By Susan Gaytan, Director of Dealer Engagement & Training, Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions

How to Turn Sales Objections into Sales Opportunities
It’s no secret that price objections are one of the most common challenges we face on sales calls. Many buyers will want to negotiate the price right over the phone, while as sales professionals it’s our job to get them to the dealership first. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips for mastering price objections on sales calls. Whether you’re a salesperson, BDC rep, sales manager, or even an internet manager, these tips will help you handle even the most aggressive callers, get you more appointments coming in, and more deals to close.

An Opportunity to Build Trust
First of all, it’s important to remember that price objections are not always a bad thing. They can be an opportunity to build rapport with the customer and establish trust. Oftentimes the price question that comes up is simply one of many that a shopper may have on their, “due diligence list.” Or perhaps the caller simply runs out of questions. In either case, look at this as an opportunity to build a connection with the customer. Shoppers like to be informed. Most of the time they’ve done their research and are just looking for you to confirm the information they already have.

The Trade is Part of the Bottom-line Price
One of the reasons I love proactively asking about the customer’s trade is that it helps to deflect most price objections. If your shopper has a trade, then it’s always best to get their vehicle appraised in person to achieve an accurate figure for them. No appraiser is going to stretch or be as aggressive as possible on a trade when it is sight unseen. That’s a fact and no one could expect that without seeing a vehicle.

Your timing is everything here. Asking about their trade after the fact can be counterproductive. If you’ve already given them a number, then they will likely use that number against you in their trade. In other words, now you have to adjust your numbers based on what their trade is worth, which can only go one of two ways…you either lose money or make less money.

They Asked for a Price, Not a Discount
Be upfront, honest, and transparent about pricing. Just like most auto manufacturers do, give the caller an accurate starting price. And then let them know that the price will go up from there depending on the package and equipment they end up choosing. Remember that most shoppers feel obliged to ask about the price before taking the next step in their quest. Consider this question a positive thing and a step closer to converting them into the dealership.

“The Telluride starts at 36,000 for a base model and goes up from there depending on the package and equipment you ultimately choose. I’ll be happy to walk through all of your options step by step when we meet. When would be a good time to get together?”

Stay confident and remember that your job is to advise and help them. Build value in the experience and express your sincere interest in helping them find the information they need to make an informed decision.

It’s Okay to Get Specific – When You Have to
If the caller persists, then it’s okay to give them a number – within reason. For example, if the shopper is calling from far away, or needs to complete the purchase remotely online. It’s okay to get your managers involved when these moments occur, but you should not be running to the desk for a number every time someone utters the word “price.”

According to the 2022 Global Automotive Consumer Survey by Deloitte, most shoppers who call you still want to come in and complete their transaction in person. The study found that 75% of US consumers would prefer to buy their vehicle in person, 17% partially virtually and only 6% fully virtual. It’s important to remember that when you are handling sales calls. You don’t have to discount the vehicle to get people to come in and see you. You are better than that and your outstanding service will reflect that. The best salespeople use their common sense and good judgment to determine when they will need to provide more accurate pricing to a shopper over the phone.

Don’t Forget to Brag
Sure, people like saving money. But do you know what else they value, sometimes even more? Their time. Many consumers today are looking for a great car buying experience, and they’re okay with paying a little more for it. Don’t discount yourself and your service. Make sure to brag about the benefits of doing business with you and your dealership. Talk about your perks! And let them know that they’ll also have you looking out for them.

“The vehicle starts at 22k and goes up from there depending on the package. I am confident that we can reach a fair price and earn your business. Additionally, our dealership is known for providing an outstanding car buying experience. Our team will work hard to find you the perfect vehicle and I will help you through the entire process.”

The Bottom Line on Price
A price objection can be an opportunity, not a roadblock. By being prepared with the right information and attitude, you can turn price objections into positive conversations that will result in more sales. Let’s face it, car shoppers don’t shop for vehicles in the same way they do for most of their purchases such as groceries or clothes. It’s one of the biggest purchases in their lifetime and they do it once every 3-5 years. This causes emotions such as anxiety and fear, which then naturally leads to objections. Don’t take it personally. Spin it positively, get back in the game and gain confidence once more with your customer.

The trick to overcoming many objections is persistence and a good attitude. If you present yourself as a problem solver, with the customer’s best interests in mind, you are much more likely to receive positivity back. But if you present as a hard-nosed person who does not care about the customer and never compromises, they will react negatively to you. Perhaps they will do a test drive and then permanently erase you from their contacts.

The great thing is that most customers are overall decent people. Hey, everyone has some quirks and points that can make them somewhat difficult to deal with. But in general, the majority of car buyers want someone honest who can help them navigate the process and to answer their questions.

The bottom line is that price questions are opportunities. Anytime someone asks about price, instead of focusing on “they want a discount”, you should not feel let down by customer objections They are an opportunity to learn, build a relationship, and your brand. An anxious customer can be a good sign that the sales conversation is progressing. Your job is to convince them of the value. Once they agree that what you’re selling is worth it, you have won in your handling of the objection and can guide your customer through to the ultimate sale.

Author: Christine Corkran

Digital Dealer