What do you think, is it? I would say that in most cases it is not. I would estimate that 80% to 90% of the time, when a customer says, “I need to talk this over with my spouse,” this is nothing more than a smokescreen. I am sure there are some of you out there that will disagree with my estimate, and that’s ok. However, let’s take a look at some facts.
Before the internet, people needed to go to a dealership to begin to gather information to determine what kind of vehicle they want and what it would take to own it. During these times, customers would visit several dealerships, gather information, take it home, and discuss things with their spouse. I would say that during the pre-internet era, the objection, “I need to talk this over with my spouse,” was very often valid because they did not yet have the information needed to discuss things with their spouse, so they could make a decision together.
However, we are no longer in the pre-internet era anymore. So, let me ask you this, what percentage of your customers shop the internet prior to visiting the dealership? If you said anything lower than 90% I would be shocked and if you said 100% it would not surprise me at all. Information is everywhere nowadays, and your customers would prefer to gather that information from the safety of their homes than from the scary dealerships and salespeople.
Considering that 90% to 100% of customers use the internet to gather information, logic would say that those same 90% to 100% of customers would then have the information needed to discuss things with their spouse. Armed with the information, these customers will present their case to their spouses of why they should buy the new car they are interested in. Therefore, when a customer tells you they need to talk things over with their spouse, this truth is, they have actually already discussed this with their spouse and they are using the need to talk to an unavailable third party as an excuse to allow them out of the situation they are not comfortable with.
The information above causes me to believe, when a customer tells you that they need to talk to their spouse, they are really saying, they are not comfortable with something. I believe it is time to investigate what the customer’s concern is and why they are uncomfortable. Makes sense, right?
The problem is the typical salesperson believes the customer and begins to treat the need to speak to their spouse as a valid objection. They begin to ask questions like:
“Where is your spouse?”
“Can we call them?”
“Why don’t we take the vehicle to them to see it?”
These are all mistakes. These questions consider the customers objection and attempt to begin to overcome that objection, however you can’t overcome something that is not real. This is why so many salespeople spin their wheels on this objection and why so many of them believe the objection is real because they can’t overcome it. While in reality they can’t overcome the real objection because they do not know what it is.
So, what is the best way to address a spouse objection?
Follow the Highway to Overcoming ANY Objection process, of course.
- Actively Listen
- Acknowledge with Agreement – “I understand the need to discuss big decisions like this with your spouse, I do the same thing.”
- Isolate – “Other than needing to speak to your spouse, is there anything else preventing you for going forward with the purchase?”
- Validate or Discount – “You wouldn’t let the fact that you need to talk to your spouse stop you from taking advantage of this deal, would you?”
- Investigate – “When you discuss things with your spouse what do you think they would be most concerned about? Doing business with our dealership, the vehicle, or the figures? They can’t have issue with me, they haven’t meet me yet.”
This investigation step is the secret to your success in addressing the spouse objection. This question will provide you with the cause of the customer’s concern and hesitation. The answer the customer give you here will provide you with the direction to overcome the customer true objection and complete the sale without the customer ever needing to talk with their spouse.
Remember, there are only four major categories that a customer can truly object about: Money, Product, Dealership, or You. Notice that talking to their spouse is not on this list. Stop believe that the spouse objection is real and start believing in the process for addressing it and watch your sales go up!