the babies. They don’t try to raise them or educate them. They simply tend to them in the first few days and then pay them no mind after a few days. It is neglectful. And we can assure you it is happening at your store too if you’re not training them to be better parents.
Reinforce the need to follow-up with all leads until their adulthood, or at least until they buy. If you are a dealership operator, you need to be the social services of your store. Make sure your people are caring for the store’s leads consistently and don’t just focus on those first few response-time metrics. If you are the Internet Sales Manager, don’t think your job is over after your first interaction with the lead. Take care of it. Love it. Care for it until it matures. Don’t abandon your leads too early in the process.
You can’t just make the baby… you have to raise the baby.
Usually when I construct posts here on AIS, I usually like to include several statistics regarding the topic. Not this time. While there are several studies (I'm sure) on the subject of reputation management and responding to criticism on social media, I would rather this be more of a logical post. Once more, I'd also like everyone's feedback as well. So, here goes....
In 2012, when a customer's displeased with your dealership, chances are he/she will head straight to the social media-sphere. They want to share their anger with others. We've all seen it before. They'll not only post it on your dealership's Google Place page, but they'll also wander over to your Facebook and Twitter pages to voice their opinion. How exactly do you respond to their criticism?
Some like to respond by, essentially, not responding. They like to bury the customer's post. This simply means instead of addressing the concern, the dealership posts content on top of the complaint. Some may even go so far as to delete it the complaint, altogether. The customer catches on and then, you have to block the customer.
I believe if the customer is sharing a logical complaint: "Manager rubbed me wrong way" or "Service dept didn't address my concerns." Then, you should definitely engage. There's no use ignoring a situation that can be resolved with just a few sentences. "I'd love to take care of this for you. Would mind if we called you?" Chances are that the customer won't forget you and your dealership if you just hear them out and try to address their concerns.
I'm not naive, however. I realize some customers aren't so civil. Some turn out to be social media abusers. They'll go on your dealership's page and post profane comments over and over. Some (I know firsthand) create fake accounts just to post more profanity. I believe this is the only time it's acceptable to hit that block button. That person is only there to complain. They're not posting for help. They're posting to drag your name out in the mud. Block and move on.
*After perusing this post, I'd recommend checking out Seth Godin's Blog Post on this matter: Engaging with Criticism
So, what do you think? Immediately delete the complaint or engage and learn?
INSIDE a LIVE Training WORKSHOP on Objections, Expectations & Rebuttals... Automotive Internet Sales Ninjas in TRAINING!
VERY POWERFUL!!! Notice... They are NOT using ANY Scripts or Books!!! All on the FIRST DAY! Go Team GO!