Car sales tips: The most effective ways to simplify closing the sale

A keen salesperson will know that closing the sale isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Here are some approaches to consider.

Endless time with a customer hopefully leads to one thing, closing the deal. But, often this essential task gets treated as an afterthought. Or gets passed on to someone else as a turnover. However, focusing on proper techniques can reinvigorate the sales process and help everyone’s bottom line.

Let’s take a back-to-basics look at the steps it takes to close a sale.

#1 The pre-sale pitch

Long before thoughts of a close enter anyone’s mind is the phase where the salesperson and customer first meet. This initial contact sets the tone for everything moving forward. 

Ask questions and listen

The early stages of the sales process are not the time to rattle off encyclopedic knowledge about your dealership’s cars. Rather, ask questions after the initial introduction. Then listen and tailor the conversations and presentations to reflect the customer’s answers. It’s a simple approach sometimes called adaptive selling. 

For instance, if a customer needs a fuel-efficient vehicle for their daily 50-mile commute, concentrate on hybrids or whatever gas-sippers you can sell. Trying to push a V-8 behemoth or something else that doesn’t meet their needs is no different than showing them the door. 

Build rapport and a relationship

Listening to the customer means getting to know them, and being welcoming and sincere while doing so builds rapport. This approachable attitude establishes a relationship that leads to trust and mutual respect. 

Show your stuff

With a thorough understanding of what the customer wants, it’s time to educate them. This shouldn’t be a brain dump with an endless recital of features and specifications; that’s what websites are for. But a curated conversation based on your listening skills and customer preferences. For example, that customer needing something fuel-efficient probably won’t care about horsepower. Employ this same approach during the test drive.

#2 Pre-close maneuvers

With the introductions and demonstrations out of the way, it’s time to determine if the customer is ready for the next stage. Here’s what to do before asking for the sale. 

Qualifying the customer

There are several elements to qualifying a customer. However, at a minimum, you’ll want to know if you’ve presented them with the right options. Ideally, your listening skills are sharp and you’ve correctly matched their preferences to what the dealership is selling. 

Equally as vital is determining if the car under consideration matches the customer’s budget. And you may have already uncovered this information earlier, but you’ll want to confirm these details before proceeding further. This is also an opportunity to answer additional questions about pricing and financing.

Lastly, this is also when you want to know if the customer is ready to buy or at least appears willing.

Overcoming objections

Customer objections can come in many forms, such as concerns about equipment, price, financing, or even color. And it’s not unusual for a customer to throw a false objection when worried about something else. For example, a dislike of a feature may mask a concern about the price. Objectionsmust be addressed promptly and completely for the sales process to continue. 

Further, handling objections should be done in a respectful and non-defensive manner to preserve rapport. However, responses should be direct and provide a solution that removes the concern.

#3 Closing time

Assuming qualifying and objections aren’t an issue, it’s time to seal the deal. A keen salesperson will know that closing the sale isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Here are some approaches to consider.

  • Assumptive close: This fish-or-cut-bait technique is closing the sale at its purest. The salesperson has done their job and assumes the customer is ready for paperwork. Of course, this method only works if there are no objections and the customer is ready to buy.
  • Alternative close: An effective approach to dealing with an indecisive customer is presenting two options and asking them to select between them. This might involve a choice of vehicles or different financing plans. This technique enables the customer to feel empowered during the process.
  • Urgency close: This riskier approach is best used cautiously for fear of alienating a customer who might have bought a car in the future but gets turned off by the pressure. The urgency can come from limited inventory, expiring financing terms, or another factor that someone might miss out on. 

Sharp angle close: This technique can convert a negotiator into a customer. A salesperson faced with a customer trying to squeeze something extra out of the deal can turn the situation to the dealership’s advantage. Rather than just agreeing to the extra demand or suggesting a reasonable counter-offer, make this change conditional on the deal closing immediately.

Stay up to date on exclusive content from CBT News by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our free newsletter to receive all the latest news, insight and trends impacting the automotive industry.

CBT News is part of the JBF Business Media family.

David Goldberg
David Goldberg
David Goldberg is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News. He brings a unique combination of dealership experience, a lifelong love of automobiles, and a journalism background to his writing for CBT News. He has a BA in journalism from The George Washington University.

Related Articles

Manufacturers In This Article

More Manufacturer News

Latest Articles

From our Publishing Partners