Certification & Training

Survey Uncovers Most Common Car-Buying Objections

March 12, 2014

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — An informal online survey conducted by Joe Verde Sales & Management Training Inc. found that the most common car-buying objection (37%) before the salesperson has a commitment was: “I’ll think it over and get back to you.” The survey, conducted in 2013, garnered responses from 153 salespeople.

After the salesperson has a commitment and is negotiating, the three most common objections are: “I’ll think it over and get back to you” and “payments are two high” (both at 20%), and “not enough for my trade” at 19%.

The survey asked: “What is your most common car buying objection today before you have a commitment?” Here’s a list of responses by percentage:

  1. “I’ll think it over and get back to you”: 37%
  2. “I want to shop the competition”: 25%
  3. “Not enough for my trade”: 9%
  4. “I need to check with someone else”: 7%
  5. “It’s too much money”: 7%
  6. “I can buy it for less down the street”: 7%
  7. “I’m not sure this is the right vehicle for us”: 4%
  8. “The payments are too high”: 3%
  9. “I don’t have any more to put down”: 1%

For comparison purposes, the survey also asked: “What is your most common objection from car buyers today after you have a commitment and are negotiating?” Here’s are the top responses by percentage:

  1. “I’ll think it over and get back to you”: 20%
  2. “Payments are too high”: 20%
  3. “Not enough for my trade”: 19%
  4. “The price is too high”: 14%
  5. “I need to check with someone else”: 12%
  6. “I can buy it down the street for less”: 8%
  7. “Too much down payment”: 5%
  8. “Term too big”: 1%
  9. “I’m not sure if this is the right vehicle for us”: 1%

The same survey questions were posted on the site in 2012 and 156 people responded to each. The most common objection received by salesperson before they have a commitment was, again, “I’ll think it over and get back to you.” However, the response was almost double at 38%.

The question “What is your most common objection from car buyers today after you have a commitment and are negotiating?” had slightly different responses in 2012 versus 2013. The top response was “not enough for my trade” at 23%, followed by “payments are too high” at 19%, and “the price is too high” at 17%. “I’ll think it over and get back to you” was in fourth place at 15%.

“People tell you ‘No’ a lot when you’re closing. They’re nervous about spending 20 or 30 grand, and they didn’t know you, like you or trust you an hour ago,” said Joe Verde, president of Joe Verde Sales & Management Training, Inc. “So saying ‘Yes’ in just an hour means really going out on a limb for most customers.

“That’s why you have to make it as easy as possible for them to agree to purchase. If you close correctly, you’ll never ask the standard ‘Will you buy today’ question. Not only that, your negotiation will be about helping themfit this new vehicle they love into their budget, instead of whether you can ‘make them a deal today.’"


  1. 1. Bubba B [ March 12, 2014 @ 04:10PM ]

    "If you close correctly, you’ll never ask the standard ‘Will you buy today’ question. Not only that, your negotiation will be about helping themfit this new vehicle they love into their budget..."

    That's right folks, not only will I teach you this when you sign up for my incredibly expensive training classes, but I'll teach you much, much more. That's just the tip of the ole' iceberg.

    I love it - a pitch man, pitching dealers and sales people, on how to pitch customers. Ahh, the irony!

  2. 2. Bob Betti [ June 06, 2014 @ 02:35PM ]

    Why should you have to ask someone to buy something when they came to you to buy it in the first place? Most top performers in stores across the country will tell you that most of their customers are closed on the vehicle before they ever get inside and then numbers are simply a math equation. Service equals value and when the perceived value exceeds the cost of the product a sale is made. All the fancy closing techniques in the world are not worth diddly squat if the sales process does not provide information and more importantly value!

  3. 3. Popcorn Break [ June 06, 2014 @ 06:22PM ]

    "If you don't believe the numbers, cut 'em in half".

    These are the same kinds of sales tips Joe has been giving for years. Most are based on the assumptions that a cleaver, and cunning sales person is what sells cars. And, that the customer is to be sold a car. Bob Betti hit the nail on the head.

    These are the kinds of ideas that prevent people from buying cars. They are the ones making it hard to buy a car.

    ... they didn’t know you, like you or trust you.... is a part of the Verde mantra of getting close to someone, becoming their source, getting into their circle of trust...all in 15 minutes or less...

    Joe, that's not how this works. That's not how any of this works.

  4. 4. Ed Dennis [ August 06, 2014 @ 11:50AM ]

    Asking a salesman why he didn't make a sale is a total waste of time. Why don't you do something useful and ask a consumer why they didn't buy a car? In almost every case a serious buyer walks away because he/she isn't satisfied with the deal/price. I was in sales for 40+ years and was successful because I realized very early in my career that working for the buyer is the only real route to consistent success that builds repeat business. Trying to jump rope with dealer management is never a good route to success because their goals change every 15 minutes. If you can dodge the knee jerks long enough to establish a customer base you will never have to worry about "making your numbers, keeping a job or having a place to work.

  5. 5. stick bogart [ March 10, 2015 @ 10:11AM ]

    Many times the dealers sales staff CANT wait to bring out the ROCKET PENCIL .

