A long, long time ago in a dealership in Northern California, a wise sales manager told me:
“Sales are lost because of a few words, not a few dollars.”
This immediately made sense to me. I understood that if I knew the ‘right’ things to say at the ‘right’ time, I would make more sales. Up until this point, I just kind of winged it. I knew my steps to the sale and followed them, I quickly built rapport with my customers and got along well with them, and I managed to sell some cars. I was moderately successful, and I was even the top salesperson most months. However, that was not enough for me. I knew I could do more if I just learned what to say and when to say it.
I started by learning my first word track, “I understand you owe more that on your trade; however, your payoff has nothing to do with the value of your trade.” … “If you owed zero, would you want zero?” I listened to this word track to and from work every day. I practiced it in the mirror every day, until I couldn’t get it wrong. One day soon after, I was working a deal with a customer when they said, “that is not enough for my trade, I owe more than that.” Without thinking the word track just came out of my mouth, exactly as I had been practicing it and even more to my surprise, it worked. The customer understood, agreed, and closed. That was it, I was hooked on learning more word tracks.
So, I began to research, learn, practice, then master the perfect word tracks for the most common objections. Soon after I began mastering these word tracks, I began to really sell cars, without effort and without long drawn-out negotiations.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is no such thing as a set of magic words that will work on everyone, nor is a word track a replacement for following a process. However, combining the right word tracks with the right process, it is a lethal selling combination.
Here are my Power Phrases for Overcoming ANY Objection
- Active Listening – “Can you expand on that?” or “Can you please tell me more about why you feel that way?” – The more your customer talks, the more they will tell you exactly how to close them. It is critical that you SHOW your customer you are listening to them and you are truly interested in what they have to say. Asking the customer to expand on what they are saying will show them you are interested in what they are saying, show them you are genuinely concerned about their best interest, and encourage them to provide you with the information you need to sell them.
- AcknowledgeMENT with Agreement – “I understand.” – Understanding does not mean that you believe that the customer is right about their concern. You are only understanding that it is ok that the customer feels the way they do. By telling the customer that you understand, you align yourself with your customer.
Think about a time you were upset about something, so upset that you wanted to complain to the ‘manager.’ Once you aired your complaints to the ‘manager’ that manager has two paths they could take:
- They can attempt to make up an excuse or justify the actions that upset you. When a person does this, it only upsets you more and causes both parties to be adversarial.
- They can let you know they understand, align themselves with you, and attempt to find a resolution WITH you.
Telling your customer, “I understand,” will align yourself with your customer and encourage them to help find a solution together.
- Isolate – “Other than that, is there any other reason…” – Don’t let your customers turn you into a dog chasing your tail by throwing out objection after objection at you. This is exactly what will happen if you do not isolate the customer objection down to the one and only REAL objection. Asking a customer “is there any other reason,” will allow you to gather all of the concerns the customer may have and determine which is really the objection.
- Validate or Discount – “You wouldn’t let that stop you from purchasing, would you?” – This is my MAGICAL VALIDATOR! It immediately separates a valid objection from an invalid one. This question only has two possible responses:
- No – the concern will not stop them from purchasing.
- Yes – the concern will stop them from purchasing.
If the customer says, ‘no,’ then there is no reason to continue with attempting to overcome the objection, because there isn’t one. This was nothing more than a complaint and you are free to continue forward with your process or close the sale.
If the customer says ‘yes,’ now you have a valid objection that must addressed and overcome in order for you to continue forward with your process or to close the deal.
- Investigate – “Why do you say that?” or “Compared to what?” or “Any particular reason you feel that way?” – You must always find out what the objection means to the customer and why they feel that way. If you do not truly understand why the customer feels the way they do, you can never overcome their concern or objection.
- Commit the Customer – “If I can resolve this, you will go ahead with…, correct?” – It is always important to commit the customer to move forward or close the sale if you can resolve their issue. However, you must always try to commit them with the offer to resolve their concern and not a specific solution. Offering a specific solution leaves the customer wiggle room to get out of their commitment if you are unable to meet all of the terms of the commitment. For example, if you were to commit your customer to buy at a monthly investment of $500. Then you come back with the best you can do at $501, the customer can say that they need to think about it, because it is not $500. This word track will help you commit the customer with offering a specific solution.
- Overcome & Assure – After you insert the resolve to the customers issue, say the following: “… Makes sense?” or “… Don’t you agree?” – This is where you revisit the customers pain point & problem they are looking to solve and offer them the solution they need. This is where you use all the value building benefits and confirmations that you collected during the early steps of the sales process. This will engage the customer’s emotional side allowing them to justify moving forward or even better, the purchase.
- Close – “Excellent, let’s do this!” or “Perfect, I will get your paperwork and vehicle ready for delivery!” – Closes should be statements, not questions. If you asked a confirming question that your customer agreed with, you already have your ‘yes.’ Use an enthusiastic statement to confirm you are moving forward!
These are by no means the only word tracks you need to learn; however, this is a complete list to take you through the overcoming objection process. Now that you have learned them, all that you have left to do is, practice them until you can’t get them wrong!