This Month’s Selling Principle:
How To Get “Today Commitments” Before We Begin to Negotiate
How do you currently determine whether or not to enter into the negotiating process?
Negotiating price, without an indication from our customer that they are ready to do business with us, usually serves no one. Doing so may subject our customer to undue and unwelcomed “high pressure” and it can also put us in the uncomfortable and unprofessional position of trying to bribe someone to do business with us.
Because of this, many of us choose to use some variation of the tired “If I could…would you?” technique. And even worse, many of us attempt to gain the today commitment to buy from our customer outside, where we have less control of the transaction. Most of our deals are lost at this transition point in the transaction, because most of us still combine the “write-up” step with the “commitment” step of the sale.
When we, however, choose to separate these two steps (write-up & commitment), we can make the transition from the lot to our office relatively seamless. Once there, in the more controlled environment of our office, we can then determine whether or not the business can be earned today before we even discuss numbers.
These are simply different ways to gain a today commitment without having to revert to the tired “If I could … would you?”
1. Before we get any closer to you owning your new car, you both look hot and I’m sweating like a piglet, so let me get us something cold to drink. Would you like a soda Ms. Client? You too Mr. Client? Yeah, I think I’ll take one too! Uhhh, (tap your pockets and look embarrassed or uncomfortable) Do you guys got a couple of bucks? (Wait, then smile, lightly hit them on the shoulder, and say) Heck, you guys are buying the new car, the least I should do is buy the sodas, right? (When they say “Right”, they’ve committed.)
2. Let’s just go over this car one more time to make sure it’s equipped absolutely right for your purchase today. (If they don’t stop you, they’ve committed.)
3. Is there anything else you want added to your new car? (Whether they add stuff or not, if they don’t stop you they’ve committed.)
4. The selling price of your car is $72,450. Now in purchasing this car today, exactly how did you want it registered? (If they tell you registration info, they’ve committed.)
5. Do you have a middle initial? Do you use it legally? (If they don’t freak out here, you probably have a sale.)
6. Did you want it registered “and” or “or”? (Now you’re just looking for them to give you some kind of objection, for crying out loud!)
7. What address did you want to register it to? (If they give you the address, this may be too easy?)
8. Just okay your purchase right here. (If they okay the full list price, don’t look at them funny and then ask, “REALLY?!” Just stay cool.)
9. If they object, (in this case to the price but it could be trade, payments, etc.,) say; Assuming both you and my manager can agree on price and you decide to do business with us today, is there anything else we need to address?
These techniques are designed to get a today commitment before entering into the negotiations. And let’s not kid ourselves, as soon as we discuss numbers, we have started negotiating. Numbers will eventually have to be agreed upon, of course, but this way they have already made the assumption of ownership.
Finally, we must remember that any new technique or strategy needs to be practiced and practiced (molding it to our vocabulary, temperament, philosophy, etc.) until it becomes our very own. Then and only then can we hope to make it a useful part of our ever growing toolbox. So have fun making these part of your arsenal.
So, until next time, be well, and do good work!
Michael D. Hargrove
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”
Objection of the Month:“I need to sleep/pray/think about it.”
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. “Where I come from, that means someone just wants to make their decision” (or “pray about it”) “without some salesperson hanging all over them. I’ll just excuse myself for a few minutes and you folks go ahead and discuss this alone.” (or “do what you feel you need to”) “When I come back, if you have any remaining questions, I’ll address them then. That way you’ll feel completely comfortable about owning your new car.” (Then we need to leave and get out of their line of vision for a few moments. After about thirty to forty seconds, we get back into their line of vision, close enough to see them but not so close as to hear what their are saying, and let them see us waiting. When they ask us back into our offices or back to the table, they’ll usually tell us either “Yes” or “No” but rarely tell us they need to think about it.)
b. “Mr. Customer, we’ve worked out such a great deal already. Now is the best opportunity you’ll ever have to own the van you really want. I’ve worked very hard for you and now the ball is in your court. So, let’s wrap this thing up so you can start enjoying your new van. Do you want it registered in your name or the company name?”
c. “That’s fine Ms. Customer, obviously you wouldn’t spend time thinking this over if you weren’t serious about owning this car. You wouldn’t be telling me this just to get rid of me would you?” (Wait for their response, then ask,) “Then I know you’re going to give this careful consideration, right?” (Wait for their response, then ask,) “Listen, just to clarify my thinking, just exactly what is it you have to think over?”
