This Month’s Selling Principle:
The “No Money Down” Syndrome
Each month, I get one or two requests similar to the one I received from a salesperson named Phil who works at a dealership in the northwest. I thought it would be a good idea to share with you his particular e-mail and my response.
In my sales meeting today we were told that getting cash down is our biggest problem. I understand that cash down means gross, however the industry advertises “$0 down delivers” and sometimes it is difficult to overcome that objective [objection]. Could I get some assistance with this. Maybe some word tracks or example situations.
My response was as follows:
Sometimes getting the customer to put more cash down simply takes explaining the “math” of the situation. And some of the time, it’s an actual condition of sale; the customer ONLY has this amount down, period.
Most of the time, however, and particularly if the cash down challenge is a consistent problem, it’s due to the way the salesperson sets up the transaction.
When the salesperson responds to the no cash down subject with; “No problem!” and just leaves it at that, it may create problems for them asking for cash down later. I agree with the philosophy of write them, don’t fight them. I also think that we can do this while still setting up the negotiation process to come.
If the customer tells us early on that they “don’t have any money to put down”, we can respond something like this; “Everyone here at Kickass Motors, is absolutely committed to showing each customer the most advantages way to drive the car of their choice. And we’ll do that for you too. Okay?”
If it comes up again, we can respond with something like this; “There are several different ways to make the car you want affordable. What I’d like to do is put all the different ways we can accomplish this for you in black and white, in writing, so you can see them for yourself. After reviewing them all, YOU tell me which way works best for you. Sound good? So, let’s go find your perfect car.”
If they bring it up again, we can respond with something like this; “Folks, not only will we discuss the initial investment but we’ll also cover your monthly budget, interest rates, numbers on your present vehicle, etc. And when it’s time to, I’ll ask you to make your final decision simply on the bottomline. Fair enough?”
You see, Phil, all of these techniques still allow us the opportunity to ask for sufficient amounts of cash down when we begin the negotiation process. It’s in the asking that we get enough down. Don’t ask, don’t get.
At the beginning of the negotiation process, when we ask for 35% initial investment and 24 monthly installments, if they (or rather, when they) protest, we can respond with something like this; “Remember me sharing with you that everyone here at Kickass Motors is absolutely committed to showing each customer the most advantages way to drive the car of their choice? Well, obviously the cheapest way to drive your new car is to pay cash but very few of us are in a position to do that. So, what’s the next least expensive way? …Yep! By financing as little as possible for as short as possible and that’s all we’ve shown you here. So, let me ask you this, how close to that $________ initial investment can you come?”
Now we’ve framed the act of us asking for more cash down as doing them a service, which by the way, we are. Obviously, we can also suggest a lease to them. And, of course, it’s probably a good idea to refer to their down payment as their initial investment. For psych reasons and it just sounds better, I guess.
Finally, ask your manager what alternatives to cash and trade-ins your dealership will accept as a down payment. For example, some stores accept hold checks, old computers, bikes, skiing equipment, boats, trailers, ATVs, racing equipment, musical instruments, jewelry, time share vacations, etc. At a workshop in Tennessee, I was told that dealerships there occasionally take in horses as down payments. Talk about horse trading! Basically, anything that can be resold could be used as a down payment IF you and your store are willing to go through the extra effort. Many cities or counties require an additional/different kind of resale liscense for these items and and some require some kind of “street buy” form to avoid selling stolen goods. Be sure to check with your local authorities to see what they may require.
If all else fails, we can still structure the purchase with no down or a deferred down payment but at least we’ll know that “no cash down” was a real objection and not just a negotiating ploy.
I hope this helps and I also hope each one of you enjoys a very happy and warm Spring.
So, until next time, be well, and do good work!
Michael D. Hargrove
“There will always be a conflict between ‘good’ and ‘good enough’.”
Henry Martyn Leland (1843-1932), Mechanical Engineer
Objection of the Month:
“I’m just looking.” or “I’m just looking, not buying today.”
