AutoUSA recently completed its 2013 auto dealer Internet Marketing survey, in which we asked "What is the most common sales objection you are hearing from customers?" We summarized results from 147 respondents, including Internet sales managers, sales managers, BDC managers, marketing managers and senior management.
According to our survey, these are the most common sales objections:
- Our price not in line with customer expectations (28%)
- Customer can't get financing (19%)
- Consumer confidence with economy (14%)
- Customer can't afford a new vehicle (12%)
- Customer doesn't have time/too busy (10%)
- Dealership didn't have desired model available (5%)
- Customer didn't like dealership sales process (1%)
When we include other answers such as "customer wanted price before coming in," "need to talk to husband/wife," "not offering enough money for trade-in," it’s evident that affordability and pricing are key to the decision-making process. So how can we deal with affordability objections?
It starts with understanding the customer’s process. Thanks to increased transparency on the Internet, and to the numerous e-commerce sites out there, today's consumer is used to being in control of the purchasing process. If we want to buy something, we use the Internet to conduct research, read product or service reviews, do some comparative price shopping and then finally, click a button. Purchase complete.
When it comes to buying a vehicle, the consumer attempts to follow this same path. For the most part, they can. There are sites that provide information in abundance, reviews of both vehicles and local dealers, and pricing guidance. When it comes to detailed affordability options, like finance or lease payments, those sites often fall short and customers either target the wrong car or seek out the dealer for answers.
You can help the consumer by giving information they can’t reliably get anywhere else. As dealers, we understand that many factors go into giving a price quote - it's not always an easy, cut-and-dry number to give. It’s OK to educate your customers on this, but you also have to give them information, and proactively at that.
On your website, include real payments using payment-quoting tools such as Payment ProSM. When you receive phone calls, answer questions about pricing directly and be prepared to follow up with key questions that will help you shape the conversation and identify if the customer is on the right vehicle. In the showroom and on the lot, don’t be afraid to have conversations about payment ranges or even post them on cars.
Today's consumer feels entitled to information. If you can help the customer find the information they are looking for instead of stonewalling them, you build trust. And trust is the key to overcoming objections and gaining the sale.
I'd like to hear from Internet sales managers and sales managers. What are the most common objections you are hearing, and how do you overcome these objections? What has worked and what hasn't?
Come visit us at booth # 3514 at NADA and ask for a demo of Payment Pro!