Closing a car sale is exciting. But some people panic and drop the ball at the last second. They also leave a lot of money on the table. This is due in part to not finalizing the sale with effective and practiced closing lines.
Last month, I offered you some closing lines to work with. Those centered on closing the sale so you can start negotiating. This month, let's go over some closes that you can use during your negotiations. But first let's take a look at what every $100 means to a salesperson and the dealership.
If a salesperson sells 100 vehicles per year and loses $100 gross per sale, that's $2,000 lost on a 20% commission. How easy is it for a salesperson to give away $500 per sale? That adds up to $10,000 a year lost personal income for the salesperson.
Here is the scary part for dealership owners: If your dealership has 10 sales people who only sell 100 units per year and they all lose $500 gross per sale. Your dealership has lost $500,000. Ouch! Hey, you could have a great staff party with that extra cash.
Some of you are probably thinking “We know all of this” or “I can't make any ‘good’ grosses anymore.” The reality is that you're not going to make great grosses on every deal, but you can definitely increase your numbers.
Don't panic. Instead, practice negotiating techniques and closes that get results.
The following are a few of the basic negotiating closes you can use when you are within $1,000 of a deal. Always focus on your numbers, not the customer's.
THE “I NEED” CLOSE
“Mr. Customer, I wouldn't be asking if I really didn't need to, but I need you to help me out here. Would you be able to pay $… for the vehicle?
THE “PUSH” CLOSE
“Mr. Customer, (put the worksheet aside) with all these numbers going back and forth, I think we are forgetting what we are dealing on here. We're talking about a new car. Follow me for one minute please.” (Briefly, go and show the vehicle again and reconfirm the strongest features. Then go back to your office and close the deal.)
THE “MAJOR” CLOSE
“I know this is a major purchase for you, as it is for 99% of my clients. So let's try and work out these numbers for you, ok? Would you be able to pay $…”
THE “WHAT IF” CLOSE
“What if I could get you the vehicle for $‥? Would you get the vehicle?”
(At this point of the negotiation you will be moving down from your number, in small amounts, but not up from the customer's number.)
THE “GO NO FURTHER” CLOSE
“There comes a time in the negotiation process where we can go no further, where there is no more room to move. We have reached that point. (Pause) You're getting a great vehicle at a bottom-line price, so let's agree and let you drive away in the new vehicle as soon as possible ok? Will you pay $…”
THE “FLEXIBLE” CLOSE
“We are very close here, you are only $… apart. If you can be a little more flexible, I'm sure the dealership can be flexible as well.”
Note: You can combine two or three of the closes I've outlined into one, if and when needed.
In your next staff sales meeting get everyone to make up some final negotiating closes. Then edit them and pick two or three as a template. Then role-play and practice them with each other. Have fun with it. But also get good at it and watch your gross margins increase.
Darin George is founder of the Automotive Sales College and does in-dealership sales training and tracking. He will also be at the NADA convention in San Francisco convention for a Q&A session. He's at 1-888-681-7355/ [email protected]