Asking For The Sale

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Darin B. George - Also by this author

I remember my first year in the car business. My first month I delivered 11, second month 8 and the third month 6. Consistency was not in my selling strategy. It may have been that first month with 11 deliveries and a $5,000 paycheck that made me realize the income potential in this new career. The problem was how could I do this and more, every month.

I just spent 3 hours with Mr. & Mrs. Gustus and we were sitting in my office when I realized that I did not now how to ask them to buy the car. Of course, I started talking about everything except selling them a vehicle. I knew I did a great job for them- vehicle presentations, several demo drives and even explained how great our dealership was. These people really liked me and even said I was the best salesperson they had ever met. How could I push these nice folks into a brand new vehicle? I did not want them to think I was an aggressive salesperson, they love me.

Mr. & Mrs. Gustus asked me if it was all right that they go home and thought about everything? I said, “sure, no problem. Give me a call when you have made a decision.” We parted friends and with a sure sale in the next couple of days.' Two days went by, so I gave them a call. Mrs. Gustus answered the phone and sounded different than two days’ ago. She passed the phone to Mr. Gustus and he began to explain to me that they purchased a new car the same day they saw me. I was puzzled but what could I do? Nothing. He said they have recommended me to some of their friend as the nicest salesperson they have ever dealt with.

I hope everyone understands this story because every one of you has the same one. Why are we not sure when and how to ask the customer for the order? Are we scared to be that aggressive high-pressured salesperson when everybody hates? Or have we forgotten why people come to our dealerships? Do we all possibly have this same problem? If we do not ask, then we will not receive.

You have to earn the right to ask for the order. Did I introduce myself properly? Did I ask all the contact questions? Was a full presentation and demonstration drive done? Did I sell the customer on our dealership? Have I been professional?

Once you are back in your office, you have to put the customer in a controlled environment and make them comfortable. Most customers are scared and uneasy at this stage of the selling process. Never forget how you felt when you bought your first car. The emotional intensity level of the customer is at its highest, and how we proceed will determine if we sell the vehicle.

If you have done everything possible for the customer, ASK FOR THE SALE. The following is a non-pressured and very effective way to ask.

Eight steps to Asking for the Sale

Step One:

Offer the customer a beverage. This is done to build more rapport with your customer.

“What do you take in your coffee?”

Step Two:

If you have any questions that you have not answered for the customer, then answer them now - before you proceed. This is done to establish more trust and credibility in you.

Step Three:

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 )

If everything is ok.

Tell them:

“I have a few questions to ask you and if you could answer them as straight forwardly as possible?”

This is done for clarification.

Step Four:

Ask the customer:

“Did you enjoy the ride and features of the vehicle?"

If yes, proceed.

Step Five:

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.

Step Six:

Clarification at this point is critical.

Ask the customer:

“ So, we have selected the right vehicle?”

If for some reason you feel the selection is wrong do not go any further. If everything is ok, proceed.

Step Seven:

Ask the customer:

“Ok then, if there was anything preventing you from getting the vehicle, 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, then 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 8.

Step Eight:

Ask the customer:

“So what you are suggesting to me Mr. Customer, is that, if the (i.e. price, payments, trade, terms, or repairs etc…) were agreeable, you would like to get the vehicle as soon as possible, is that correct?”

If everything is confirmed and clarified, then pull out your work sheet and fill in the details on the vehicle the customer is interested in. The next step is the worksheet and negotiations…look for the next article "Working with a Worksheet".

Now that you know how to ask for the sale professionally - Practice (role-play) with one of the other sales people at the dealership. Have fun with it. Make it easy at first and then, as you get better, increase the difficulty of your role-play.

Always Ask

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