Are you asking customers the right questions at your car dealership?

Welcome to another edition of Inside Automotive with Jim Fitzpatrick who is joined by Sean Gardner, instructor and sales trainer with the Joe Verde Group.  For over 35 years JVG has been a leading training organization for car dealers, managers, and salespeople around the world. Today, Gardner shares his top techniques for closing more deals every month.

Related: 5 ways to deliver at least one vehicle per day, each day of the month – Sean Gardner, Joe Verde Group

There are many cases where customers come into the showroom and tell the sales staff, I only have 15 minutes. Whether they actually have more time or not, car dealers have to help customers in the best ways they can no matter the circumstances. In fact, there are instances where the car shopping experience is so good, that shopper will extend their personal time limit to an hour or even longer.

You have two choices with this customer:

  1. Immediately set up a future time to meet
  2. Slow yourself down and ask the right questions to make them feel at ease.

Clearly, number two is the better option here. Start out by asking the customers whether or not they have visited the car dealership before. Follow that up by asking customers where they heard about the store. These are the transitional statements that build rapport with customers.

Building those relationships with customers up can have lasting impressions on the overall business as well. 80% of success in negotiations comes from your setup. The best way to get customers to stretch their budgets is by being enthusiastic and getting them excited about the vehicle.

Objections will happen, however, the way you handle them could make or break the deal. Two simple words that will help you put more deals together are ‘How close’, or How close can you come to the number I’m giving you? 

Car dealers and salespeople have to ask the right questions that will help customers take another step further in buying the vehicle.

Did you enjoy this interview with Sean Gardner? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by submitting a letter to the editor here, or connect with us at

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.