Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The "Gas Savings" Close

Want an easy technique that will help you sell more cars? If so, read on!

Right now, gas is about $100 a barrel which means it is $3.10 a gallon at the pump across the street. To me, the price of gas is not the shock that it was a couple of years ago when it first hit $3.00 a gallon--we've gotten pretty used to it but you know what? It is still expensive and still a concern for a lot of people. It is also a great opportunity to help close people.

By the way--remember that math you learned in 3rd grade? Remember how you asked yourself if you would ever have to use it when you grew up? Well, you will in the next few minutes.

Lets say you have a customer who is coming out of a SUV and going into a car and lets say you are $30 per month away from putting a deal together.

I've heard some people say, "You'll save money on gas." True statement but not powerful. Instead of telling the customer that they will save money on gas, show them how they will save money. When using this technique, write the math out on a scrap piece of paper using your calculator (practice it ahead of time so you don't make mistakes.) It makes it seem spontaneous and adds to the power of this close. I taught everyone at work this closing technique and one guy made a spreadsheet and plugged in the numbers but to me, that is too--well, designed and if I was a customer, I would feel that it was a technique being used against me.

OK--back to business.

Step 0: Isolate and re-phrase the objection. Besides being only $30 away from enjoying your new car, is there anything else keeping you from taking it home today? No. OK--it sounds like you're on a budget like me and everyone else. Am I right? Yes. If we can fiddle with the numbers and figure out a way to get it within your budget will that work for you? Yes. Cool!
Step 1: Ask the customer how many miles they drive a month. 1000
Step 2: How many miles per gallon do you get? (If they don't answer, provide the answer for them) 15
Step 3: Do the math in front of them. Hmmmm--let's see. 1000 divided by 15 is 66. OK. You're using 66 gallons of gas a month driving your SUV. 66 times $3.10 per gallon is $204.60. It's costing you $204.60 per month to drive your SUV.
Step 4: Do the same math for your more gas-efficient car. Our car gets 23 miles per gallon so 1000 divided by 23 is 43 gallons. 43 times $3.10 is $133.30. So, our car will only cost you $133.30 per month to drive.
Step 4: Let it sink in for about 5 seconds and do the final math. Subtract our cost from their cost. $204.60 minus $133.30 is $71.30. If you get this car, you will save $71.30 per month.
Step 5: Close them. You know what? Even after taking care of the $30 that was keeping you from getting this new car, you will now have an extra $40 to put in your pocket each month. Sounds like we got this into your budget so let's go ahead and get the paperwork started. Would you like a cold drink or a cup of coffee while I get the ball rolling?

Very powerful close. I once worked at a dealership where I overheard another salesperson (1 month in the business) who was about to let a customer walk over $30 a month. The manager had already stripped the deal and he told the salesperson to go ahead and "flush them." I said, "Hey--let me have a crack at her--I don't want half-of the deal--I just want to see if I can close them." He let me--I did the gas close and they hooked right up without having to discount another dime. The salesperson still make a $100 mini (enough to pay the cable bill after all) and was very happy to have another unit.

Don't for all your software needs--at least if you want to sell more cars!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Difference Between an Objection, a Concern and an Excuse

I like to listen to other salespeople because 1 of 2 things always happen. I either learn what to say or do or I learn what not to say or do!

An example: I once was listening to a salesperson trying to sell a truck. He told the customer the price and the customer said, "That's high!"

The salesperson, without missing a beat said, "If I could knock off a $1000 would you take it?"

Whoa! The customer never said he wasn't taking the truck! He just said the price was high. Hell yeah it's high--so is a gallon of gas but we are definite be-backs at the gas pump and trucks cost a lot to produce.

Now, I honestly don't remember if that salesperson wound up selling the truck but I do know one thing--if he did, it was probably a $50 mini deal (we didn't get paid that well in Tennessee...) If he would have known the difference between an objection and a concern, then he would have at least made an honest commission of a few hundred dollars from selling the truck, not the insult that the average mini-deal is.

An objection is something that will keep someone from purchasing your product.
A concern is something that may or may not keep someone from purchasing your product.
An excuse is something your customer says to hide the real objection--that thing that is keeping him from buying your product.

Want a tip? If someone starts a sentence with "I'm not buying the truck because..." then they are about to lay an objection on you. For example, "I'm not buying the truck because the price is too high." If someone says, "The price is too high" then they haven't really objected--at least not yet--because they haven't told you that they aren't buying.

How do you handle an objection? I like to use these basic steps:

1) State it back to them to make sure you heard it correctly. Are you saying you're not going to buy the truck because it is too expensive?

2) I like to isolate it next: Besides the price being too high, is there anything else keeping you from buying the truck?

NOTE: I know you should never use the word "buy" you should use "own" but we're talking salesperson-to-salesperson right now and you know what I mean...

3) I try to re-phrase the objection to make it easier to overcome. By price, are you talking about the cost or payment?

4) I then try to overcome the objection. It sounds to me like you're on a budget like me and the rest of the world--am I right? If I could fiddle around with the numbers and maybe help out your budget, is there anything else keeping you from taking this truck home right now?"

It may not always work but you will increase your chances of selling a car if you use the steps above. In future posts, I will have specific objections and how to overcome them so please check back from time to time!

OK, Marv--what about concerns? Easy--you can either pretend you didn't hear them or you can agree with them.

Marv--that price is high. Here's how you do technique one...
Did you get that? I hope so.

Here's how to do technique 2. Marv--that price is high. (You) Yup--sure is. Hey, do you want to title it in just your name or do you want your wife on it also?

or even...

