“Common Sales Objections And Rebuttals: On The Lot” is the following article, sparked by a conversation about my previous article “Car Sales Tips: Overcoming Objections“.
When I posted that article, some discussion emerged on Reddit about the viability and usefulness of the information.
Although some people found value in the article (my ultimate goal!), I was met with a lot of constructive feedback. The crux of the issue was the overall “basic” nature of the content, combined with the fact that the objections covered were all focused on the final pricing negotiation.
It seems that people want more in-depth information, focused not just on the final pricing negotiation, but on the steps that lead to it. The logic being that, if handled correctly, the proper treatment of the customer will lead to a smoother transaction overall. I agreed, so I set out to write this article.
I took a slightly different tact that I generally do, deciding to preemptively spur a discussion on Reddit (my favorite forum site), about “on the lot” objections.
The results were… mixed.
The Great Divide
From the comments it seems salesmen are from Mars, customers from Venus, they will never understand each other.
Naturally, on Reddit, you deal with the same problems that plague any online anonymous forum. Protected by anonymity, egos are laid bare, and things can devolve quickly.
I started the discussion by posing the following three “on the lot” common sales objections and rebuttals that I have heard, asking the salespeople to explain how they react to them. Here are the three I chose:
- “Ok, thanks for opening this car up for me. I think I’m OK, I don’t need to test drive today.”
- “I want to go on a test drive, but I’d rather not share my phone number or email for your test drive form”
- “I just come to the dealer to drive, but I am going to shop online for the best price”
Now, in all honesty, I don’t actually deal with any of these three objections that often. They seldom appear if you can build rapport quickly with customers upon meeting them. That being said, I guessed that they could spark some discussion on how we treat our customers.
Trading the Test Drive for Information
The second question resonated (of the three common sales objections and rebuttals) most with the community. The vast majority of car salespeople in the thread agreed that in order to test drive, the customer absolutely needed to share contact information beforehand.
That’s the process we are all taught, collect the information before the drive. A good check-in sheet should kick-start our follow-up process. Encouraging salespeople to do follow up is impossible when they don’t collect information in the first place.
So, we use check-in sheets. The objection that the second question brought to the forefront was when a customer doesn’t want to share their contact information. Everyone (salespeople and the others alike) was on the same page that a copy of the license is a requirement of a test drive.
The Customer’s Side of Common Sales Objections And Rebuttals
What do we do when a customer doesn’t want to share their contact information? Their intentions are clear- they want to drive, but they don’t want to be bothered after the test drive. Many expressed that they were sick of being constantly badgered by needy salespeople and that they wanted to dictate the timing of any conversation. They did not want to be “followed up” with.
I absolutely do realize you guys deal with tire kickers and lookie loos. I completely understand from that perspective. I have a bad habit of arguing or debating something based on me, myself, and I to the exclusion of the public at large, which I should have been more clear. If I walked into your dealership and said I want to test drive x, and I have financing in place, I just want to drive it before I buy today, but I don’t want to give you an email or cell phone number, would I really be denied a test drive? I often forget how arduous the car sales profession really is, with the constant variables you guys encounter, and I honestly try to be as hassle free as I can when I’m buying a car.
I just hate dealing with mailing lists and “check in” calls.
The Salesperson’s Side of Common Sales Objections And Rebuttals
The salespeople (at least those in the thread) decried that the check-in sheet, with its collection of email and phone number, are both a matter of safety and one of fairness. If you are going to take their time, then I need to be able to log you and follow up with you in the future. Safety wise, many links of “test drive kidnapping” showed up.
the purity of it boils down to seriousness.
you have to realize some of us get people who just want to waste our time & drive our cars for no reason other than to do it.
I’ve had a guy bring a girl in to impress her by “car shopping” before their date. I’ve had a guy that never drove a Tesla before stop by on one that was traded in & he had zero intentions of purchasing anything. & there’s always the people who will purchase “in 6 months to a year” that just have to drive one now.
if you give me your info, I have confidence you’re a serious buyer, whether it be now or a month from now.
for me? I tell them it’s for my records. I also mention that I’ll probably call once a week just to check up with them. if you don’t want frequent contact, it’s as easy as saying so. “here’s my info but I’d appreciate it if you kept the calls/emails to a minimum”.
Resolution For Common Sales Objections And Rebuttals
The fact is that you can graph out your customers. Some are easy going, willing to share information, and supremely loyal. On the other side, some are hard-asses, not wanting to share any information, and hunting only for the lowest price.
