Home > Resistance > I'm not ready....

I'm not ready....

I'm a crappy car salesman who is desperately trying to get better. I used to sell Mazdas. It was quite easy to close those customers. I've recently begun selling Toyotas. I keep running into this vague objection from people "I'm not ready." I'll ask them what has to happen for them to be ready, or how will they know they are ready, etc. They will then provide some scenario that is nearly impossible. One gentleman said he'll be ready only when he gets to test drive a Prius (these cars are spoken for by the time they arrive at the dealership, therefore you cannot test drive one). Can anyone help me? - by wesbound
I'm a crappy car salesman who is desperately trying to get better. I used to sell Mazdas. It was quite easy to close those customers. I've recently begun selling Toyotas. I keep running into this vague objection from people "I'm not ready." I'll ask them what has to happen for them to be ready, or how will they know they are ready, etc. They will then provide some scenario that is nearly impossible. One gentleman said he'll be ready only when he gets to test drive a Prius (these cars are spoken for by the time they arrive at the dealership, therefore you cannot test drive one). Can anyone help me?
Wow, I just want to give you a hug.

Instead of giving you a big winded response, I'm going to throw some bullet points at you.
  • Change your identity, you're not "crappy"
  • Try using self reflection to identify where you are going wrong
  • Spend time with the successful salesmen in your lot
  • Ask more questions to your customer
  • Clarify how they mean "not ready". Sounds like a smoke screen to me.
- by MrCharisma
Hi wesbound,
I am having a little difficulty in responding to you without some more details.

The "i'm not ready" thing is plainly a lack of urgency and I'm also wondering how well you have created value during your discussions with customers but that's just a gut feeling on my part.

OK. What's the difference between selling Mazdas and Toyotas ?
You said you were able to close the former quite easily.

I am guessing these cars would appeal to a different type of buyer ? Maybe you relate better to the persona of a Mazda buyer, in which case you need to develop some more flexibility.

Who is the top seller in your dealership ? Any chance you can watch them in action ?

Looking at it from another angle what specific benefits do customers gain from owning a Mazda and What specific benefits do customers gain by owning a Toyota ? If you think you know, that's good but if your customers tell you that's better.

Hope this is of some help. - by Greg Woodley
I'm a crappy car salesman who is desperately trying to get better. I used to sell Mazdas. It was quite easy to close those customers. I've recently begun selling Toyotas. I keep running into this vague objection from people "I'm not ready." I'll ask them what has to happen for them to be ready, or how will they know they are ready, etc. They will then provide some scenario that is nearly impossible. One gentleman said he'll be ready only when he gets to test drive a Prius (these cars are spoken for by the time they arrive at the dealership, therefore you cannot test drive one). Can anyone help me?
"I'm not ready" is not necessarily an objection. Do you remember Qualifying 101? It's about Ready, Willing, and Able. If the prospect is telling you he's not ready, he's doing your job for you. It sounds to me like you are making a classic mistake. You can't skip a step in a selling process. Start qualifying. Simple phrases like "how soon", "what's the timetable", and "when" should be part of your conversation. - by Gary A Boye
Hi wesbound,
I am having a little difficulty in responding to you without some more details.

The "i'm not ready" thing is plainly a lack of urgency and I'm also wondering how well you have created value during your discussions with customers but that's just a gut feeling on my part.

OK. What's the difference between selling Mazdas and Toyotas ?

You said you were able to close the former quite easily.

I am guessing these cars would appeal to a different type of buyer ? Maybe you relate better to the persona of a Mazda buyer, in which case you need to develop some more flexibility.

Who is the top seller in your dealership ? Any chance you can watch them in action ?

Looking at it from another angle what specific benefits do customers gain from owning a Mazda and What specific benefits do customers gain by owning a Toyota ? If you think you know, that's good but if your customers tell you that's better.

Hope this is of some help.
Greg,

Thank you for taking the time to help.

OK. What's the difference between selling Mazdas and Toyotas ?

That is what I'm attempting to figure out.

You said you were able to close the former quite easily.

I am guessing these cars would appeal to a different type of buyer ? Maybe you relate better to the persona of a Mazda buyer, in which case you need to develop some more flexibility.

Mazda is a more performance based vehicle. It's sort of like the difference between BMW and Mercedes.

Who is the top seller in your dealership ? Any chance you can watch them in action ?

I'm not sure that is very useful because the top sellers have been there so long that they don't actually take new leads, they just sell to repeats and referrals, so there really is not that much salesmanship going on. That is sort of why I was hired along with a couple of other guys.

Looking at it from another angle what specific benefits do customers gain from owning a Mazda and What specific benefits do customers gain by owning a Toyota ? If you think you know, that's good but if your customers tell you that's better.

