Whether you’re a salesperson, finance manager or customer experience specialist, you’re going to deal with customer objections every single day. Successful salespeople understand that this is an inherent part of the job and develop their skills to be able to handle objections appropriately and effectively. As you become more and more experienced at selling cars, you’ll likely run into a lot of the same objections and you’ll quickly learn whether or not your solutions work or not. In this article, we’re going to cover how to deal with objections and then give 10 common objection examples and provide solutions for each one of them.
Each customer is going to come at you with objections differently from the next. Some may speak very calmly while others may be upset as they voice their objections. The key for the salesperson is to act accordingly to each objection with some basic emotional intelligence. Ask any experienced salesperson and they’ll tell you that how you relate to the customer is much more important than what the objection is. If you can follow these five rules you’ll have a much better time dealing with customers when they have objections.
Acknowledge the customer’s objection. “I can understand that, many customers share that same concern.” This lets the customer know that you’re listening and understanding where they’re coming from. Making it seem like you’re working with them as a team to get them the right vehicle rather than you’re trying to sell them something for your own good rather than what’s best for them.
Directly address the concern. Is their objection truly about the price of the vehicle or is it an easier way of telling you they don’t want this particular vehicle? Be transparent and encourage them to do the same so you can both walk away happy.
Listen more than you talk. Buying a car is stressful for a lot of people, customers have tons of questions and concerns that they want to voice and it’s your job to be all ears. Let them feel like they’re being heard and adjust your sales process according to what they’re saying. This will help you better understand the needs of your customers and also make them feel like they’re dealing with a salesperson who is truly looking out for their best interest.
Be aware of your body language. Body language is a massive part of communication and it’s critical you’re aware of your own body language. When a customer is giving you an objection be sure to show that you’re engaged. Nod as they speak, maintain eye contact and smile when necessary.
Never interrupt your customers. An easy way to lose a customer is to interrupt them as they’re voicing their concerns. By interrupting them you’re telling them you aren’t really interested in what they have to say and aren’t going to truly understand their needs.
While these objections may not be the exact words that you hear out of your customers, the overall sentiment will likely be the same. Studying these 10 objections will help prepare you for almost any scenario.
Anyone who has worked in sales is very much familiar with the phrase; “I’m just looking around.” While this phrase makes a lot of sense to say 15+ years ago when the only way you could look at a dealership’s lot was by physically being there, it doesn’t really hold up today. With the internet, any person can browse a dealership’s online inventory to see if they have vehicles that would potentially fit their needs.
It’s very unlikely that the person at your dealership hasn’t browsed your online inventory so when you do hear this objection, gently introduce yourself, find out if they’re looking at any specific type of vehicle and offer a walkaround. This way the customer knows if he/she wants more information, they can approach you to help them out.
Despite years of trying to make the automotive industry a less stigmatized industry through honest and transparent sales, many customers still feel like they will be tricked into buying a car on their first visit. So when a customer says something like “I’m just looking around”, what they really mean is they need a slow, low-pressure sales process where they truly believe that you’re in it for their best interests and not yours. You’ll quickly realize how many people actually end up buying a car when you take a slow and relaxed approach.
Many car shoppers walk into a dealership with an idea of their budget but it’s very common for them to show interest in vehicles out of their budget once they’re browsing. Typically they’re not saying this because they feel that the vehicle is overpriced and unfairly valued, more so that it’s just more than they intended to spend. As a salesperson you can approach this in one of two ways:
“Would you like to see if I can get this vehicle to fit your budget?”
“I can understand that, would you like me to show you some vehicles that are more within your budget?”
When a customer says a vehicle is too expensive, it’s entirely possible that you failed to adequately show off the vehicle. Perhaps the features of the vehicle that you showed them didn’t tick off all the boxes for them. If you’re unable to find a vehicle that meets your customer needs requirements, you’ll probably hear this phrase a lot. When you hear this your best bet is to go over how a vehicle meets the needs of the customer. While it will be tough to overcome this objection, your solutions need to include how a vehicle matches up well with your customer’s needs.