The good news is that most “walk-in” customers are somewhere in the happy medium. Most people want a fair deal, good customer service, and don’t want to be bothered by over the top follow up. They don’t want to shop around for 3 weeks for “best price”, they simply want you to care about their needs and deliver a high level of service.
If you raise your level of customer service, engage with customers on a personal level, and know your stuff, you can preemptively avoid almost all of the objections above.
That being said, some customers are not going to say yes on the first ask. Here are some word tracks that will help you try to overcome these objections. Often the objections are based out of misunderstanding, not contempt.
Example Rebuttals For The Common Sales Objections
Below I will be addressing three example rebuttals for the “on the lot” objections listed above.
Note: If a customer again resists after you provide your first rebuttal, the best practice is to relent, and just go along with their wishes. If they are staunch on their stance, then oftentimes it’s best to let them have their way. Hopefully the fact you let them “win” will elevate your status in their mind, perhaps building rapport for future negotiations. If not, it’s no huge loss. The customers that are argumentative are best serviced quickly and then promptly forgotten.
It is my experience that the following rebuttals will work with these objections more than half of the time.
Common Sales Objections And Rebuttals #1: No Test Drive Needed
Customer: Ok, thanks for opening this car up for me. I think I’m OK, I don’t need to test drive today.
Salesperson: No problem! Since we are already here, let me show you a few of the key features that set this car apart.
*Open up the car, and sit in the driver seat- invite them to join you in the passenger seat*
Salesperson: As you can see here, this *feature* will help you address *need customer has*. Our customers often say that the ride in this car far exceeds their expectation. Since we are already in the car, do you want me to just drive it around the block with you?
Customer: Alright, I guess we are already here let’s take it for a drive. By the way, how does this feature…
This way we have lowered the bar of entry to test driving. During the sales process, your goal is to build rapport and show value. The more time you can spend showing the features of the car the more comfortable your customer will feel with you and the product. Always take things step-by-step.
If, however, your customer resists again, let it be. Finish up your product demo and move on to the next customer. Try and ask for their information, mentioning that you can let them know about any upcoming rebates or sales.
Common Sales Objections And Rebuttals #2: Don’t Call Me
Customer: I want to go on a test drive, but I’d rather not share my phone number or email for your test drive form
Salesperson: I completely understand, and I want to assure you that we don’t share your information in any way. We actually make it very easy to choose how you are communicated with after you leave the dealership. Keeping you happy and excited to do business with us is our #1 priority. That being said, it is a requirement that we collect this information. If you could just fill it out on this form here while I go and grab the keys.
*Leave customer with pen and check in sheet*
Now, this rebuttal does a few things. It opens by acknowledging the merit of the objection, then addresses a potential “honest objection” (not wanting their information sold). It follows up with a solution to the problem while emphasizing the logic of keeping the customer happy. It ends with a firm requirement of their contact information.
By leaving the customer with the check-in sheet, you’ve made the check-in sheet feel very “procedural” which can increase your chances.
Now, if when you return with keys the customer still resists, it’s your management’s call. If your dealership doesn’t allow driving without contact information, then you will have to cut the customer loose.
Common Sales Objections And Rebuttals #3: Super Shoppers R Us
Customer: I just come to the dealer to drive, but I am going to shop online for the best price.
Salesperson: Fantastic. So as long as I fit this vehicle in your budget, surely there’s no reason you wouldn’t take it home today?
Salesperson: That’s awesome. I love customers who do their research. Lets drive it, and I’ll give you all the information you need to make an educated buying decision.
These answers are courtesy of reddit user “thatguysellscars”. I considered rewriting them, but I think the Redditor did a fantastic job or providing two great options.
What I love about this objection is that, depending on the timing of the statement, is almost guaranteed to be a bluff. The actual “super shopper” doesn’t tell anyone that their intentions, they just wait until they are home and start making phone calls. In my experience, the customer that says this is just looking for reassurance that they will be offered a fair deal.
Common Sales Objections And Rebuttals – On The Lot Review
The secret to overcoming many objections is persistence and a positive attitude. If you come across as a problem solver with good intentions, you are likely to receive positivity back. If you come across as a hard-ass process-follower with no room to compromise, people are going to reject you. Worse, they may simply use you for a test drive and then promptly forget you ever existed.
The beautiful saving grace is the fact that, most customers are pretty decent to work with. They each have their quirks and their sticking points, but we all do. Most customers are just looking for someone honest to learn from and do business with. If you always come back to providing value, you should be set.