What to do When Customers Want to Buy for Invoice Price


On this week’s episode of On the Mark, Mark Tewart, author and President of Tewart Management Group, talks about what to do when a customer wants to buy for invoice, being transparent with the customer, putting the team’s needs before your own, and more.


Mark Tewart: Hi, I’m Mark Tewart and welcome to this week’s edition of On The Mark on CBT News. Today, I want to talk to you about that customer that says, “I just want to buy it for invoice. Can you show me the invoice?” The first thing I want to share with you is just agree with the customer. You’re not going to fight them and get anywhere. Sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war, and you may never ever wind up showing them an invoice and we both know that it really doesn’t matter, but the big thing is, you have to say fantastic. It’s fantastic. Agree with them. Why? Because if you disagree, you’re probably done, you’re going to create a war and a back and forth. Your job is just to say, “Hey, fantastic.” You’re just creating hope for gain. You’re creating something better in their mind as a possibility. So all I’m going to do is just say fantastic. I said with some of the programs and specials that we have, often I’ve seen cars sold for less than invoice. Now, that’s going to get a customer’s attention right there, and with a rebate or with dealer cash or certain things that we have going on, it is possible and probable that there are cars sold for less than what the invoice price was. Once again, just to recap, you’re going to say to the customer, “Fantastic.”

Often, with some of the programs and specials and programs that we have going on in the manufacturer, we’ll often see cars sold for less than invoice. And then use a little phrase, “By the way.” By the way is a segue, it’s a bridge. “By the way, I wanted to ask you,” so I can get you the best value and now you’re going to ask questions. You’re going to find if you do it with that three step process, you’ll often very often get past the invoice situation. Now you can also utilize what I call value pricing. If they dig a little deeper, I’ll just say, “Mr. Customer, to give you an idea, often when you buy something, as an example, when you bought a TV, you didn’t know what the invoice was. When you bought your shoes, you didn’t know what the invoice was. When you bought your clothes, or the furniture, anything else, you didn’t know what the invoice was, but you did know it was a good deal.” And that’s something that will happen again today. The reality is we all buy the cars for the same amount from the manufacturer, so no matter what it costs, the dealer, the main thing is, are you getting a good deal? And with the value pricing of today, the one thing I could share with you, there used to be this much markup in a new vehicle, and today, there’s this much markup.

Why? The manufacturer has priced it in a value price point, meaning they’ve taken all the big markups out of the vehicles. It’s not like it used to be, but the good news is, that eliminates all that back and forth and it gets you right to where the value price is from the beginning so you don’t have to do that. We didn’t like that. You didn’t like that. Nobody liked going back and forth. What we do is we offer the value pricing that the manufacturer has given us, and of course we’ll get you the very best price. We’re very transparent. I’ll be happy to share with you the very best figures on your car, your trade value, what the market value is. We can get you any opportunities for your monthly terms, your budgets, and then you can make a great decision. But there’s no mystery today, it’s all on the internet. There’s really nothing to hide. We are a super transparent dealership and I will work with you to make sure that you’ve got the very best proposal that you can get.

Now, by the way, I want to ask you a couple of questions so I can make sure that I do that for you. You segue, you bridge, you redirect and ask questions. You’re going to find that it’ll go away. And now, for my segment, Coach’s Corner. Harry Truman had a great quote. He said, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Often, in the sales game, we’re about ourselves, and I understand that it’s about your individual efforts. It’s about what you do. It’s about what you accomplish, and I know that you pay your bills off of your paycheck, and nobody else is responsible for that.

I have also been in dealerships where everybody is high-performing and doing really well, which means that the dealership does well, and I have worked with some stores that were way underperforming and nobody’s really doing very well and you’re going to find that it becomes about me, me, me, me, me, me, me. And in high-performing dealerships, it’s more about us. And you say, “Well, how can that be?” Because I determine my paycheck. But you’re going to find when you have a better team environment, when it’s not the new car department versus used cars or the used cars versus service, or the service fighting used cars, or any other department, you’re going to find that when you work together, when you eliminate the barriers of BDC and internet versus everybody else. And when you say the quote by Harry Truman, it’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets a credit.

The reality is, we’re going to lift all the boats in this ocean if we all help each other at the dealership, and if we stop worrying about and fighting everybody else, it becomes a conducive environment that creates a culture, an environment of success. In bad dealerships, you hear, “That’s not my job.” Or, “I don’t get paid on that.” You’ll never better yourself by trying to hinder other people. That’s a scarcity-based mentality. Having abundance, how can you help others because they also, in return, will help you, and it helps the greater good. Once again, Harry Truman said it best, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” And now for my segment, Stop. Stop focusing on the problem and focus on the solutions. Whether it’s at your dealership and you’re saying, “I can’t get good people.” You’re focusing on, you can’t get good people. And when you do that, you’re breathing life into that and it creates more of what you don’t want.

Focus on what you can do and how you are going to do it and I promise you, you will get a solution. If you’re with a customer and you’re focusing on what they can’t do rather than what they can do, you’re going to get what you can’t do. More of it. Focus on what the solution is. I understand and I appreciate that. Let me share with you some other ideas. I understand, I appreciate that. Fantastic. Let me make this work for you. Focus on what you can do and why it does work for them. Focus on the solution and not the problem. Just stop focusing on the problem. I’m Mark Tewart, thanks for tuning in to this week’s edition of On The Mark. Make sure you tune in for next week’s show and as always, make sure you communicate with me. Find out about our in house training that we do for all departments in the dealership. Find out about our online training. Find out about our FNI products and our consultant. Give me a call. Call me at 888-2TEWART. Email me at info@tewart.com. And you can go to my website at tewart.com as well. And as always, have a great week and great selling.

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