As we’ve talked about many times before, to be successful as a salesperson, you need to be able to establish a relationship and build rapport with your customers. When a customer objects to the price and refers to doing business somewhere else, it usually means you’ve failed to establish a relationship.
At this point you’re in a tough spot, you should put a pause on trying to sell the car and focus on selling the dealership. So when you hear this phrase, say something like “can I show you why I believe we’re the better choice to work with?”
Now instead of continuing to talk about the car, talk about how your dealership provides value to them, the customer. Walk them through the customer service process and even introduce them to your after-the-sale team. Talk about any other features of your dealership that separate you from the competition. As you do this, your further building a relationship with the customer that should have them stay to do business with your dealership.
A huge factor that dictates whether or not a customer will buy from your dealership is if they feel like they’re getting a good deal on their trade-in. So when your customer objects to the value you’ve given them on your trade-in, you need to break down the evaluation.
“I can understand why you may feel like the trade-in value is low, let me explain how we came to that evaluation.”
Most customers aren’t thinking about the time and effort it takes to re-sell a trade-in. When you break down how your vehicle was appraised, most customers will understand and respect that you gave them a full breakdown. If the customer still isn’t satisfied with the evaluation and your dealership isn’t willing to increase the trade-in value, the customer may decide to sell privately or go elsewhere.
As a car salesperson, expect to hear this phrase a lot. This is commonly said after going over the pricing options of a vehicle, but it doesn’t actually reveal the true concern of the customer. There’s usually something else going on that the customer isn’t saying. So when you hear this, it’s your job to find out the true concern of the customer.
“I completely understand your need to take time and think about this. May I ask if the price is too high or maybe the vehicle isn’t actually the right vehicle for you?”
By doing this, you’re trying to get the true objection of the customer without continuing to pressure them to buy the vehicle. Some customers won’t entertain your questions and will likely leave the dealership and while it’s unfortunate, it’s part of the job. Others will be more open to dialogue and that can potentially still lead to a sale today.
Everyone knows manufacturers drop prices on vehicles and are constantly releasing new promotions. For some customers, the day after they buy a new car they see that same car get its price dropped significantly. Customers know this can happen so it’s of no surprise that many are uncertain that the price they’re receiving today won’t be lower in the near future. The best course of action for you is to be completely honest.
“If you’re willing to wait a few weeks or months with the hope that our manufacturer will release a new promotion, you should. However, I can’t guarantee that we’ll have stock of this vehicle in that time and I also can’t guarantee that the price will ever drop.”
This shows the customer that you’re being completely honest about their concern. It also puts them in a position to decide if they have the time to wait for a promotion that may or may not happen or if they should just pull the trigger on the deal they have today.
This objection is very similar to the 7th objection we listed in this article. Zillow conducted a study that found car buyers spend more time researching a vehicle than homebuyers researching homes. So when a customer tells you they need to do more research, there’s probably something else really going on. So when you’re faced with this objection, the best course of action is to try and help them with their research. Find out exactly what they’d like to know more about and help them learn about it. Keep this customer in conversation and find out what the underlying concern is and address it head-on.
In today’s workforce, it can be tough to make time to spend a few hours looking at cars in a dealership. If your customer says they don’t have time to come in, take action and go to them.
“I totally understand how busy things can be, would it be easier if I came to meet you with the car?”
Meet the buyer at whatever off-site location they want to meet you at. You don’t necessarily have to be at the dealership in order to adequately walk a customer through the car buying process. Be creative with how you sell cars and find ways to work around your customer's busy schedules.
As much as you may not like facing customer objections, it’s what’s going to make you a better salesperson. The more objections you face, the more comfortable you’ll be facing objections! Consider doing role-playing activities with your co-workers where you object to their sales pitch. This will help further sharpen your skills and work with your salespeople to figure out what the best solutions are for each objection. The better you get at dealing with objections, the happier customers you’ll have and the more sales you’ll be able to close!
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