“I need to think about it.”
“That’s fine. I am not working on commission. My purpose here is to help you make a wise purchase. In addition, you know, I help about 20 people a week make terrific Internet purchasing decisions. People like you who want the no-hassle, no-haggle experience of purchasing a new car over the Internet. May I ask what it is that you feel you need to think over?”
“You’re too far away from where I live.”
“Well, you know that really never comes into play because, first of all, we’ll deliver your vehicle to you at home, or at work, whichever you prefer. You do not even have to come to us. We’ll come to you! And secondly, you can always use your local dealer for warranty, maintenance and routine service.”
“I need to do some more shopping.”
“Shopping is the best way to gain comfort with price and with the specific vehicle that you are likely to purchase. Before you invest time in shopping, let’s document the specific vehicle you are going to shop and some of the ‘tricks of the trade’ that you’re likely to encounter.”
Continue, explaining to the customer the common ploys such as, “How much would you like to pay?” and “If we could do that, would you take it today?” and “What kind of payment would you like?”
You should also mention that you guarantee the lowest price!
“I’m just looking for a price.”
“That’s smart. In addition, it is smart of you to use the Internet to purchase your new vehicle. It saves you so much time. But, before you invest time in shopping, let’s document the specific vehicle you are going to shop and some of the ‘tricks of the trade’ that you’re likely to encounter.”
“I won’t be able to buy until later.”
“I understand, Mr. Smith. In the meantime, check our website weekly until you are in a position to make your purchase. You will find all kinds of great specials on sales and service. When you are in a position to make your purchase, give me a call. As promised, I’ll make your purchase completely hassle-free.”
“I got a better price somewhere else.”
“That’s great. As you know, the Internet exists to give smart consumers like yourself more power in the negotiations. But, before I close out your file, let’s make certain that the car you’re shopping is the same as the one we’ve priced so you can come back to us should there be any difficulties or sudden changes in the other price quote.”
Explain the ease and integrity of your Internet system to distinguish it from others. Make certain that the customer realizes that you are happy for him and that the door is always open for him to return.
If customer answers, “NO,” respond with: “Well, that explains it. You know there is quite a significant difference in price depending on the car’s options. Let’s go over the options you originally specified. Maybe you could do without some of the options to bring the price down.”
If customer answers, “YES, I was quoted on the same car,” respond with: “He did? Well, my guess is he wants you to come into his showroom. Moreover, if I am right, be careful. Make sure the car really does have all the options you want. If you sense any sneaky business, please call me. My no-haggle price still stands.”
“The Customer Asks Your Price”
When faced with this one, remember that NADA says 64 percent of auto shoppers buy vehicles that are different from their initial choice. Additionally, 48 percent of auto shoppers don’t know if they want to buy a new or a used vehicle, so be sure to address these options openly.
“Great point, I’m glad you brought that up. I can see it is important to you, and it ought to be important to you. Let’s face it - cars are expensive today. I can tell you have done your research and ...”
If the inquiry is for used vehicles you can provide a price range and selection of various makes and models, including the one the prospect is asking about. “We have 10 Mustangs in stock and they start at $9,500 and go up to $14,500. I’d like to suggest you come in and look at the equipment and options on these and then I can get you an exact price. We also have two Camaros and a Celica that are in this same price range.”
Try and determine the customer’s budget with something like, “Can you share with me your thoughts about your budget for a vehicle like this one?” And align your response with whatever the customer say. Say: “You know we’re not going to lose your business over a few dollars. The most important thing to do is come down and look at the vehicle to make sure it is the proper vehicle. Now, would this afternoon or this evening be better for you?”
People are conditioned to ask, “Do you have it in stock?” and “what is the price?” If you are using the pace lead process it will get people off the price question and get them looking at the vehicle.
“Trade-ins: “KBB said my car is worth…”
Have you ever had an Internet customer come into the dealership and say, “NADA said my car is worth…” or “Black Book said my car is worth…” or “Kelley Blue Book said my car is worth…”?
The best dealerships in the country are taking these evaluation tools and using them as a selling tool. Why push back at a customer who is using the Web? Why not use the Web to you and your customer’s best advantage from an information standpoint?