d. “That’s great! Let’s think it over together. Two heads are better than one, right? What exactly do you still need to think about?” (Or if the objection is “Pray about it”:) “That’s great! Let’s pray about it together. But I gotta be honest with you though folks…you’re going to pray for guidance, right?” (Wait for their response, smile, and then say,) “Well, I’m going to be praying for the sale.”
e. “Good! Think about it some more, and remember they can only honor this deal for a certain amount of time. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
f. “Okay, that’s why I’m here! I’ll help answer any further questions you may have while you think. What’s the first one?”
h. “Please don’t think yourself right out of the car you really want to own! I can see how excited you are and that excitement is really a necessary element of making a great decision. Let’s finish it now so you can start showing off your new Porsche. Will that be a personal check or a company check?”
i. “Sometimes when my customers say that it means I haven’t done my job well enough. Tell me what you need to know in order to feel comfortable about owning this car.”
j. “Whether you take one night, one week, or one month to think this over it’s still going to come down to the same three issues it does with all my clients. I call them the three “P’s”. The first “P” is the product. Is it missing some equipment you need?” (Wait for their response, then ask,) “Is it the wrong color?” (Wait for their response, then ask,) “Does it have stuff you don’t want?” (Wait for their response, then ask,) “Anything at all wrong with the car itself?” (If so, we simply switch them to a unit that better fits what they’re looking for. If not, we proceed with:) “Maybe it’s the second “P” which stands for the “people”. Is it the dealer location that’s hanging you up?” (Wait for their response, then ask,) “Is it our service hours?” (Wait for their response, then ask,) “The dealership’s reputation, is that what’s wrong?” (Wait for their response, then ask,) “Is it me, did I do something to offend you?” (If so, we simply introduce them to someone else. If not, we proceed with:) “Then it’s got to be the last “P”, either the payments or the price. Which one is it?”
k. (If the objection is “Pray about it”:) “That’s neat! I don’t hear that very often. You folks are a devote couple, huh? You pretty much go down the path the Lord leads you, right?” (Wait for their response, and then say,) “Listen folks, (we simply list the selling points we’ve already established with our prospect here) you’ve found the car you’ve been thinking about for six months now, equipped exactly the way you like it, in the color you didn’t even think you’d be able to find, at the store that’s closest to your home, and with a salesperson who takes care of her clients for years after the initial purchase. All that and we even got it to fit into your budget too! Isn’t it possible, folks,” (Pause…) “isn’t it possible that’s why He led you here in the first place?”
l. (If our customer tells us this outside to avoid coming inside to our office) “Of course you need to think about this, Mr. Customer, it’s a big decision. Come on inside and allow me to share with you a basic idea of the numbers. That way when you DO think about it, you’ll have all the information you’ll need to make an intelligent decision. Does that make sense?”
m. (At the end of the negotiations) “At the point we’re at now, your decision comes down to three basic questions, may I share them with you?” (Wait for their answer) “Number one, does this vehicle give you what you want?” (Wait for their answer) “Number two, can you afford it?” (Wait for their answer) “Number three, am I the kind of person you want to help you with this decision and to support you through the entire ownership experience?” (Wait for their answer) “Since you’ve answered yes to all three, I just need your okay right here.”
Next month’s objection will be: “I don’t want all this back and forth stuff.” We need YOUR input! Please forward your ideas on this one, or your suggestions on which objection to cover next, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.”
A turkey was chatting with a bull. “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the energy.”
Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.”
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the trees. The next day, after eating more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was promptly spotted by a farmer who shot the turkey out of the tree.
Lesson 1: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field. While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realize how warm it was. The dung was actually thawing him out!
He lay there all warm and happy, and soon begin to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, promptly dug him out, and ate him!
The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked. As they went along, they passed some people who remarked, “it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding.” The man and the boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.
Later, they passed some people who remarked, “What a shame, he makes that little boy walk.” They decided they both would walk!
Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So they both rode the donkey!
Now they passed some people that shamed them by saying, “how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey.”
The boy and man said they were probably right so they decided to carry the donkey. As they crossed a bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.
Lesson 3: If you try to please everyone, you will eventually lose your ass.
“If a man is not faithful to his own individuality, he cannot be loyal to anything.”
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