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How to effectively engage with discount-driven car buyers — Jeff Shore

How do you handle customer requests for discounts when you’re looking to drive revenue? Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back Jeff Shore, sales trainer, keynote speaker, author, and founder of Shore Consulting, to walk us through dealing with the discount-oriented customer.

Car sales have been leveling out in recent months, and automakers are trying to find ways to entice customers. One way they’re doing this is by offering discounts and other incentives.

But why do customers ask for discounts in the first place?

According to expert sales consultant Jeff Shore, they’ve been conditioned to do so.

“In their experience, they are used to this,” Shore said of car buyers. “They don’t know any other way. It’s normal buying behavior.” In fact, it can be a good sign that the customer is ready to make a purchase.

Shore thinks it is best to avoid getting into too much detail about the product or service being offered early in the sale. “The earlier we talk about terms, discounts, whatever that is, the harder it is to get a sale,” he says.

Instead, it is better to focus on the customer and their needs. Doing this makes you more likely to create an emotional connection with the customer, which can ultimately lead to a successful sale. Salespeople should have a set sales presentation. Offer to answer any questions at the end. Inform them and build trust with them. Salespeople need to be open to self-evaluating their current presentations.

If you need a good ‘go-to’ to address and refer back to the presentation, Shore had this to say, “You can say, ‘That’s a great question, and I appreciate you asking, and if you decide to purchase today, we want to make it as easy as we can. But none of that will matter until we have the right product for you. So, let’s go look at a few vehicles we have. once we do that, then we will talk about how to make it easier for you to buy.'”

Be respectful and address their questions. A question isn’t an automatic rejection. It’s just another step in the buying process. It’s Shore’s philosophy. “People believe in value purity: people will only buy when they believe the price is fair and final.”

When dealing with a persistent customer, Shore says close by saying something like, “‘You seem very interested in purchasing this vehicle. Let’s fill out a purchase agreement and put the discount on there and see what happens.'”

The best time to offer a discount on a product is after the buyer has formed an emotional connection to the item. Shore says as a salesperson, if you can talk with the buyer and say, “I love when people find the car they are looking for. If I can help get it at this price or this payment a month, how would that sit with you?” Of course, it doesn’t have to happen early on. It can be once you are talking about terms, but it has to be after that emotional connection is formed.

Make sure they have found the right vehicle first, then discuss terms and discounts. “There’s no such thing as a great deal on a product you don’t love that much,” adds Shore.


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