Hope this is of some help

I think it is helpful. The benefits of owning a Toyota are owning one of the most dependable automobiles currently on the market. Toyota is the largest automaker for a reason. They are dedicated to producing high-quality, well-equipped automobiles. - by wesbound
"I'm not ready" is not necessarily an objection. Do you remember Qualifying 101? It's about Ready, Willing, and Able. If the prospect is telling you he's not ready, he's doing your job for you. It sounds to me like you are making a classic mistake. You can't skip a step in a selling process. Start qualifying. Simple phrases like "how soon", "what's the timetable", and "when" should be part of your conversation.
The problem with that is that in car sales, if you ask a question like that, ie "how soon" "what's the timetable" they will always say, "in a month" "in six months" just like they will ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, say "this is the first place I've been." They'll even say "This is the first place I've been" right after they told you they just came from brand X and didn't like Y or Z, or did like Y or Z. Sadly this is a question where "buyers are liars." Belive me, I have tried that when qualifying. - by wesbound
wesbound, do you believe there is a connection between your belief that "all buyers are liars", your non-acceptance of the tried and true ready, willing, able qualifying construct, and the results you are getting which are so poor that you describe yourself as a "crappy car salesman." - by Gary A Boye
wesbound, do you believe there is a connection between your belief that "all buyers are liars", your non-acceptance of the tried and true ready, willing, able qualifying construct, and the results you are getting which are so poor that you describe yourself as a "crappy car salesman."
Could you clarify for me a bit what you mean by "able qualifying construct?"

The "crappy car salesman" thing is more me being extra hard on myself. Actually, I know there is a great salesman inside me just waiting to burst out.

The "all buyers are liars" thing, sadly, does have relevance. A survey was done of people who purchased automobiles. They were asked how much they believed the dealership made off their purchase. The average answer was something like $3,000. I can tell you the truth is actually less than $1,000. They believe it's a poker game. They will work you, beat you up on the price, then tell you to your face that they are going to take your numbers to your competitor and reward someone else with your hard work. They will tell you they are currently paying $300 a month on their car and can't go over that, then you run their credit and see they are currently paying $400 a month. When I catch them in a lie I'll tell them, "Folks, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. I prefer to do things the easy way, by answering each others' questions honestly to help you purchase an automobile." This is a sad reality in automobile sales. - by wesbound
wesbound, do you believe there is a connection between your belief that "all buyers are liars", your non-acceptance of the tried and true ready, willing, able qualifying construct, and the results you are getting which are so poor that you describe yourself as a "crappy car salesman."
I agree that wesbound suffers from a crisis of attitude and expectation, and that this is severely limiting his ability to sell.

I would like to address the topic of qualifying customers as it has been central to this discussion:

Qualification needs to be considered relative to quantity of prospects. In canvass selling such as door to door or cold calling, qualification is extremely important because the resource of time is scarce relative to the number of available prospects. If a salesperson spends too much time with a prospect who is unready, unwilling, or unable, they are spending their time with an unlikely buyer when they would be better served to quickly move on and spend their time with a better prospect.

Conversely, where prospects are scarce relative to available time, as is usually the case with car sales or with in-home sales where appointments are scheduled in advance, the qualification process needs to be different. Asking questions about when the customer is looking to buy will invite responses that reflect the tendency of prospects to procrastinate, or to not appear too eager to purchase because of the advantage they believe it gives them in negotiating terms or in avoiding a decision altogether. The problem with this is that by inviting these statements with the qualification questions we learn little about the prospect's real intent, and the prospect may well feel the need to remain consistent to them by not buying.

If every prospect that comes onto the car lot is asked when they plan to buy, and they respond with a long time frame, is they sales rep to move on? If the lot was full of prospects that would make sense, but the reality is that the next opportunity may be hours away. So the response matters very little to what the salesperson will do next- try to determine needs, demonstrate cars, present price, and ask for the order. The difference is that the prospect has now declared that they are not buying today, and will tend to remain consistent to that.

I believe that in this scenario, the qualification process should cover the willing (need and want) and able aspects (affordability), and assume the ready aspect for the fact that they are actively looking. - by thesalesgiant
I agree that wesbound suffers from a crisis of attitude and expectation, and that this is severely limiting his ability to sell.
Jon, I've read enough of your posts to believe you could execute a ready-willing-able inquiry with success--as could I.

The mission of SalesPractice is to live up to being The Definitive Source of Sales Education on the Internet--just like it says on the label. I'm sure you understand that a "forum" venue is not without its limitations. When we moderate these threads, we try to maintain a balance between information and conversation.

