Mastering Objections, Expectations and Rebuttals
by Sean Bradley, CEO and Founder of Dealer Synergy
We all have had customers voice objections such as “No,” “What’s your best price?” “You are too far away,” “Is it on your lot?” and countless other variations. Over the years, we’ll all developed our own ways of handling those objections. Let me share a few of mine.
First, let’s take a look at the top five reasons why Internet prospects are utilizing the Internet:
It’s a different way to do business, i.e., they don’t like car salesmen
I have two rebuttals for each of these points, but before I do that I want to drill home the significance of the proactive approach rather than the “reactive” approach. Properly trained, you can overcome objections. However, I’d rather deal with expectations than objections. An expectation is exactly what it sounds like… something that a prospect is expecting. For example, what if you were making a follow-up call with your Internet prospect and after you went through the greeting phase of the call you transitioned with a qualifying question… “Mr. Customer, quick question for you, have you ever purchased a vehicle online before?” … “No?” “OK… What were you looking to accomplish by going online?”
Notice that I don’t wait for the prospect to blurt out in the beginning of the call, “What’s your best price” or “Do you have that in stock right now?” Instead, I take the proactive approach and ask him early in the conversation, “What were you looking to accomplish by going online?” Because I already know he is going to respond with one of the five top reasons, I’m already prepared with my response.
For example, when I asked my qualifying question, Mr. Customer might respond… “Well, Sean, I was looking for the best price, of course.” My rebuttal could be something like, “Mr. Customer, if I wasn’t able to get you the absolute best deal I would never expect you to buy a car from us…OK?” They usually respond “OK.” With that said, I counter with, “Mr. Customer, what else is important to you in regard to purchasing your next vehicle?”
Note that I am in control of this conversation and am leading the prospect down the phone sales path to the goal of the appointment (that is Covey’s second habit…start with the end in mind).
In sales we all aspire to the level of exceeding a customer’s expectations. The truth is though that we can never truly exceed a person’s expectation unless we first know what those expectations are. The easiest way to find that out is to simply ask… “What were you looking to accomplish by going online?”
The other reason why we don’t just take the first response to that qualifying question is because it might only be a surface response. For example, it might seem like everyone is using the Internet just to shop price. That is so far from the case. Industry stats show that only 18%-20% of Internet shoppers are motivated solely by price. What does that tell you? All of those Internet customers that ask you what the price is… they actually have other wants and desires besides the price. Your job is to discover what those are. So, you should respond with a feel/felt/found rebuttal like:
“Mr. Customer, I feel exactly as you do. Price is important to me too. As a matter of fact, most people feel the same way. That is why they are going online… to find the best price… and do you know what they have found? They found that by going to ABC Motors not only are they going to get the best price… they are also going to having an amazing experience in the process.”
You might be saying, “Wow, that is way too much for me to remember.” You don’t have to remember all the words, just the concept. From there, it’s simply a matter of putting it in your own words.
I am going to now give you two rebuttals for the remaining four top Internet expectations:
“Mr. Customer, that vehicle is definitely available. Now that you know you can have it immediately, what other factors are important to you in purchasing your next vehicle?”(If it is in allocation, you can get it through a dealer locate/swap or if you can order it from the manufacturer, it’s available.) **Over 80 percent of Internet prospects wind up purchasing something other than what they requested through an online initiative. Either they are upside down on the trade, can’t afford the vehicle, can’t afford the down payment or monthly payments or simply because the vehicle wasn’t available. So the idea is not to fight them over the phone. Let me be crystal clear, I am not saying to lie and say it is in stock or it’s available when there is no way you can secure the vehicle. I am saying if you can secure the vehicle, then it is available.
“We are one of the largest Ford dealerships in the state of Florida; inventory is never an issue here. So what else is important to you in purchasing your next vehicle?”
“Mr. Customer, we make it easier than ever for our clients to purchase a vehicle. We have two options for our online shopper. Option 1: We can offer free delivery to your home or office. Option 2: We can schedule what is called an expedited delivery process that means we handle most of the paperwork over the phone, schedule a time for you to come in for a final inspection, then move you quickly through our finance department. So, besides convenience, what else is important to you in purchasing your next vehicle?”
Feel/Felt/Found: “Mr. Customer, I feel the same way you do. My time is important to me. As a matter of fact, most people feel the same way we do, which is why they are using the Internet to make it easier to purchase a vehicle. And they have found that by going onto ABC Motors.com not only are they going to have a no-hassle, easy experience, they are also going to get a great deal too. So, aside from convenience, what else is important to you in purchasing your next vehicle?”
“Mr. Customer, an educated customer like yourself makes my job a lot easier. What else is important to you in purchasing your next vehicle?”
“Congratulations, your research led you to us. Now, what else is important to you in purchasing your next vehicle?”
Hate car salesmen/looking for a different way to do business:
“Mr. Customer, it sounds like you had a bad experience before.”
You want to be empathetic with the prospect. Remember, if you can get the prospect to like you, trust you, and believe you, he will buy from you. Find out what happened that left him with a bad taste in his mouth and then assure him that is not how you conduct business. Make him understand that you and your dealership are an integrity-based operation.
“Mr. Customer, I can appreciate what you are saying but let me say this… there are good priests out there, there are bad priests out there. There are good police out there, and there are bad police out there. Unfortunately, there are less than professional car salesman out there, but you are now dealing with an automotive professional and I assure you that we (ABC Motors) run an integrity-based operation here.”
Transition both rebuttals with… “With that said, what else is important to you in purchasing your next vehicle?”
I would suggest that you call an Internet sales meeting or if you are a small Internet department, get the floor involved and start to brainstorm. Think of the various objections and expectations that come to you on a daily basis. After you have outlined your top five or 10 expectations, go around the room and everyone should contribute one to two rebuttals for each of the expectations/ objections. After you have a list of 30 to 40, vote on the top three to four rebuttals for each of the expectations/rebuttals. That will be your final word track list. So, if you have the top five expectations and I gave you two for each, if you come up with two more on your own then you will have a total of four per expectation. That is 20 word tracks in your arsenal. Now you need to train and drill them over and over until they are reflex and memory. You tell me how much more effective you would be on the phones if you first knew exactly what to say and when to say it. You would be on your way to becoming a phone Ninja.
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