Asking for the Sale
By Darin George
I was doing a seminar on this article's topic, November 2014, and asked the salespeople; how many of their customers are not coming back after being in the store the first time? Which means, how are they doing with the I'll be-back customers. The numbers were; 60% not answering their calls or emails, 30% still working on the customer and 10% were coming back into the dealership. From these calculations it seems not much has changed in the last 20 years, except internet pricing and social media.
Everything still sounds like my rookie year selling cars. Find a potential customer, land them on a vehicle they seem to want and then discuss the price. Nothing has changed, especially when the customer says; Ok great, I’ll be back later or I’ll give you a call tonight to let you know what we'll do. So they would leave and go into the very far off land of “I’ll Be Back later”.
I wished that all of the people that said this to me would really do what they said, but of course I was mostly wrong. I started to think that almost every customer I spoke to was a liar. Was it them or was it just me not doing my job right? Customers are not liars, they are just being a car buyer.
I worked for a sales manager who always said not to give him any excuses why my customer would leave. Man could I come up with great BS stories for him. He said the only excuse was me. This sounds a little harsh but he was right. He told me that the reason people will buy from me, was me. The opposite was also true and quickly I became an effective salesperson. It didn't take me 5 years or 5 months to figure out this business. Its all rapport, process and no BS.
When it comes to asking for the sale you will find there are two things you will need to learn quickly: First is that too much pressure will blow the sale and the second is that not enough pressure will blow the sale. If this is true, the big question is: when do you push the customer? The answer is: every time you are sitting in front of a customer but do it like a professional; not a nervous teenage trying to get to second base.
You don’t want to be that high pressured salesperson people hate but you definitely don’t want to be the salesperson everyone likes and never buys from. It’s a balancing act. Do your best to know when to push and when to back off. Never forget why the customers are in your dealership – they want a new car.
High Pressure = No Sale, No Pressure = No Sale
Professional High Pressure = Sold and is what you need to do with every customer.
Why are some salespeople not sure when to ask the customer for the sale and why do most salespeople not know how to ask for the sale? Are you afraid to be that aggressive high-pressured salesperson everybody hates? Or have you forgotten why people come to our dealerships. People come to us because they want what we have.
You have to earn the right to ask for the sale. Here is a quick check list.
· Did I introduce myself properly?
· Did I ask all of the qualifying questions?
· Was a full presentation and demonstration drive done?
· Did I sell the customer on our dealership?
· Have I been a professional?
If your check list is OK, put the customer in a comfortable controlled environment (your personal office). Most customers are scared and uneasy at this stage of the selling process. The emotional intensity level of the customer is at its highest and how we proceed from here will determine if we sell our product.
The following is a non-pressured and very effective way to ask for the sale.
Five Steps to Asking for the Sale
If you have any questions that you have not answered for the customer, answer them now, before you proceed.
Tell the Customer:
“Now before we go any further, I want to make sure that we have selected the correct vehicle? ( look for a verbal or a physical gesture i.e.., nodding of head ) This is done for clarification and if everything is OK.
“I have a few questions to ask you and if you could answer them as straight forward as possible?”
Ask the Customer:
“So you enjoyed the ride and features of the vehicle?"
If yes, proceed.
If no, back track to the vehicle selection process again.
Ask the Customer:
“Do you have any other questions about the dealership?” “How about the vehicle?”
If they do have concerns or questions, answer them.
Ask the Customer:
“OK then, if there was anything preventing you from getting the vehicle Today, Now;…what would it be?
The customer is going to give several conditions, i.e. the price, trade (difference), monthly payments, interest rate and terms. If you are selling a used vehicle the conditions could be additional repairs they want done before agreeing on numbers. What ever their response is to your question, handle it with Step Five.
Ask the Customer:
“So what you are suggesting to me Mr. George, is that; if the (i.e. price, payments, trade value, difference figure, terms, or repairs etc…) were agreeable with you and our dealership; you would like to get the new vehicle as soon as possible, is that correct?”
If everything is confirmed and clarified, pull out your work sheet and fill in the details on the vehicle the customer is interested in.
You have now asked for the sale professionally. This is not a negotiation yet, which many salespeople mistake. Your next step in the sales process is the worksheet and then negotiations.
Now that you have a script on how to ask for the sale professionally, role play with one of the other salespeople at the dealership or with someone at home. Have fun with it. Make it easy at first and as you get better, increase the difficulty level.