These are just a few of the most common strategies shared at the workshops we’ve conducted all across North America and attended by thousands of the top sales people in our field. Please keep in mind that nothing works all the time, and no one thing will work for everybody. Each of these strategies, of course, need to be tailored to the individual user, to the specific customer, and the particular situation. Also, this is by no means the definitive work on overcoming this particular objection and it’s not intended to be.
a. “I hear that a lot! What I’ve discovered is that most people just want to find a vehicle they like, get figures on it, and then think about it. Is that what you had in mind?” (When they say ‘yes’, we continue with:) “I’d be happy to help you with all of that!”
b. “Great, we encourage that sort of thing around here! Some salespeople get turned off when they hear that but not me! I realize that looking is a necessary part of owning so let’s get to know one another and look together. Were you interested in a previously owned car or something new?”
c. “You’re just looking? Well, we might be related ’cause I’m goofy looking! Nice to meet you! So, what brings you to our store today? “
d. “You know, I love that line. My sweetheart said that to me when we first met. We’ve been married now for seventeen years. To me, that’s the opening line to a wonderful relationship! Now, in order to save you some time, may I ask you a couple of quick questions?”
e. “That’s the reason I’m here! Isn’t the beginning stage of owning something exciting? Let me be a resource to you. You can pick my brain and save lots of time and aggravation. Were you interested in a two door or a four door?”
f. “Let me make sure I’ve got you right. You’re just in the investigation stage right now, just gathering information, and you’re not going to buy today. Is that right? Good, we welcome that here. I know it turns most other salespeople off but not me. You see, we’ve worked hard to create an environment that’s comfortable for customers just like you who want to shop around without feeling pressured or hassled. So, I want you to know, YOU ARE IN COMPLETE CONTROL, okay? And as far as you not buying today, I also want you to know, that you always have the right to change your mind. Fair enough? “ (We need to make sure we say this last sentence with a smile on our face while looking directly in our customer’s eyes.)
g. “May I ask you something? Do you go to the dentist’s office just to read the magazines? I know that’s a silly question but I promise to make your visit here with us a lot more comfortable than your last dentist visit. May I do that for you?”
h. “Glad we got that out of the way because some salespeople will try to force you to buy when you’re not ready…but I’m a professional. I’ll make sure you get all the info you need to make an intelligent car buying decision. Sound fair? “
i. “No problem, Sir, today’s not my last day either! So, whenever you are ready to buy, I’ll be here to help you then too. Now, were you looking for a new one or a gently used one?”
j. “Not buying today? Well, Sir, that would be our fault, not yours. Did you have a specific model in mind or are you still trying to figure that out?”
Next month’s objection will be: “We need to think/sleep/pray about it.” We need YOUR input!!! Please forward your ideas on this one, or your suggestions on which objection to cover next, to [email protected].
“In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”
A little boy was spending his Saturday morning playing in his sandbox. He had with him his box of cars and trucks, his plastic pail, and a shiny, red plastic shovel. In the process of creating roads and tunnels in the soft sand, he discovered a large rock in the middle of the sandbox.
The lad dug around the rock, managing to dislodge it from the dirt. With no little bit of struggle, he pushed and nudged the rock across the sandbox by using his feet. (He was a very small boy and the rock was very huge). When the boy got the rock to the edge of the sandbox, however, he found that he couldn’t roll it up and over the wall.
Determined, the little boy shoved, pushed, and pried, but every time he thought he had made some progress, the rock tipped and then fell back into the sandbox.
The little boy grunted, struggled, pushed and shoved. But his only reward was to have the rock roll back, smashing his fingers.
Finally he burst into tears of frustration. All this time the boy’s father watched from his living room window as the drama unfolded. At the moment the tears fell, a large shadow fell across the boy and the sandbox. It was the boy’s father.
Gently but firmly he said, “Son, why didn’t you use all the strength that you had available?”
Defeated, the boy sobbed back, “But I did, Daddy, I did! I used all the strength that I had!”
“No, son,” corrected the father kindly, “you didn’t use all the strength you had. You didn’t ask me for help.”
With that the father reached down, picked up the rock, and removed it from the sandbox.
“Here is a basic rule for winning success. Let’s mark it in the mind and remember it. The rule is: success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between you and what you want to be is the support of others.”
David J. Schwartz
Weakness or Strength
Bits and Pieces
Sometimes your biggest weakness can become your biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.
The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.
“Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”
“This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied.
Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.
Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.
This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened.
“No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”
Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.
On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.
“Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”
“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grasp your left arm.”
The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.
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