You should always evaluate the trade with the customer’s help. You should always walk around the car with the customer and write down everything that is right and wrong with the vehicle. This helps the customer figure out that their car is not in the excellent condition they thought it was.
Walk around the vehicle with the customer. Write down what is right and wrong, then take the customer into the dealership and go to nada.com, blackbook.com, or kbb.com and rate the vehicle. All of these sites have a vehicle rating form that will tell the consumer how good or how bad their vehicle really is.
How many of your consumers come in, having rated their vehicle as excellent? Are all of them right? How many excellent cars have you seen since you’ve been in this business? So, rate the vehicle with the customer and show them the disclaimer.
What disclaimer? On each of these tools, there is a disclaimer that pops up and says this evaluation is based on market conditions for like vehicles in your area, but dealerships also have other expenses to subtract from this figure such as reconditioning, detailing and commissions.
The consumer will take this figure into account to help you come up with a number that is much closer to what you will offer them for the vehicle. It will help you sell more cars.
“What’s my car really worth?”
“That’s a really good question and off the top of my head I can give you a couple of different answers; however, it’s going to be a guess and I don’t want to guess at something that is so valuable to you. What I would like to have you do, if you would not mind, is just come down, not for the whole day, just for five to 10 minutes. That way I can really put my hand on your car and give you a figure you can take to the bank. Now, would this afternoon or this evening work better for you to come down and have us look at your vehicle? Again, I’m not going to waste your time; it’s only going to take five to 10 minutes.”
Have you ever had a customer come in and say, “I found the invoice price on the Internet!”? Does it make you happy? Of course not! Ever have that same customer say, “Show me the real invoice because the invoice I found on the Internet is lower than what you’re telling me.”
If you go to Edmunds.com, at the top there is a button that reads, “Ten Steps to Buying a Car.”
The advantage of Edmunds over Consumer Reports is that Edmunds does not tell the consumer to lie to you and bring up the trade at the last minute. What Edmunds does tell the customer as part of the “Ten Steps to Buying a Car” is there is a hyperlink on the page that opens a window that advises the viewer there are charges on the invoice that do not show up on the Internet. The charges are for things like dealer advertising and transportation fees. Make sure you use this tool and show the customer.
“If the Customer Asks about Percentage Rate Available”
If the customer asks about percentage rate available, quote a general rate based on a credible mid-range percentage. For example, if the buy-rate is seven percent, an average deal eight percent and a D-tier rate in the low teens, you would present a “trial balloon” rate of nine percent, qualifying it by the fact that no credit criteria has to be collected, and that the bank manager will shop diligently to find a selection of financing sources, once the actual credit application is completed. Typically, a customer will respond to the rate by challenging it with a lower advertised rate, which serves as a great transition into starting the credit application process.
I want to buy from a personal seller
Much too often we will have a customer we are working with who says they are considering a personal seller. That could be for a number of reasons, but what you will hear the most is that they say they have the exact same vehicle with less miles and is less expensive. A great response would be “I completely understand it is great to look at different vehicles. One thing to keep in mind with personal sellers is you don’t get the guarantee of what a dealership is offering. Sure it may be less money but they won’t put it through the shop for you, they won’t give you a Carfax, and most often they aren’t going to disclose if anything is wrong with the vehicle. You will still have to take it somewhere to have the safety and emissions done on it, as well as then go to the DMV to have it registered and pay taxes. By the time it is all said and done you end up being the same price of what it would have been at the dealership, but you have to waste more of your time doing that which you can’t really put an amount on. At the dealership they are getting it registered for you, they are putting it through the shop beforehand, they are able to arrange the financing for you, and often times you get warranties with it. They are much more transparent about the vehicle and what you are paying for. It is really a one stop shop. What works best for you to come in, this afternoon or this evening?”
If the Customer has stated they bought elsewhere
If you have called the customer and they have stated they purchased elsewhere a good response would be “Awesome, I am glad that you were able to find something. In the mean time I would like to inform you of our bird dog program. Every time you refer someone to us and they buy, we will send you a check for $100 which is a great way to get some extra money. I thank you again for your time and for considering us on your vehicle purchase, if you ever need anything, or have any questions please let me know.”