When I started in the car business in 1991 I was taught to use words like “today” and “right now” in my trial close. What I found was customers don’t respond well to high pressure sales tactics. Almost without fail I’d get an objection. “That’s what you want,” my sales manager would bark. “You can’t close ‘em without getting an objection!”
Maybe this is true? Most customers object at some point and, especially as my skills improved, I would welcome an objection. I just never liked the way the customer would tense up when I turned up the heat with a high-pressure question. I preferred to keep the excitement and enthusiasm up as much as possible for as long as possible. If I did a good job getting them on a car they really liked and it was going to fit in their budget, it didn’t take much pressure to close the deal.
What surprises me today, as I coach sales professionals on the phone, is how many of us have been taught to use this same technique on the phone. “If we still have that what time today can you come see it?” And just like my experience on the lot, I hear customers tense up a little and say something like “I don’t think I can get there today,” or “I’ll have to check my schedule and get back to you.” I just don’t understand why we want to create unnecessary stress for the customer and, since I’m not going to get an appointment most of the time, more disappointment and frustration for us!
Here’s the tip: Ask an easier question.
I like to ask something like “if this one is still available, when were you thinking about coming out and maybe going for a test drive?” I just ask. I don’t care if they say today, this weekend or next Christmas. It doesn’t matter yet. Don’t get me wrong – I want them to come out asap. I am absolutely convinced that time is the greatest killer of car deals. I just want them to give an easy answer and it’s almost always within a day or two and I have a few strategies to create more urgency after I get the appointment.
So back to the question. “if this one is still available, when were you thinking about coming out and maybe going for a test drive?” Suppose the customer answers “I’m off on Thursday. I can come then.” Now that I have that answer, I can check availability and then reply with something like “Great news – it is available. You said you could come out Thursday…were you thinking morning or afternoon…?” I gave the customer an easy question and they rewarded me with an easy appointment.
I hope this helps. Be sure to follow for more Quick Tips!