The Biggest Mistakes That Are Costing Your Dealership Money

If I could change only one thing in most dealerships, it would be salespeople’s habit to rush the sales process.

The sales process should accomplish two things:

  • Ensure that you have selected the best vehicle.
  • The customer sees more value in the car they drove than the amount of money it will cost them.

When I develop a sales process for dealerships we consult with, we customize it for their market. It is simple, targeted, and designed to slow the salesperson and the customer down so everyone can enjoy the process.

By the time the customer is back at your desk at the end of the sales process, you need to know that you have a committed buyer in front of you.

There is no need to negotiate if the buyer doesn’t want to own the car.

But, it happens all of the time.

If you invite customers into the dealership after the test drive to “see how the numbers look.” You do not have a committed buyer.

When you bring that customer inside, sit him at your desk, and ask your manager to desk the deal, you are 100% giving up all of the potential gross.

The salesperson has not done their job.  

I’m not saying that the salesperson is lazy, he may not know how to get a committed buyer. Better training is needed.

Here are mistakes to avoid

1. Talking price on the lot

Talking price can mean discussing rebates, trade-in value, discounts available on the new vehicle. Is price important to the customer? Of course! But, it’s not the most crucial factor.

2. Not following the sales process

Working a car deal out of order can put the entire purchase in jeopardy. The customer has to see more value in the vehicle than the amount of money it will cost them. 

3. The customer doesn’t trust you

I have decided not to buy something based solely on my lack of trust in the salesperson. Without trust, it is doubtful the customer will buy from you.

4. The customer doesn’t trust the dealership

In most families, vehicles are the second-largest purchase they’ll make. In some families, it is the largest purchase. Because of this, they’ll want to know that the dealership will be there to support them after the sale.  

5. The customer hasn’t told you that they want to buy this car. Today.

There are many ways to get the customer’s buying commitment, but you must know their intentions. There are literally hundreds of closing questions that you can ask. Ask them.

Nothing terrible will happen if you ask closing questions.

I promise.

These mistakes are most common when the salesperson skips steps in the sales process, rushes through the sales process, doesn’t build rapport with the customer, doesn’t sell the dealership, and doesn’t ask closing questions.

Our training teaches dealerships how to avoid these mistakes so they can

  • Sell more cars
  • Hold more gross
  • Increase CSI
  • Build customer loyalty
  • Add service customers

A quote by Glen Pavlovich.

This article originally appeared on

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