Interacting with informed customers can be a challenge as dealers try to overcome their concerns throughout the shopping process. In this month’s article, I provide practical tools to help salespeople conquer this obstacle.
Please keep in mind that the most effective way to make a connection and resolve these concerns is by framing a response around what is important to online car buyers; saving time, making comfortable decisions, solving a specific problem, and reducing the stress they perceive inherent in the traditional buying process. Customers hope to take a different road to the solution, where they come away with a greater than expected result. Read between the lines as you review my proposed responses to see how they directly tie to the customers’ buying motivations. Understand these are not meant to be used as scripts, but as “word tracks.” We all have different ways to convey information and various comfort levels with certain words or phrases. Highlight anything comfortable for you and incorporate it in your response to feel prepared when approached with an issue.
Let’s address one of the most frequent “pushbacks” voiced by customers while trying to set an appointment for a dealership visit. By now, you already should have delivered pricing information by e-mail, text or chat based on the customer’s submitted request. Remember, comparable to floor traffic, most customers purchase a vehicle different than what was originally intended due to availability, a consultative salesperson or affordability concerns. Taking this into consideration, your pricing information should offer several options that are comparable or less than anticipated to take the focus off of price. Although there are customers dead set on purchasing a specific color or equipped vehicle, I believe that to be the exception that at this point you should very much be in the role of consultative salesperson.
For a new vehicle request you should include the following pricing options:
- A vehicle in stock that closely fits the vehicle they originally requested
- An entry-level vehicle of the same model to demonstrate affordability and equipment flexibility
- A comparable pre-owned vehicle in stock to show purchase and savings possibilities (this is very important, as many customers originally submitting requests for new vehicles purchase used cars and are not as make and model loyal as originally thought)
With a used-vehicle request, even though they most likely have seen the VIN specific vehicle, you still want to include other possibilities they might not be aware of. Again, vehicle options in the same class of car are often considered. The key is to establish your position as a consultative salesperson, since no sale can be finalized without satisfying the needs of the customers and offering a variety of options. It is your responsibility to lead the conversation by probing with open-ended questions to provide the best possible solution to their situation. Should they stick to the vehicle they originally selected, you have solidified their choice as the right one and effectively lessen future objections to the car. I am not advocating directing a customer away from a vehicle they are determined to purchase; however, your best chance to earn their business is by having them remove any resistance to the vehicle itself and that often naturally occurs when eliminating purchase options.
During your conversation, if the customer states, “I will let you know,” or “I need to think about it,” try answering with a version of the following:
(Customer’s name), it certainly is important to be sure about all aspects of your purchase and that’s what I would like to assist you in doing. After our conversation, I have a good idea of what you’re hoping to accomplish and as you see we have several options to help get you the car you want, while keeping as much money in your pocket as possible. I specialize in working with Internet customers like yourself and delivering the simplest buying process. I’ve helped many others in similar situations, and they were amazed at what we were able to do for them. They had no idea there was so much flexibility in helping them to begin enjoying their new car.
To help you save time and money, we can begin one of two ways:
- 1. You can provide me a bit of detailed information so I can explore financing options for you OR
- 2. We can set aside time for a brief personal visit. I’ll be waiting for you with specific vehicles for your inspection and our time together will provide all the answers so you can decide how you might like to proceed.
“Which way would you prefer to move forward?”
This type of response addresses saving time, making an educated decision, reducing stress since they will be moving forward on their terms, solving their problem and the vehicle choices provided suggest that they might possibly come home with an even greater than expected result.
If you have any specific concerns that you would like addressed in future articles, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.