This Month’s Selling Principle:
The “Two Choices” Close
What do you say when your customer announces, “Wait a minute, I can get this exact same car for $600 less at XYZ Motors. Why should I pay you guys more?!”
I can tell you what the average automobile sales person says. They say something to the effect of, “Well, if I could get you another $600 off, would I be able to earn your business today?”
If that sounds like you, then maybe it’s time to revisit what your store’s competitive advantages are. Some people call it our “spiel.” Some people call it “selling the store.” Some have a “dealership section” in their evidence manuals. Some just orally deliver their “spiel.” However we choose to present it, our “spiel” is the way we justify someone paying a bit more for our products or services.
Now, I know that many times a bit more is earned simply with our ability to build rapport and help our customers to feel more comfortable, valued, and understood. But sometimes that’s not enough or sometimes they still need to be gently nudged with our “spiel.”
Let’s address the two main roadblocks to effectively using a spiel. The first is — we don’t have one, and the second is — they don’t hear it.
If we don’t know what the advantages are, of doing business with us rather than the dealership down the street, then frankly, we don’t deserve to be paid any more than they do. So why not compose our “spiel” right now? Let’s compile our list of competitive advantages over our competition.
Here’s a sample of what some of our dealer clients provide their customers: seven day return policy on any purchased vehicle, free service loan cars, service rental cars, free shuttle service, (free) pick up and delivery of serviced vehicles, (free) to and from flatbedding of serviced vehicles, (free) 24 hour roadside assistance, free owner’s clinics, (free) enthusiast rallies, preferred service appointments, Saturday service hours, extended service hours, average sales person tenure of XX amount of years, XX amount of years in business, (this make) exclusive factory trained technicians, etc. Each store will differ, of course, in what they provide their clients. Whatever it is that our particular dealership does provide, if we haven’t already done so, we need to compile our list now.
Of course, just like anything else we present to our prospects, we need to point out the benefits and advantages along with each of the competitive features we point out.
Now, let’s make sure they get to hear the whole “spiel.” If we’ve peppered these competitive advantages throughout the transaction, then all we have to do is remind our customers about them when they ask us why our car is a bit more than the other guy’s. If we haven’t done any peppering, then we need to make sure we engage them while presenting our spiel. The famous sales trainer, Brian Tracy, says that when the client is in a defensive state, they can’t hear more than three sentences strung together without tuning us out. Since most of our spiels are way more than three sentences long, we need to present them in a way that encourages the customer to stay tuned in.
One way to do that is with the technique called “Two Decisions.” When our customer states, “Wait a minute, I can get this exact same car for $600 less at XYZ Motors. Why should I pay you guys more?!” we say, “I was hoping you’d bring that up.” That statement will usually peak their attention. We continue, “Whenever anyone decides to open a business, they have a fundamental business decision to make. They must decide, ‘Am I going to do as much as I possibly can for all of my customers or am I going to do as little as I can get away with?’ And once they make that decision, it will permeate their entire organization, isn’t that true?”
By stopping to ask this question, we not only get our customer’s buy-in to this premise, but we also engage them in the discussion. So we continue, “By the way, why do you think someone would decide to do as little as they could get away with?” Same principle applies here, we now have our customer engaged. We sometimes may have to help them with this answer. “Maybe to control operating expenses? So maybe they could undersell the competition a bit?” When our customer agrees, we continue, “Well, we’ve decided to do both: represent an excellent product AND provide outstanding service. Now, I know that sometimes we need to be flexible, so YOU tell me Mr. Customer, what would YOU rather us do for you … as much as we possibly can or as little as we can get away with?”
If they pick “as much as we possibly can”, we congratulate them on an excellent decision and explain what they’ve decided to get for themselves by sharing with them our store’s competitive advantages. The beauty of this technique is that they’ve actually bought the “spiel” before we even present it!
If they pick “as little as we can get away with” and state, “I just want the best price!”, we respond with, “Very well, Mr. Customer. In that case, I’m going to need a little help from you. Here’s what we normally offer all of our customers…” and we list out our competitive advantages by writing them down. After we’ve listed them all down, we turn the paper around (facing the customer) and say, “Now, Mr. Customer, which of these services are you willing to exclude yourself from?” Again, they get to hear the whole “spiel” because they’re going to have to “help us” with it. It’s really hard for someone to exclude themselves from services they’ll want to take advantage of later on. Now they’ve justified paying us a bit more.