    I was a auto dealer FRAUD investigator for RipOffReport.com for 14 years I know what I am talking about. Just google
    Auto dealer does CSI diversion and look at all that pops up on the first page of Google

    Signed Stick Bogart

  6. 6. Patrick McIntyre [ April 06, 2015 @ 12:45AM ]

    I'm confused with the validity of the survey from to standpoints. 1. How can you have an objection when you have a commitment? And 2, "I have to think about it is not an objection, it's a deflection. The objection is the condition the survey failed to determine

  7. 7. Patrick McIntyre [ April 06, 2015 @ 12:54AM ]

    Another problem with the survey is, the responses came from sales people, not the consumer. So to make an inference about a population from data collected from another population is a fundamental survey error!
    Thus the survey provided only the subjective feelings of salespeople and holds no real value as it relates to why consumers to not buy vehicles.

  8. 8. TommyD [ April 10, 2015 @ 01:19PM ]

    This article is laughable, but the comments are even more so. Salespeople thumping their chests about how great they are and never get these objections. Popcorn Break hit the nail on the head. Verde teaches salespeople they can trick people into buying by using his clever word tracks. Most are evasive statements meant to confuse the customer or the issue at hand. They are taught to sell cars the way they were sold in the 1960s and 70s. It is the exactly the kind of b.s. that makes customers hate the process. Customers do not want to like a salesperson. They aren't impressed that you know everyone they know, go to their church or work with their best friend. They came to make a deal, not a friend. They do not care if the salesperson makes a living or if the dealership will be there tomorrow. If they both starve to death, someone else will take their place in a week. They are not focused on being fair. They are focused on being firm, getting even or not getting screwed. Make a friend my eye. Make a deal and move on, that's exactly what they are going to do; with or without you.

  9. 9. Southern California Bean [ April 22, 2015 @ 12:38PM ]

    I would think these old school high pressure techniques would turn buyers away and damage CSI scores if anything. Why can't we just let our products "sell themselves." Educate the customer about the car, mention features about the car that are better than other models in the same class (assuming it's true). Our guys who sell the most cars are not aggressive about commitments and all that nonsense, but they're aggressive about prospecting. Asking customer, friends, etc. about referrals. They're sales people 24/7. Just my $0.02

  10. 10. Troy Campbell [ May 16, 2015 @ 02:23PM ]

    There is a Tool for salespeople (marketcheck.com) that solves the main problem "Gaining the Customers Trust and Confidence hence the survey's issues in this blog. This service is FREE to dealers and consumers and better than Vauto's vehicle data (which the customer is not privy too) and their RealDeal for consumers that dealers use on their website. Once a salesperson understands how to use this free service the customers do not question the value of their trade in or the price of the vehicle they are looking at. The salesman quickly gains the customers trust and confidence as the vehicle data in the Marketcheck.com site gives them the most comprehensive CMA in the car business with transparency. But make sure you search your inventory first as it can surprise you as to the online listing history your inventory may have. Ie. the Marketcheck data base not only shows active listings that compete but also historic online listing history. Your Dealership inventory may have had different dealers that failed at retailing the vehicle before you got it. But it can also show you if that customer trading in a car had it posted for sale previously, currently or if they bought it in the last 3 years and what the listed miles and prices were. Marketcheck's online vehicle listing history data goes back 3 years for vehicles in the US. There are also vehicles that are exempt on miles that have had the odometers rolled back as the carfax shows much less miles from the registration records but Marketcheck shows the previous historic listings and what miles were posted on that vehicle at that time. Their data goes back 3 years but I wonder what we may find when Marketcheck has 10 years of this data. I guess you could say marketcheck.com is the MLS of vehicles. This service used properly is the way to get that customer with true transparency.

  11. 11. Brent Abdulla [ May 30, 2015 @ 11:15PM ]

    If you close correctly your customer will be closed on the vehicle, the salesperson and numbers before they enter the showroom for the write up. Ask any 30+ a month running average salesperson and they will tell you their customers are closed before they enter the showroom after the demonstration. It's the old 80/20 Rule if you do 80% value building activities, you'll spend 20% of the time at the table. In my opinion data gathered in 2013 is about two years outdated.

  12. 12. Da Terminator [ December 23, 2015 @ 07:53AM ]

    tommy d all the way !!!!

  13. 13. daddydug [ January 05, 2016 @ 11:20AM ]

    Take it from a 25 year successful automotive sales professional. If you have put emphasis on "today" or "now" you are a very weak closer. That is already the consumers desire if you have taken the time to listen and really understand their wants and needs. There is no special "art of the deal". Consumers expect all this canned sales word tracks. I putt myself in their shoes. Sure they don't want you to rip their heads off but most consumers understand that you are going to make a profit. I always try to make the perceived value exceed the cost. If you do that you have a sale if you do not you don't. 90 percent of my sales are done with an assumptive close. I walk them through the steps and just let them do what they intended to do when they drove on to the lot and get a car. Now I am not saying that there isn't negotiation in the process because there is but if you are fair with the consumer they can tell. I learned early in my career that you can sheer a sheep many of times but only skin them once. A majority of salespeople take an adversarial role with their consumers and that is a mistake. People will go out of their way to buy from people that they trust and respect. It is really easy to earn that trust and respect too. Just be honest and upfront! You can make the process as simple or as confusing as you want as a salesperson. I for one find it easier to keep things simple and keep your consumer informed and engaged in the process so there are no surprises. Joe Verde is the epitome of a bad salesperson.

  14. 14. torben neudoerfffer [ August 22, 2016 @ 05:35PM ]

    alot of weak order takers commenting on this thread....joe or grant close deals and get all the money....the 80/20 rule is 80 percent of these salespeople make no money in cars, and dont know how to work a deal, or buiild value. skills taught by verde or cardone(both bad salespersons that have made hundreds of millions closing. as compared to these nobodys that have never broken out of the obscurity of their dealership, or are not even salespeople but order takers.


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