“We’re probably not going to be purchasing what we did, last time.”

Posted by Erik Landrum on January 11, 2020 in F&I Selling Strategies, How to Present Your Menu, Objection Handling, When to Present Your Menu

Have you ever been hit with this statement, at the beginning of your process, from a previous Guest who chose to follow your advice on their last purchase? Alarms bells immediately sound in your head! How could this be happening? They are previous Customers…great folks…you developed wonderful rapport with them, last time. They followed your recommendation as to which column, in your product menu, was most applicable to ensuring they had a positive ownership experience. Now this?

You’re miffed and, as a result, react poorly. You may do something like saying, “Really?” while pouting-out your lower lip. Or, perhaps, say something like, “No way, I can’t believe it! You know, the last time this happened, when their car broke in half… they still owned both halves, along with the whole payment!!!” Or even, “I once heard of a guy who lived in the desert. Literally the day after his homeowner’s insurance was canceled, a flood wiped out everything he owned!”

Of course you would never respond this way (I hope not) but the above stated, ridiculous reactions serve to illustrate a point. When blindsided with an objection we aren’t prepared for (after all, you looked-up their old deal and are looking forward to handling their new deal), we tend to recoil, almost in horror, at the possibility that they are about to make a terrible mistake. Okay, that’s ridiculous, also, but we are concerned that they may be about to make a decision that truly may NOT be in their best interests!

So, instead of immediately launching into a tirade, speaking in tongues, and saying things that surprise even your own ears (“Did I really just say that?”), consider a thoughtful pause. You know, one of those few second gaps in the conversation that we sometimes rush to fill. That one. This should be accompanied by no other look, crossing your face, than that of thoughtful consideration. Then, follow with (never stated cavalier), “Okay…we’ll take care of that, here shortly. Let’s review your ancillary documents.”

That’s it!

Your reaction to being caught off guard is now professional, considerate, and most importantly…controlled.

We will then begin our process like any other deal…enthusiastically reviewing their ancillary documents, while allowing them to take mental ownership of their new/new-to-them vehicle. We’ll continue to have a smile on our face and process this deal as though we never heard the previously stated concern, ensuring we are still motivated by hope for gain. This is their big day, after all, and we aren’t here to spoil it. Besides, we love them, and there’s nothing they can do about it!

Once we have subsequently presented our menu and made our column recommendation (as always), we will field the objection. We might even mention the fact that, by taking advantage of our offer, they only have to think about it once. In other words, going forward…they are free from the piece-of-mind-robbing trouble that exposure to all of the unknowns otherwise represents!

Processes are in place to serve all involved and, when deviated from, their absence undeniably fails to serve anyone.

Inspiration for this month’s tip was provided by Justin L., who asked for no credit…but that’s what we do, here. Thanks, Justin!

Think about it.

Good luck and good selling!

For a printable version click here.

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