Climbing interest rates and fluctuating used car prices have brought on new fears and doubts for car shoppers this year. Being proficient with these objections is essential for sales teams to survive and thrive in the current market.
When it comes to converting sales prospects, here are the top three sales objections I hear reps struggle with along with some pro tips on how to effectively respond to these objections. These tips will work for training across the board, including automotive phone sales training, automotive BDC training, auto Internet-BDC and even sales managers.
1. What’s your best interest rate? I’ve had meetings with six different dealers in the past week regarding interest rates and the challenges that higher rates pose to shoppers. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the ninth time in a row in March, and this has ultimately affected the way that your inbound sales calls are being handled. Sales and BDC reps are getting the rate question come up while working sales prospects on the phone and online, and they’re handling the question like an objection or roadblock. They are not equipped with the right responses and will eventually either go down a rabbit hole or just turn the client away unintentionally.
To sustain volume and gross, reps need to master this part of the call. You want to address the question without regurgitating everything you have heard about interest rates. This is not the time to show off what you know. “I understand your concern, and I assure you that our finance team will do everything they can to help with that. When would be a good time to review interest rate options with you?” is an example of addressing the rate question and offering a solution. Here’s a tip: Leverage your finance managers. You have professionals that are there to help you. They are trained in special circumstances. Get them involved if you need to and tell the customer to “set up an appointment to come and see our finance specialist.” Automotive sales training at this stage is so important in order to arm salespeople and BDC reps with the best responses.
2. Your price is too high, can you come down? Ahh…the age-old price question. Your sales team, including managers, is probably rusty in this area so this is definitely one that you want to review with your team. After re-stating your ad price, reps need to immediately include any valuable perks that would benefit the shopper. What makes your experience different? Does your dealership offer something that others don’t? This is precisely the time to include those perks, instead of waiting until after the sale. If a shopper persists on price, make sure that you are including the value of their trade. To the educated buyer today, the most important thing is the bottom line price which must include their trade value. If you wait to bring up their trade after the fact, you could run into more price challenges.
3. I need your best offer on my trade before I come down. Vehicle trades and acquisitions are hot and most dealerships have recognized the opportunity by pushing more trade and appraisal activity through their sales teams. But naturally, some folks won’t come down to the dealership unless they know they’re getting the best offer for their car. Sales reps need to know how to navigate this objection. Simply put, they need to know how to get them into the dealership so they can accurately evaluate their trade in person. “Mr. Shopper I completely understand. I have found that the most aggressive trade-in offers typically happen here at the dealership where we can see your car in person. When would be a good time for us to get together?” is an option.
The Bottom Line
You want to encourage your shoppers to come and see you in person whenever possible. Shoppers are going to be more flexible in person at the dealership because their decision-making process goes from logical to emotional. Aim to get your online leads on the phone and you’ll have a much better time communicating and addressing those concerns.
Once you’ve heard the shopper’s objection, respond with care. There is no need to get defensive or impatient. They are voicing a concern. They are telling you what you will need to do to close them later. Express your desire to truly help them. This is ultimately what people want. The way that you respond to their objection will make or break the deal. And always, always, end your response with a question to bring the conversation back to your conversion steps.
A shopper’s objection is not a rejection. It is merely an inquiry that needs clarification. These could be golden opportunities for you to win the shopper’s trust and gain a customer for life.
About the Author
Susan Gaytan, Director of Dealer Engagement & Training at Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions, brings over twenty years of automotive experience and dealership management expertise to her role. She is responsible for integrating training solutions and helping dealerships maximize the effectiveness of training.