"Buyers are liars." is conversation--sometimes griping-- and if one examined the idea like the Sandler people have, one would do so clearly understanding the difference between skepticism and contempt--choosing the former.

"Buyers are liars." is not information that we want to get across on SalesPractice largely because it serves as misinformation unless the writer has a clear understanding of the topic, is able to deliver that understanding, and, most importantly, has demonstrated the skills to transcend those obstacles that stand between him and a prospective buyer. The "crisis of attitude" that both you and I recognize is a self imposed obstacle.

People buy cars from someone, whether the cars are Mazda or Toyota. Conditions of mutual trust and respect is an important factor in selling. "Buyers are liars." is not a belief or statement that will nourish those conditions of mutual trust and respect.

The Sandler people, who address this topic, refine their observation by describing prospects tendency to "mislead." That's part of the human condition on and off a car sales lot. The smart professional who sells knows that nothing can be misleading without someone being misled and they neutralize those factors by providing an experience that will nurture conditions of mutual trust and respect.

Finally, the statement "Buyers are Liars." is not welcome on SalesPractice. - by Gary A Boye
Hi wesbound,
thanks for your response to my input / questions.

If I can quote Gary Halbert (a legendary direct marketing guy). Gary once put to his high flying marketing class "what's the most important thing to a guy wanting to sell hamburgers from his hamburger stand, in terms of marketing what does he need?"...he of course got lots of answers like good quality beef, good location etc to which he replied "No !" to all of them, the simple answer, "he needs a hungry crowd"

This is part of what I was trying to get at. Who is your hungry crowd and where do they hang out ? And when you find them, how do you sell to them ?

When I asked, Who is the top seller in your dealership ? Any chance you can watch them in action ?
You replied, "I'm not sure that is very useful because the top sellers have been there so long that they don't actually take new leads, they just sell to repeats and referrals, so there really is not that much salesmanship going on. That is sort of why I was hired along with a couple of other guys."

The thing I notice here is "repeats" These are the people you need to talk to. CONFIRM why they are coming back to buy another Toyota (yes, I know reliable vehicles etc, but you need to hear exactly what THEY say ). And while you are talking to them find out where they hang out, look at who they are in terms of demographics and maybe it'll help you find your hungry crowd. While you are talking to them pay very special attention to the language they use because that's the way you'll need to talk to your hungry crowd when you find em.

Happy hunting. - by Greg Woodley
Perhaps there is something I could be doing earlier in the process that would prevent such objections from occuring? - by wesbound
A buyer's perspective

My daughter just graduated with her masters and to BA degrees. She also started her first job that relates to her education. She also wanted to show her independence by getting her first apartment, her own cell phone, insurance, and her first car purchase by herself. She is very proud of her accomplishments.

At first she did not want help from Dad. She visited many car dealers in the St Pete area. Each one greatly disappointed her. NONE discovered the relevant details of my first paragraph. Each saw a girl that looks 15 when she is 23 and they automatically thought they could use a bully pulpit to put her in a car and pay what the dealer wanted her to pay. None of the dealers realized that vanity was driving the sale.

Know what the buyer knows and understands. When a buyer states 300 dollar payments the buyer understands the dealer will up that to 350-400 dollars. Meet the terms today most people do not need the automobile and will wait until they no longer want to drive their existing car or keep dumping money into it for repairs. Find a way to meet the terms and out the customer into the car they want. Some may not be able to afford the car they want. This is when skill enters the picture to move them into a different auto without insulting them and their ability to pay. This seems to be very difficult for some car sales people.

Instead of selling automobiles right away discover by qualifying your buyer. Qualifying a buyer includes reasons why the person is looking to purchase and how much can be spent. Imagine if the salesman would have discovered why my daughter wanted to purchase a car and talked to her about pride of ownership, her accomplishments and how proud she must be and should be then adding a brand new car that she looks great in, behind the wheel to those other accomplishments.

Qualifying the buyer is exactly the right thing to do. Gary and others are right on. Next is to change the attitude to a can do attitude.
- by rich34232
Rich, you mention skill. One of the most important, and rarest, "skills" (call it "habits" instead) is something that is practically never taught in selling. In fact, the exact opposite is taught, and, sadly, struggling salespeople will digest this misguidance faster than the stuff that could make them successful.

I'll venture to say that it's never been discussed on SalesPractice. So here goes: ACCEPT A PERSON'S WORDS AT FACE VALUE.

"Accept" does not mean "believe."

This is an excellent thread to finally reveal this communicative treasure. For instance, the very first words on this thread were this: "I'm a crappy car salesman.."

I accepted that at face value. Why? