E-NEWSLETTER – March 2011
This Month’s Selling Principle:
About seven years ago, I asked a few of my clients (sales professionals like you) to come up with a dozen different simple closes. These are closing questions or statements that can be used deep in the negotiating process, either after making a counter offer or immediately after overcoming the final objection.
Most of the people I asked came up with twelve or so, a few with more than that. I then compiled their responses, combining similar techniques and isolating the unique ones, into one master list. The original list consisted of thirty-two separate closes.
Since then, several of you have added to this list by either e-mailing your strategy to me directly or by sharing them with everyone during one of our workshops. The master list now is comprised of forty-one separate closing questions or statements. I thought I’d share these with you this month.
As usual, please keep in mind that nothing works all the time, and no one thing will work for everybody. Each of these simple closes, 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 closing (not even coming close actually) and it’s not intended to be. So, with all that being said, here you go.
41 Simple Closing Questions or Statements
1) Jim, is it time to put this shopping chore behind you?
2) Okay, Jim, are you ready to own it?
3) Jim, do you want it?
4) Reward yourself, Jim. You’ve earned it, haven’t you?
5) Tell me Jim, have we earned your business now?
6) C’mon Jim. You know you like it, why don’t you just go ahead and do it?
7) Well, Jim, can we wrap it up for you?
8) Yo, Jimbo! Are you an owner?
9) Jim, should you decide to go ahead with this, how would you like your insurance agent to get the new vehicle information?
10) Say, Jim. I forgot to ask, how would you like us to register it for you?
11) Jim, when would you like to take delivery?
12) Now press hard, Jim, you’re going through four copies!
13) Have we earned the right to call you our client?
14) You know Jim, at this point in the proceedings, it’s customary for you, as the customer,… to… say… YES!
15) It’s time, Jim, for you to tell me those three magic little words… I’ll… take… it!
16) By the way, Jim, are you paying cash or should we discuss financing options?
17) If you would please give me your license and registration, we can wrap this up now.
18) You’ve done enough homework, Jim, the only thing left to do now is say YES!
19) Just okay it here and I’ll get it washed for delivery.
20) Are you finally ready to own it now?
21) You know, you could just say YES!
22) Car shopping is hard work, isn’t it? Are you ready to put that behind you?
23) It’s going to sleep at your place tonight, right?
24) Give me the keys, Jim, and I’ll get it filled it up for you now.
25) Haven’t we done enough now to finally call you our customer?
26) Congratulations! (Then hold out our hand for them to shake.)
27) Is that going to be cash, check, or your Sears card?
28) Are we done now, Jim?
29) Have mercy on me, Jim! Haven’t you beat us up enough yet?
30) Isn’t it time to reward yourself for all this effort?
31) Looks like we’ve just bought your car and you’ve bought ours!
32) It’s time now, folks, for you to take action on a decision that, frankly, you’ve already made.
33) So, let’s put this thing to rest, shall we?
34) When would you like to start to use your new car, right away, after I get it washed, or first thing tomorrow morning?
35) Be honest now, Jim, deep inside…99% of you is saying, “YES!”, isn’t it?
36) Jim, look at this pen. No, not me…this pen. I’m confident…that your signature’s in this pen somewhere. Let’s see it.
37) (Simply hand our customer a cardboard box, smile, and be quiet. When they ask us, “What’s this for?” We say,) It’s time to transfer your stuff now. C’mon, Jim, try to keep up.
38) Paper or plastic? (When they look confused, we say) You’re gonna want to transfer your things now.
39) Lean on the pen, Jim.
40) All that’s standing between you and the car of your dreams is …your initials …right here.
41) PLEASE! (If we can tear up this works even better.)
It’s important to remember that the average retail car customer has to say “no” or object somewhere between four to seven times before they’re psychologically ready to say “yes”. Which means we need to ask them at least five to eight times to do business with us (or at least one more time than they say “no”). Persistence almost always overcomes resistance and that’s one reason to add most of these to our toolboxes. If all we know is one or two ways to close, and we use the same one over and over again, it’s impossible NOT to appear “high pressure” or like every other car salesperson they’ve ever dealt with.
Another reason to add these closes is that once our customer responds “no” to a particular closing phrase or question, we shouldn’t use that same phrase or question again with that particular customer. That’s because when asked a closing question, our customer is in a heightened emotional state. If their response to that particular closing question is “no”, their “no” response is emotionally anchored to that particular closing question. Even if the propostion is improved, if asked again with the same closing question, they will be inclined to respond in the same way they did before. So, add these different closes to your arsenal ASAP.
