This Month’s Selling Principle:
The Maintenance Close
This is a simple close, very simple actually, that is commonly used nationwide, that only takes a minor tweak to your sales process if you’re not already using it. This is designed for when our customer tells us that they want to keep their payments within a certain range, or want to keep them “the same” as they already are.
While we are looking at our customer’s current vehicle (also called devaluing their trade, or the silent walk around), we simply add this one question, “Within the last year or so, what have you spent on this vehicle that might enhance it’s value to the dealership?” If they say “nothing”, it may make them a bit more realistic when negotiating the trade-in value. If they go over a laundry list of recent repairs (which many are likely to do), we simply make a mental or physical note of them to be used later during the negotiations.
Now, later on when they tell us, “You guys are at $550 per month and I wanted to keep my payment about the same as it is now, which is $500.” All we have to say is, “Wait a second Mr. Customer, you told me that over the last twelve months you’ve overhauled the transmission which cost over $800 and you’ve replaced all four tires which ran you about $400, right? Since this last year, that makes your monthly payment for this old car over $600 a month! Plus these upkeep expenses always come as an unwanted surprise. By doing business now, you eliminate any ugly surprises in the future and you’ve actually lowered your payment by $50! How do you think you’ll be spending that extra $50 per month you’ll have?”
Nothing works all of the time and neither will this, of course. Like all techniques, we’ll need to adjust it to the particular situation but it should be something we do with every customer, whether they are planning to trade in their present vehicle or not. And the math (their current payment plus all additional upkeep expenses divided by 12 months) should be done way ahead of time, just in case we’ll need to use it. Add this one to your toolbox today, okay?
So, until next time, be well, and do good work!
Michael D. Hargrove
“No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and the excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction.”
Charles Kendall Adams
Objection of the Month: “I need my husband/wife.”
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. “Let’s go get her!”
b. “Let’s go ahead and call her.”
c. “Let’s take it to her.”
d. “No problem, we can complete this with the condition of ‘subject to your wife’s approval’ within 24 hours.” 1a. this usually requires management approval before we can make this suggestion
e. “Here, you can take it home over night and get her approval.” 1a. traditionally known as the “Puppy Dog Close”, this usually requires management’s OK and must also have a time limit attached to it.
f. “Why isn’t she here right now?” After our customer lists out the reasons she’s not there (works a lot, has to watch the 9 kids, hates car shopping, etc.) We use those very reasons to suggest that he “Save her the time, grief, and aggravation and do it without her.”
g. “This car’s for you. You’ve been thinking about it for the last three months, right? It’s the right color, right equipment, our store is close to your office, you’ve heard good things about our service department, but you just want her involved in the decision right? Then pause and ask him, “What if she says you can’t have it?” If customer says that she won’t, then we simply close the sale. If he says he won’t get it then, we say, “If she did object, what would she most likely object to, the car itself or the money? The money? Well, would she be most uncomfortable with the monthly payments or the total investment? (If payments) “If I could show you a way to get into the brand new car and keep your payments about the same as you’re paying now, what would she object to then?” (If total investment) “If I could show you a way to drive this new car for roughly 60% of the sticker price after you’re done with it, what would she object to then?”
h. “You know what I’ve discovered in MY marriage? Sometimes it’s easier to ask for forgiveness, than it is to ask for permission. Isn’t it sometimes true for you too?”
Next month’s objection will be: “I don’t need a salesperson.” 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.
“Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.”
by: Author Unknown, Old folktale
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain the fluids from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed next to the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the outside world.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man had said. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head: Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see anything?
It didn’t seem fair. As the thought fermented, the man felt ashamed at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that window — and that thought now controlled his life.
Late one night, as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room, he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes, the coughing and choking stopped, along with the sound of breathing. Now, there was only silence-deathly silence.
The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take it away-no works, no fuss.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed………
It faced a blank wall.
“How we use our mind is crucial to our finding and getting what we want out of life, and giving what we want to it.”
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Retail Automotive Sales: The Professional’s One Day Workshop
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