[podcast flashvars=”transparentpagebg: ‘yes’, titles: ‘Overcome Objections'”]http://dealeradvantage.cars.com/podcast/july_2008_pocdcast.mp3[/podcast]

Q: How Can I Overcome Common Sales Objections?

A: As we travel the country talking to internet sales managers, we are consistently asked for advice on how to overcome common objections posed by internet customers. You’ve heard them all before, and whether it’s an issue with pricing, trade-in values or setting an appointment, how you handle the customer’s concern can make or break the sale.

Let’s look at three of the most common objections you likely hear several times during a sales day and the points you’ll want to hit in your response.

  • Why can’t you tell me what my trade-in is worth? Assure prospects that you want to ensure they get the full value for their vehicle. While you can make an educated guess over the phone or online based on their description, you can only provide a comprehensive estimate after your professional appraiser has an opportunity to evaluate the car in person. Invite the customer to monitor the inspection so they understand the process and the factors on which the determination is based. Many successful dealers will even go online with the shopper and evaluate the vehicle alongside them once they are in the store.
  • Why do I need to make an appointment? Remind customers that you are committed to helping them find the vehicle that best meets their needs. While the car may seem like a good match based on the information and pictures in the online listing, only with a test drive can they decide if the vehicle delivers the required performance, passenger room and cargo capacity. You’ll also want to let shoppers know that if they make an appointment, you can have the vehicle ready and waiting for them upon their arrival for the test drive. Similarly, show customers that you appreciate their time by offering to call them if the car has been sold prior to their scheduled appointment.
  • Why can’t I purchase the vehicle for the invoice price? Politely explain to the prospect that the invoice price doesn’t reflect all the variables on which a car’s value is based. Local availability and demand for a specific make and model play important roles, as do the cost of aftermarket accessories added at your store. If you’re open to negotiating a deal below MSRP, suggest the customer consult market-based tools such as Cars.com’s Smart Target Price. In many cases, this value is above the invoice price and helps you, without appearing defensive, to show the customer what’s realistic and what others are paying.

You may receive such objections, by email or by phone. Either way, it is important that you use your response to build credibility and demonstrate your interest in helping the shopper find the right vehicle at the right price. In developing your response, you’ll likely be more effective if you first take a step back and put yourself in the shopper’s shoes. Just as you prefer to work with salespeople who value your needs, your customers will appreciate your attention to their requirements and concerns.

With these guidelines in mind, you can create the exact replies for your email and phone conversations. Putting them into your own words helps you feel comfortable and convey confidence when using them. The more effectively and seamlessly you control the conversation at this stage, the more likely you are to keep prospects focused on making a purchase – and buying from you.

Right click to download this month’s Cars.com Podcast.