Until next time, be well, do good work, and keep in touch,
Michael D. Hargrove
“Accept the law of cause and effect. Take a second look at what appears to be someone’s “good luck.” You’ll find not luck but preparation, planning, and success-producing thinking preceded his good fortune.”
David J. Schwartz
Objection of the Month: “The price or payment is too high.”
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. “How much too much?”
b. “Liz, we’re so close. Why let a few dollars a month keep you from owning the car that will provide the safety and dependability for your family that you said was so important to you? Let’s wrap this thing up so you and your family can start enjoying your new car. While they’re finishing up the rest of the agreement, let me get you all something cold to drink. Who wants to come and help me carry the drinks back?”
c. “Mitch, didn’t you say this car is for your wife? Sue, you understand why Mitch wants you to have the airbags and the anti-lock brakes, don’t you? Now Mitch, wouldn’t you agree that Sue’s safety is worth a few extra dollars a month? Let’s put this thing to rest so you both can put this shopping stuff behind you and start enjoying your new car. Should we register this in just Sue’s name or both names?”
d. “Bart, you originally said that your major concerns were reliability and economy, right? Isn’t it true that the money you’ll save in gas and upkeep over the next three years is more than worth the additional $300 in original investment now? Just OK your purchase right here and we’ll get them started on the rest of the agreement. Did you want to use my pen or yours?”
e. “Of course it is Rachel! Tell me though, other than price, is there any other reason why we can’t send you home in your new car today? No? Good! Now you said that you usually keep your cars for five years, did I hear you right? You also said that you’ll use it mostly for business and that you’ll carry clients in it a lot, right? Well, isn’t the prestige and extra influence this car will bring to your career worth a few extra cents a day it’ll cost over the next five years? Let’s wrap this thing up. Exactly how do you want it registered?”
f. “What’s easier for you, an extra $4000 up front or an extra $100 per month?”
g. “If you had $5000 deposited in a CD, what would you expect your rate of return to be? Heck, the state charges you ____% tax and what services do they really provide?”
h. “Let me ask you this, Ms. Customer, currently how many of your payments are too low? All payments are too high, right? You see, that’s simply the nature of payments. The fact is, three years from now when you’re ready to replace this vehicle, you’ll be trying real hard to keep your payments right around the one that today …seems a bit too high. Just like now, you’re trying to keep your payments right around the ones that three years ago, seemed a bit too high. That’s just the nature of payments. You love this car, and we both know you can afford it. Why don’t you just go ahead and get it?”
Next month’s objection will be: “I’m just looking, noy buying today.” 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.
“I only play well when I’m prepared. If I don’t practice the way I should, then I won’t play the way I know I can.”
On Taking Responsibility for Our Condition
Attitude Is Everything
by: Brian Cavanaugh, T.O.R., A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”
He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?” Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, ‘Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”
“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested. “Yes, it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.”
I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.
Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.
I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?” I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.” “Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked. Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ‘He’s a dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”
“What did you do?” I asked.
“Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry.
“She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breathe and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them. ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'”
Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.
“You cannot tailor make your situations in life, but you can tailor make your attitudes to fit those situations.”
Upcoming Public Events:
Retail Automobile Sales: The Professional’s One Day Workshop
“WOW! Some great ah-ha moments. Well worth my time and I will use many of these suggestions.”
Sharon Grorud, Internet Sales Consultant – Stampede Dodge
“I was looking for new ways to make it in this market and new lingo to handle customers. My old ways need to go!”
Jeanette Pottenger, Sales – Lyle Pearson Motors
“Mike has rejuvenated my senses with new ways to handle old situations. He is a very clear and concise trainer, and very humble about it. With the added tools to get the tough sale done, there is no reason to not improve as an automotive sales professional.”
Rich Leavitt, Sales Associate – Klein Honda
“I am absolutely thrilled with Michael’s workshop! I have been transitioning from over seven years in an almost strictly internet / phone based dealership to a facility in a much more populated area, with numerous live ‘ups.’ Michael’s information and skill sets I can put in to use today, and will be able to continue to progress, with all of the materials – as well as the one-on-one coaching! Thank you!!”
Jennifer King Devore, Sales Associate – Peterson’s Stampede Dodge
Date(s): March 22nd & 23rd, 2011
Location: Owyhee Plaza Hotel
1109 Main Street
Boise, ID 83702
Date(s): May 17th & 18th, 2011
Location: Best Western Tacoma Dome Hotel
2611 East E Street
Tacoma, WA 98421
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