Addressing the Customer’s Fears


On this week’s episode of On the Mark, Mark Tewart, President of Tewart Enterprises, talks about some of the major fears customers have when visiting the dealership and how you can help them feel more comfortable throughout their visit.


Mark Tewart: Hi, I’m Mark Tewart, and welcome to On the Mark on CBT news. In today’s segment, I want to talk about addressing the customer’s fears. We find that when a customer does not buy a car or really anything they’re looking to buy, the overriding reason is fear. Fear is the number one thing that keeps somebody from doing business. So what are the major fears of somebody coming to look at a vehicle? The major fears are getting the wrong vehicle, getting the wrong price, getting the wrong information, or number four, a bad experience or process.

So I want to address those things. I want to address their fears right upfront. The wrong vehicle, wrong price, wrong information, bad experience. If I want to tell them upfront they’re going to get the right vehicle, the right price, the right information, and they’re not going to have a bad experience, “This is going to be a great experience,” I’ll begin to put that into their subconscious mind and it will lead them to have the right vehicle, the right price, the right information, and a great experience.

If you’re in a place where the customer is not doing business, you have to move them towards hope for gain and away from fear. You do the pleasure and pain. The pleasure by saying, “Mr. Customer, based upon what I’ve seen, what I know, unless there’s something else you have not shared with me, this is a great decision. You are making a great decision. You are definitely not making a mistake.” Think about that. “You are making a great decision. You are definitely not making a mistake.” Away from fear and towards pleasure, towards hope for gain, and both these things take away fear. When somebody has no fear around the vehicle, the price, the information, or the process, or you, and money, me, or machine, guess what? They do business. Take away the customer’s fear.

And now for my segment, Coach’s Corner, I want to talk to you a little bit about peak performance. Athletes look for peak performance. They look for an edge. They look for something that can make them better, different, unique than somebody else. It could be in their diet, their sleep, the way they breathe, the way that they lift weights, or the way that they exercise for whatever it is that they do in their athletics. We’re no different from an athlete. We are looking for peak performance as a salesperson or as a manager, as a leader. So I want you to focus on what matters. What gets you the most business? If you were to look back as a salesperson for the last 30, 60, or 90 days, what was it that was your strength, your differentiation? What made that customer want to do business with you versus all the choices they had elsewhere? Take the time to mentally go back through the deals that you’ve sold. Go back through the ones you did not sell, and think about what kept you from making that sale, and then began to focus on the strengths of what matters and what gives you peak performance.

Before you’re with a customer, I want you to think about your peak performance. Your peak performance can be an upping your game on the phone by this much. Do you train daily on phone calls, inbound, outbound? Do you train yourself daily on when the customer says, “No,” or, “The payment’s too high,” or, “You’re not giving me enough for my trade?” Do you know what to say without having to think or blink? It’s not robotic. It’s a part of you. Train and focus on what matters.

Next, eliminate time wasters. Take everything out of your life that does not add up. I call this addition through subtraction. I have found that peak performers focus on what works, what makes them money, what makes them have better production in their time, and then also what makes them happy. If it doesn’t make you money, it doesn’t make you happy, and it doesn’t grow you or your family, get it out of your life. That way you can focus on peak performance items that move you forward. What are those things? What can help you? Focus on what gives you more energy. Focus on what gives you more enthusiasm. Focus on what gives you more emotion with the customer, and then focus on humor.

I have found that often if I can have a little bit better energy with a customer because I’m taking care of myself physically, diet, mentally, reading, different things that will feed my mind and my body and my spirit, if I can give them enthusiasm, that means the breath of God. If I have it, you can have it. It’s contagious. Enthusiasm still sells in the internet age. If you’re on the phone, give them enthusiasm. If you’re in front of them, give them enthusiasm. Wherever you are, express your enthusiasm. That can be the biggest difference.

And then emotion. When you tell somebody, “This is a great choice. You are definitely not making a mistake,” you are delivering emotion that would make the customer feel better about their choice and take away the fear. And then one of the greatest things on earth is humor. If you can use humor in a way that’s pleasing to a customer, and you have to be careful about the way you deliver it, but one thing that releases endorphins in the customer’s brain is humor.

And then I want you to think about success is based upon successful habits. Successful habits and rituals is how you become successful. There is no magic. There is no Wizard of Oz. You can read nine million books about success, and you know what they’re all going to tell you? One thing. “Take really successful habits and create successful rituals that you do every day to make you bigger, better, stronger in whatever it is that you do, and guess what? You cannot be denied. You will be more successful.” This is peak performance.

And then practice those examples. The worst thing you can ever do is plateau. If I lift weights and I want to get a little bigger, better, stronger, I know I’m going to have to change my workout routine. I’m going to have to shock my muscles. So when you’re creating your successful rituals, add something in that will shock your day, that will take you out of your comfort zone and make you make more phone calls, allow you to put in more opportunities, to maybe go out and try to prospect outside of the dealership to do things that you have not done. That’s what I mean by creating peak performance.

And now for my segment, Stop It. Stop using a bad experience as an excuse. Sometimes I’ll hear this come into language. This is part of coaching. I often do executive life coaching and executive business coaching, entrepreneurial coaching, and when I’m dealing with people, a big part of this coaching is to listen. And what I begin to hear as overriding things in their language tells me that their brain and what they think comes out through their words, and then that spoken word comes from their inner dialogue, and that inner dialogue can sometimes for all of us be an excuse.

We had one bad experience. In other words, I’ll hear, “We used radio before. It did not work. We used direct mail before. It did not work. We tried digital advertising before. It did not work. We tried something before and it did not work. We’ve tried to hire people, but we can’t get good people. We’ve tried to have retention before, but we just couldn’t do it.” Listen, a bad experience is just a learning point to get better, but if you use that as an excuse, you have become a victim. Never say, “Well, I tried that before.” That does not work here. That’s an excuse. “We did not have success the last time we tried that.” So what? Get better at it. Do not create excuses by one bad experience. Just please stop it.

I’m Mark Tewart. Thanks so much for joining us on this week’s edition of On the Mark. Make sure you communicate with me. Find out about our online training, our in house training, our seminars, our workshops, speaking events, our FNI products. Please get in touch with me. You can do so at or go to, or call me at 888-2TEWART dot com. And as always, great selling.

Thanks for watching On the Mark with Mark Tewart. This has been a JBF Business Media production.

Click here to buy a copy of Mark’s best-selling book, How to Be a Sales Superstar: Break All the Rules and Succeed While Doing It.