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How to Deal with the “Just Give Me the Price” Objection

It’s the classic prisoner’s dilemma, to tell or not to tell. Two suspected criminals are separated into two different rooms, and given their options:

  1. If neither of them betrays each other, they both go free
  2. If one betrays the other, the betrayer goes free while the other prisoner gets maximum penalty
  3. If they both betray each other, they both get a penalty slightly less than the maximum penalty


Clearly, it benefits both prisoners to not betray each other as they can both go free. Yet, inevitably the prisoners betray each other out of fear that the other will betray them, and that they will get the maximum penalty.


So how does this relate to the classic “Just Give Me the Price” objection? When a salesperson hears that objection, they are faced with a dilemma: to give the price or not to give the price? First, you have to assume that if a customer sends in an Internet lead or calls into a dealership demanding to know the price right off the bat, they are probably making the same inquiry to at least a couple of other dealerships. Based on that reasonable assumption, here are your choices:


1) Don’t give the price

Ideally it would be in every dealership’s best self-interest to never give the price. If nobody quotes a price, the customer has no choice but to make an appointment with a dealership in order to discover and negotiate a price. But in the information age, this just isn’t how business is done: customers expect the price.


If you don’t give a price and your competitor down the road does give that customer a price, your chances of working with that customer have just dropped to zero while your competitor’s have skyrocketed. So, what do you do?


2) Give the price

If you and your competitor both give the price, you both still have the opportunity to work with the customer. You’re competing on a level playing field, and the next step is to convince the customer to buy from you. Contrary to what some salespeople believe, the customer will not automatically choose the dealership with the absolute lowest price. Ideally the difference in quoted prices should be minimal, and if you can build trust and give that customer several other reasons to buy from you, then you will win the sale.


For this reason I always recommend giving a price when a customer demands it. However, giving a price does not mean you have to give the gross away. Here are a few tips on how to effectively engage these customers, give them smart quotes and to ultimately secure an appointment:


  1. Know Your Market. It pays to shop the competition, use internal sales history and third party resources to tell you what the average selling prices are for the vehicles you’re quoting. If you end up sending a quote that’s close to your competitor’s, you increase your chances of selling to that customer.
  2. Give Options. When you send out a price quote for the customer’s desired vehicle, send out a lower and higher-priced option that are similar to the vehicle they inquired about. Use the opportunity to educate the customer that comparing prices of two models isn’t like comparing apples to apples. Prices can vary based on a number of factors such as age, mileage, options and more.
  3. Include Payments in the Conversation. Most consumers consider the payment of the vehicle, not just the price, when evaluating a purchase. Offering a link to your website’s credit application, when done the right way, can progress the deal. If you really want to stand out, provide payment estimates in your quotes, or use a real-payment-quoting lead generator such as Payment ProSM to bring you one step closer to the sale.


How do you deal with the “just give me the price” objection?

Have you ever sold to a customer who made this demand right up front, and if so, what was your process?

Views: 1162

Tags: 2013, AutoUSA, Internet, NADA, Payment, Pro, Sales, leads, marketing, payment, More…website


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Comment by Jerry Thompson on March 13, 2013 at 8:47am

Josh has some very good points and I agree with his conclusions. One additional consideration  is that recent studies show that many shoppers, 66% in the Autotrader study's first contact with the dealer is walking in the showroom.  21% said their first contact with the dealer was a phone call.  This indicates Shoppers are in the process of selecting or de-selecting dealers in their online research and they are four times more likely to drop by the dealership, and twice as likely to call in, than fill out an online form.

After they have done their google search, seen the reviews and where the dealers are located, they go to the websites and the information they find there drives their dealer selection decision.  Since 90% of customers will drive away from the dealership with both a new car and a new payment, showing both price and payments is crucial.  

Ultimately, it is the monthly payment that makes the difference so why not show your best lease and loan payments, including OEM subvented specials to the customer on your Search Listings Page and Vehicle Details Page?  This takes the discussion away from the price and focuses it on the payment earlier in the sales process.  By including a down payment and a little back end profit in your quotes, you can maintain good grosses while providing the customer with the real payments that they desire.  

So, in the dealer selection process while the customer is looking at your website, and those of your competitors, and you have both a price and fully disclosed, accurate lease and loan payments, and your competitors website says "Call for Price" which store do you think they are going to call or drop by?  

Not to mention the fact that there are some subvented leases in the market right now that completely blow away the "price" discussion.  For example, how much does price matter to a Corolla shopper when they see that they can lease a 2013 Corolla for $70 per month for 36 months (  

More than just showing price, creating attractive payment offers and advertising them consistently throughout your website is key to increasing conversions.

Link to AutoTrader Study: 

Comment by Paul Schnell on March 13, 2013 at 7:53am

I'm with the majority here.  All the data shows that customers are doing research online for one purpose, whether consciously or not: To eliminate options.  On average, they visit just one dealership anymore.  Does anyone think that's a store that said, "Even though all the other guys gave you what you wanted, when and how you wanted, at our awesome dealership you have to come in for that information"?

If you provide them the information they are looking for, you stay in the converstion. And that's our goal right? Stay included. 

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on February 7, 2013 at 9:07pm

I also see the light in giving a price, and I am a HUGE fan of building value in produce / salesperson / dealership, but a 'what-if?' also helps keep the door open, because often a variable can cause the price to lower. "The price is X, but what if we could get it a little lower?" The reality is in many situations 'best price' really does depend a LOT of factors. Even on new cars if a factory incentive for an end of month push or even the GM is close to his bonus, all of a sudden the price CAN drop. Or a store has a huge month with a bunch of high-dollar trades that hit inventory limits, all of a sudden that use car that the UCM was so proud of becomes nearly distressed.

And let's face it, how many times has a buyer told us this his best price was X, and ended up well over that number? I love watching 'pawn stars' for the effects of human nature. Heck - even we in the business aren't immune. I loved at the auction when nobody raised a finger on a truck when bidding started at $20k. Auctioneer dropped all the way down to $16,500 before someone jumped in, and the gavel dropped right around $20k.

But yes, hemming and hawing like a moron about a price is going to send a buyer on to the next store.

Comment by Tracy Corley on February 6, 2013 at 4:28pm

If a buyer asks for price, and we waver or BS, we have lost their confidence and therefore have lost the sale most of the time. Lack of transparency makes your dealership suspect in a customer's eyes. IMHO.

Comment by AndrewBarter on February 6, 2013 at 1:38pm

I am firmly committed to directly answering the question the first time it is asked and offering complete information on other options. I can't see how to teach the staff to sell from a position of confidence and strength when we begin each interaction with a defensive reply rooted in fear. I can't sell or service them all anyway. How many actually take home the model they first inquired about anyway? I see it as a low risk high reward move to give the prices everywhere. TRUE STORY back in the olden days of Consumer Reports and their advice to fax a few dealers a price request and shop from the office; I decided one snowy day with zero poeple in the showroom to fax back a big fat deal on a Dodge Caravan. An hour later MR fat deal showed up in snow storm and we spotted the car. I asked how I did on price and he told me "Good I hope... you were the only guy who responded..." I have seen and acted differently since that day... 

Comment by Josh Vajda on February 6, 2013 at 10:40am

Thanks Michael! Whatever keeps the conversation going gives you an opportunity to sell a car...

Comment by Michael Abrams on February 6, 2013 at 10:25am

Not answering a customer's question is a good way to not do business with them.  Your #2 "Give Options" response is one way to keep the conversation going in a positive fashion.

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