Questioning Your Way To A Sale

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by George Dans - Also by this author

I need to dispel the myth that telling your way to a sale is the way to sell. If you do all the talking and you never let your customer talk, you will become disconnected from your customer. What happens when you pick up the phone and it’s a telemarketer? They do all the talking without asking you any questions. Do you give your full attention or are you thinking how fast you can hang up on them? How come? It’s because they aren’t giving you a chance to talk.
Sometimes we talk ourselves right out of sale, don’t we? I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone listen their way out of sale, have you? Virtually impossible. To bring a customer through the basics, I know of only one way, and that is to ask questions. Let me break down the word ask – Always Seek Knowledge. Too many times we assume we know what the customer’s wants and needs are. They come on to the lot and head right to the prettiest vehicle, and we assume that’s what they want. On their way down they said they wanted something basic, but as soon as they hit the lot and saw that nice shiny car with the rims and extras, they headed right over to it. We then go out and start presenting that vehicle, and then you get them excited and drive them. You ask for the order, they say ok and you come back on the first pencil and its something like $5,000 down and a payment of $500, and they say, “Wait a minute; we wanted to be at $250 with $1,500 down.

Wow what a math problem this will be. They end up leaving, head right down the street and buy the lower priced vehicle. Ouch, lost sale and lost commission, along with lost attitude. Let me help you prevent this scenario. There are three questions that must be mastered to be great in sales. I promise you that if you master these questions, you will make more money. Now you would like that, wouldn’t you? I mean selling is fun when you're making money isn’t it? Couldn’t you use a little more money?

Yes Questions – The first question to help you sell is a yes question. The more yes you get, the easier it will be to close.

1. Isn’t it – wouldn’t it – couldn’t it – won’t it – doesn’t it – shouldn’t it? Examples:

  • That blue sure is pretty isn't it?
  • Wouldn't it be nice driving this up to the mountains?
  • It sure is a great day to look at cars today isn't it?

2. Open ended questions help you build rapport – who – what – where – when – why – how?

Remember if they don’t like you, they probably won’t buy from you. Everyone likes to talk about themselves; these will help you build your sale and ease the customer’s tension and lack of trust.

  • Where do you live?
  • How many children do you have?
  • Who do you normally go up to the lake with?
  • What type of boat do you have?
  • Why is safety so important to you?

3. The either/or question is when you ask a question and supply the answer. They are great for helping you investigate wants and needs, to set appointments and close. It will be hard to do a winning presentation without finding out the customers hot buttons. Most salespeople won’t ask for the demo right because they didn’t do a great job of investigating

Investigating –

  • Is this car for you or someone else?
  • Did you want something basic or more equipped?
  • Do you want to look at an extended cab or regular cab?
  • Do you live around here or out of town?

Setting appointments -

  • Did you want to come in right now or later?
  • Can you make it in this morning or this afternoon?
  • Would 3:15 or 3:45 be better for you?

Closing -

  • Would you like to register this in one name or two?
  • Did you want the bed liner installed today or tomorrow?
  • Do you prefer something cold or hot while we wrap up the paperwork?

There are several more questions that can be added here. To become the best in sales, you must master asking questions. They, along with listening skills, are the foundation to selling. Ask the question, be quiet, let them respond and then ask another. You have to give up control to get control of the sale. Remember you don’t talk your way to a sale, you question your way to a sale. Your vocabulary is your software. To increase your vocabulary is to increase your sales. Think of it as speak and grow rich. Here is a strategy into mastering the questions. Take time out everyday to write out the 10 questions. On Monday write out 10 yes questions, Tuesday write out 10 open-ended questions, Wednesday write out 10 either/or questions. Repeat the sequence on Thursday, Friday and on the rest of your selling days. If you are using our success monthly planner, it will be easy to keep track of this. Gretzky didn’t become great overnight; he practiced and practiced and practiced until it paid off. So will this. Your words are your tools; keep them sharp and polished and sales naturally will rise along with confidence.

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