Yes, the price is high but isn't everything now-a-days? But when all the advancements in truck technology now-a-days and the 100,000 mile warranty, it will give you many years of use. So, do you want a cup of coffee while I get your paperwork started or a cold drink?

By the way--I will go into the closing techniques in later posts (the drink close and the title close) so make sure you come back once in a while!

Here's a fun one...You tell someone that their trade is worth $5000 and they want their payoff which is $9500. You: Jim, they appraised your car for $5000. Do you want a cold drink or a cup of coffee while...

(They butt-in): Man--that's low! (A concern)
(You): It may seem low but you have to understand that your car is 8 years old and has 87,000 miles on it and we have to fix that dent before we can sell it. What happened anyways?
(Them): I hit a deer. Marv--I need my payoff or I can't trade. (now an objection! Whoops!)
(You): Jim--a payoff has no bearing on what a car is worth. If you owed $100 dollars on your car, would you expect to only get a hundred bucks for it?
(Them): No...

I might even lay a little feel-felt-found on them! I know how you feel. I felt the same way the last time I traded--my car was worth $5000 and I owed $10,500 on it. I had to roll the extra $5500 into my lease but I found that after it was all set and done, I was happy with my new car and glad to get rid of the old one (True story by the way...)

OK--now for the big one--the evil excuse--probably the toughest one to handle because you don't want to pop out and call your customer a liar.

I need to check with my dog before I can buy.

First of all, don't ever come back with, "I'll tell you what--let me call my dog and see if I can sell you the car!" You will do nothing but piss off the customer and you will not sell them!

I play a lot of poker and at this point, I lay my cards on the table.

Mr. Customer, I have been selling cars for a long time and I have had a lot of people tell me that exact same thing and you know what I've learned? I've learned that sometimes people say that they need to check with their dog but that really they don't because something is bothering them and keeping them from buying a car from me. Sometimes it is the car itself, something I said or did or it is the price. May I ask if one of those things are the real reason you won't buy the car from me?

If they answer the question, you have the real objection and you can then isolate and overcome it.

I love when a customer pops an excuse on me--it tells me that they might really be interested in the car! I also love when they think they are being so slick and that I have never heard that excuse before. I need to sleep on it! or the ever popular, I never buy at the first place I stop at. Or how about one I heard a lot in the deep south, I need to talk to my banker first.

No matter what they say, use the technique--sometimes an excuse can be a real concern and sometimes people really want to talk to their dog first but if you can week out the ones who are just making excuses, you will sell more cars.

Please visit my website at for the best follow-up software designed especially for car salespeople. Thanks and I look forward to sharing more techniques with you in the future.

How to Sell More Cars

My name is Marv and I sell cars for a living as well as run a website called that specializes in software specifically for car salespeople. Our main product is Car Sales Assistant 2007, a follow up software program that I designed and programmed for my own use in the car business as well as a product that I sell to car salespeople all over the world. If you want, visit my site and download a free 14 day trial and see if it will work for you! If you like it, I only sell it for $79.99 per copy. Well, enough of the advertisement--down to business.

I have decided to share my thoughts on the selling game--especially how it concerns the car salesperson. Of course, a lot of these techniques that I am going to share are universal and can be used in other sales-related fields.

A little history about me. I have been selling cars for almost 12 years. I currently sell new Chevrolets in what has to be the worst economy in the universe--that being the state of Michigan. I actually got my start in Tennessee and being a yankee from the North, most people would look at me as if I had the plague when I tried to sell them anything.

When you are done reading this article, you will have had more training than I had in my first year in the car business. My training consisted of, "Here's how you fill out a buyer's order. You write down the sticker price and if they don't take it, you say If I could sell it for $1000 less, would you take it today? If they say no, say What if I could sell it for $2000 less? If they say no, What about $3000 less? If they say no, do a T.O. to me and catch another one. Oh yeah--you need to build value first so tell them everything about the car. I want you to tell them every feature. Huh? You don't know all the features--then go outside and drive one of each car. The keys are hanging on the wall."

No shit--that was my training. Even with that, I sold 2 cars my first day but I'll be honest--they were both lay-downs and I was very enthusiastic and enthusiasm is very catchy.

Having an inquisitive mind, I like to learn things. I am a self-taught computer programmer so I figured I could teach myself how to sell cars. There are a couple of good books on selling cars especially Joe Girard's How to Sell Anything to Anybody but as good as it is, it was written in the 70's when they didn't even have MSRP prices on the cars! There are also some good sales trainers that sell their products--you know the kind--the fill-in-the-blank workbooks that have scripts that sound too good to be true but besides that, there really isn't much for car salespeople out there. So, I bought a few generic books on selling (my collection has probably reached around 50 books since then) and got to reading.

I started getting better and better and sooner or later, I was consistently in the top 3 or 4 in sales in the dealership. In the late 90's, I decided that the follow-up card that the F&I printed out wasn't good enough for me so I wrote what became Car Salesperson's Assistant 1.0 (I later changed the name to Car Sales Assistant and abbreviate it as CSA. Someone at the dealership saw it and said, "Marv--you should sell this program." I took his advice, put up my website, sent a few emails to dealerships (OK--I didn't know about spam back then) and started selling a couple of copies here and there.

Eight years later and here I am. I was #1 in sales last year at my dealership and most of it I can attribute to the use of my follow up software as well as the techniques I will share with you if you choose to check back from time to time. Please contact me through my website if you ever have any comments--I would love to hear them.