This will not work all the time, of course, and it needs to be adjusted to our individual vocabulary, personality, and the situation. Our personalized “spiel” and the “Two Decisions” technique will help us justify to our customers why it is sometimes to their advantage to pay us a little bit more. Why not add them both to our toolboxes today?
So, until next time, be well, and do good work!
Michael D. Hargrove
“Unless you have prepared yourself to profit by your chance, the opportunity will only make you ridiculous. A great occasion is valuable to you just in proportion as you have educated yourself to make use of it.”
Orison Swett Marden
Objection of the Month: “I don’t want all this back and forth stuff.”
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. “Mr. Customer, there are several different ways we can fit whatever vehicle you choose within whatever budget you had in mind. What I’d like to do, if you’ll allow me to, is to put all the ways we can accomplish for you side by side and in writing. This way you can see for yourself one after the other, after the other… and after reviewing them all, you can tell us which way works best for you. Sound fair?”
b. “I hate that too. Fortunately, with all the information that’s out there these days, the only time I end up having to do the back and forth stuff is when I’m helping a customer who’s either misinformed, uninformed, or totally unrealistic. Now, it’s obvious to me you’ve already done some of your research, right? And you do know we aren’t a library or a nonprofit organization, right? See, you’re realistic … we won’t have to go through all that, will we?”
c. “Our obligation at this dealership is to show you the best way to own this vehicle. Now, the best way, of course, is to pay cash, however, most of us aren’t able to do that. The next best way is to finance as small a balance as possible for the shortest amount of time. After showing that to you, if we need to make adjustments to suit your particular situation, we’ll do it together. Sound fair?”
d. “Let’s do this. Right now, let’s just agree to disagree in an agreeable fashion. That way no one will ever have to get upset. Does that sound doable?”
e. “Mr. Customer, please remember that no one can spend YOUR money for you. And rest assured that I know this too. With a little bit of patience, I’ll help both you and the sales manager reach an agreement on terms. Okay?”
f. “Okay, that’s why I’m here! There are two parts of my job. One is to make sure we find the right car for you. The other is to help you and my manager agree to terms. I’m really good at both parts of my job. Will you allow me opportunity to prove this to you?”
g. “Negotiating with an amateur can be very unpleasant, I know. But I’m a professional. With a little patience and flexibility, I’ll have you out enjoying your new car before you know it! Sound good?”
h. “Don’t you hate that? Me too! Whenever I’m forced to negotiate that way I always feel like a clown in a circus! So I’ll tell you what. If I end up doing that today, you have my permission to reach out and squeak my big red nose! Fair enough?”
Next month’s objection will be: “I’ve got you beat” or “I can get a better deal somewhere else.” We need YOUR input!!! Please forward your ideas on this one, or your suggestions on which objection to cover next, to [email protected].
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other thing”.
“A Silver Belt”
— by Cheewa James, from Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook.
I had wandered into a small Indian shop in the foothills of the Sierras in Northern California and struck up a conversation with the Native American woman who owned the shop. My own Modoc Indian heritage and love of Indian jewelry prompted me to tell her of the pain I suffered when my mother’s silver Navajo concho belt was stolen. My mother had worn it almost every day of her life. It has passed on to me when she had passed through the arch of life to the other side.
I remember as a small girl putting my arms around my mother’s waist and feeling the warmth of her body through the silver platelets. Having her belt gave me great comfort after her death.
As I talked with the Indian woman, I could sense her empathy. But when I finished expressing my grief at having lost the belt, her message was not the one of sympathy I expected. What she gave me was a new beginning and an insight into my mother.
“Remember,” she said, “the true gift you were given was things of the spirit. Don’t ever cry over things that can’t cry over you.”
My mother is not a belt. My mother is reflected in the woman who now stands in her place – me. My true heritage is the talents and strengths that she left to me. I no longer cry over things that can’t cry over me. I cherish the fortitude and the love a woman left to me.
“Strength of a Man”
— by Unknown, source Unknown.
The strength of a man isn’t seen in the width of his shoulders. It is seen in the width of his arms that encircle you. The strength of a man isn’t in the deep tone of his voice. It is in the gentle words he whispers.
The strength of a man isn’t how many buddies he has. It is how good a buddy he is with his kids. The strength of a man isn’t in how respected he is at work. It is in how respected he is at home.
The strength of a man isn’t in how hard he hits. It is in how tender he touches. The strength of a man isn’t in the hair on his chest. It is in his Heart that lies within his chest.
The strength of a man isn’t how many women he’s Loved. It is in can he be true to one woman. The strength of a man isn’t in the weight he can lift. It is in the burdens he can understand and overcome.
“Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.”
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
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