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Moe Bakhtiari

Moe Bakhtiari Marketing Director

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10 Questions Your Used Car Sales Reps Should Ask

Selling a used car always involves some give and take. Sales reps can’t expect to be pushy and aggressive and make any progress; it’s far wiser to spend time building a rapport, understand the customer’s needs, and tailor your sales pitch accordingly.

This means having a real dialogue, not merely reciting a canned speech. As sales reps chat with interested customers, here are some questions to use—helping steer the conversation, gather information, and build trust.

What to Ask Used Car Buyers

  1. What brings you to our dealership today? Maybe your buyer has already decided on the make or model she wants to test drive; then again, maybe your buyer is there on a whim, and just wants to browse. It’s good to have a sense of where the buyer is on the used car purchasing journey.
  2. Is there a particular make or model you’re interested in? Again, some buyers may have more or less made up their minds already—drawing from online research. If that’s the case, you can jump straight to the test drive.
  3. Who will be the primary driver of the vehicle? Sometimes, a husband will come to buy a vehicle for his wife to drive—and if so, that can help you frame your pitch a little more specifically.
  4. Why are you considering a new vehicle? For buyers who haven’t already decided on a make or model, you’ll want to understand their pain points. Are they looking for a larger family vehicle? A safe car for a daughter or son? You’ll need to know what they are looking for before pitching anything specific.
  5. What are your top three to five must-haves? This is another good way to determine the specific values or qualities your customer seeks.
  6. What do you currently drive, and what do you like or dislike about it? Find out if the buyer is essentially looking for a lateral trade, or something totally new.
  7. What about financing? Some buyers will be reluctant to give you a price range, but it’s important to get at least some sense of the financial status. Related: Ask if the buyer has a vehicle he or she wants to trade!
  8. What’s your timeline? Does your buyer want to make a decision today—or is this strictly an information-gathering visit?
  9. Do you have any questions or concerns? Ask this throughout the process! Make sure you are proactive in addressing your buyer’s needs.
  10. What’s your dream car? Your buyer may think their dream car is totally unattainable—and perhaps they’re right—but maybe you can find something that gets them close, or closer than they expected.

Develop Rapport with Your Buyers

When buying a vehicle, consumers will want to work with someone they trust. The way you build trust is by engaging in conversation—not just pushing your inventory. Use these questions to keep that dialogue going—and for more tips on selling used cars, keep your eye on the Get My Auto blog!

Amanda Gordon

Great article. I feel as though these probing questions transcend across New car selling as well.

Moe Bakhtiari

Thank You Amanda,

Absolutely these are indeed universal principles that will enhance the productivity of any sales force - especially automotive. 

Ultimately by asking these fundamental questions it also puts the sales associate in a position where they can genuinely help the client to suit their specific needs. 

Happy Selling! 

Ian Coburn

Thank you! Good stuff and it is puzzling that asking questions, in general, is not taught more in sales, regardless of industry. Also like how you point out the need to have a real conversation--in short, listen and respond. Don't just check off your answers but listen to the customer's response, paying attention to their delivery. This will tell you what follow-up questions, if any need to be asked, and help better identify the situation. Example:

"Oh, I absolutely cannot have a red car." (In response to 3-5 must-haves.)

 "Okay, and why not red, in particular?"

"My insurance will just go through the roof and be too expensive." (Hmm. Need some more follow-up questions, as could be an alert about ability pay, etc.)

Again, really good stuff, Moe. Thanks for sharing.

Susan Mayhue

Asking questions is huge!  And in most dealerships there is not enough emphasis on this.  

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