This Month’s Selling Principle:
The Rental Car Close
This is designed to be used for the objection “I guess it’s not meant to be because the payments are still too high.” This is an emotionally charged stall tactic that comes after the committment to buy today has been acquired. Remember, the vast majority of the objections we get after the committment are nothing more than stalls or time outs. They don’t mean “No!”, they just mean “Not yet.” Most customers, if we’ve done our job right so far, want to go ahead with the decision to own but just need to feel a little more comfortable about doing so.
For this example, let’s say we’ve already exhausted all the adjustments available to us (initial investment, term, leasing, etc.) and we’re at $360 per month but they want to be at $300. Our customer says, “Thanks a lot but I guess it’s not meant to be because the payments are still too high.” If we’ve already made a couple attempts at closing this transaction, psychologically, our customer is probably closed to us. So, instead of just jumping into some other technique, we need to first open them back up to us. Here’s how we do that, “You know what, Mr. Client, I’m sorry to say this, but you’re probably right. This just may not be meant to be. We can’t always make it work out for everyone but it wasn’t for the sake of trying, right? Thank you very much for giving us a legitimate shot at your business though.”
We wait a beat or two and let that sink in. We open them back up to us by agreeing with them that it’s over, it’s not meant to be. Then we play to their fear of wasting time by continuing with, “But before you go, there might be another way to look at that $60 difference, and it might actually save you some time. May I quickly share it with you?”
Once they tell us yes, we have twenty seconds. Instead of just talking at them or using some other kind of logic to sway them, let’s engage them by asking, “You’ve been on vacation before, right?”
When they tell us they have, we continue with, “About how much per day would you expect to pay for a decent rental car?”
Let’s assume they tell us something around $35, we continue with, “Okay, you’ve got your $35 per day rental car reserved. Your airplane lands, and you’re walking through the terminal looking for the…the…ummm…the…COUNTER…where you’ve got your car reserved, right? When all of a sudden, out of the corner of your eye, you see a sign that says, RENTAL CARS…$10 per day! Would you quickly go check it out?”
So far, no salesperson has told me their customer has said they wouldn’t check out the $10 per day rental car. But just in case one customer does, with a smile on our face, we could point out to them that, “You wouldn’t try to save $25 bucks per day but you’re busting my chops for $60 a month? Just okay it right here, Sir.”
Almost all of our customers will say of course they’d check it out, so we’d continue with, “Of course you would, and so would everyone else, that’s why the line is so long. But you’re patient, you get to the front of the line and ask the girl to tell you about her $10 a day rental cars. She tells you that all of them have about 86,000 miles on them. They don’t have the leather interior you want or the moonroof. They only have AM/FM radios, no CD player like you were hoping for and no navigation system. She tells you there’s one more catch. ‘While you’re renting the car, Sir, if there’s any mechanical problem, you are 100% responsible for it…up to and including engine failure. But I only have one of those cars left to rent. We’ve got seven $12 per day rental cars left, let me quickly tell you about those, okay?'”
When our customer says okay, we continue as the rental counter girl, “‘They all are brand new cars, no miles on them. Coincidentally, all of them have leather interior, moonroofs, CD changers, and navigation systems. Best part though, Sir, is if there’s any kind of mechanical problem, you’re not responsible for it, it’ll be covered under the new car warranty. So, which one would you like, Sir, the $10 or the $12 per day rental car?'”
When they tell her (us) the $12 car, we continue (as ourselves now), “That’s the decision in front of you now, Mr. Client. If you leave here in the car you pulled up in, you’ve chosen that $10 per day rental car. Now, let me ask you something. If $2 per day, to get what you want, makes sense for a car you’d rent…doesn’t it make just as much sense for a car you’d own?!”
When they tell us it would, we say, “Then let’s wrap this bad boy up so you can start to show it off! Just okay it right here.” or however you close.
The beauty of this technique is we gain credibilty and leverage by using our customer’s past experiences. When we ask, “You’ve been on vacation before, right?”, what do they instantly think of ? They think of their last vacation. When we ask them, “About how much per day would you expect to pay for a decent rental car?”, what do they instantly think of? They think about what they paid last time. When we tell them, “Okay, you’ve got your $35 per day rental car reserved. Your airplane lands, and you’re walking through the terminal looking for the…the…ummm…the…”, we want them to help us with the word “COUNTER!”. Why? Because when they do, what are they thinking of? That’s right, Avis or Budget or where ever they rented their last car. Then, when we describe the $10 per day rental car, what are we describing? Their trade in, get it? The one without leather or the moonroof, etc.
Here’s the best part though, where are they when they bump themselves the $60 per month? That’s right!…in Hawaii or Cuba or where ever they vacationed last. Not at our dealership or in our showroom but in their “happy place” on vacation.
This, like all new techniques, needs to be personalized to our own selling style, our own selling rhythm, and our own vocabulary. Then it needs to be practiced until we own it. And like all other techniques, it’ll only work when we are willing to use it. Nothing works all the time, and neither will this, but let’s at least add it to our toolbox so we can have it at our disposal when the time comes to help that client of ours that just needs a gentle nudge to take action on the buying decision they’ve already made.
So, until next time, be well, and do good work!
Michael D. Hargrove
“He’s best served who serves best.”
Michael D. Hargrove
Objection of the Month: “How much discount can I get?”
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. “They don’t normally discount this model, by the way, who’s going to drive this car most of the time, you or Mrs. Customer?”(This is simply a version of the Bypass technique.)
b. “I don’t know but we’ll go inside and check with the manager in just a moment to find out. My first job is to make sure we find just the right car for your wants and needs. Did you want the four door or the coupe?”
c. “I know discounts are important. It’s important to me too, Ms. Customer, when I’m the buyer. It’s also important to me when I’m the buyer that I get just the right item I’m looking for. Let’s first make sure this is the right truck for you, then we’ll go inside and work out the very best figures we can. Does that sound fair?”
d. “Adjusting numbers is the easiest part of my job, Ms. Customer. We adjust numbers all day long. What I can’t adjust, however, is your taste. So, first let’s find just the right car for you and then we’ll go inside and I’ll show you just how easy it is to do business with us. Sound good? Now, tell me, were you looking for a 5 speed or an automatic?”
e. “We’ll definitely get to the numbers part of your purchase when we go inside together. While we’re outside, though, let’s make sure you’re not paying for stuff you won’t need or missing stuff you will. Actually, that’ll effect the price too, won’t it?”
f. “I’m sure that we will be able to save you some money, and if for some reason we can’t arrive at a discount amount that’s acceptable to you, then I wouldn’t expect you to do business with us. That’s fair isn’t it?”
g.“Sounds like you’re ready to do business! C’mon in, bring your checkbook and I’ll have you out in this car in about twenty minutes!” (Then we turn and walk towards the showroom. If our customer balks we say:) “You’re right. I am getting ahead of myself aren’t I? Did you want a two door or a four door?”
h. “Exact discount amounts are fluctuating all the time. Once we find your next car, we’ll then be able to find out how much discount the current market will allow us. It’s an easy process. Now, what do you mean when you say ‘fully loaded’?”
Next month’s objection will be: “I don’t have a lot of time.” We need YOUR input! Please forward your ideas on this one, or your suggestions on which objection to cover next, to [email protected].
“Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.”
Be the Carpenter
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer/contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.
The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.
When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”
What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.
So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized, we would have done it differently.
Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.”
Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.
“Never, never, never give up.”
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Sam S. Cheng, Sales Consultant – Selma Auto Mall
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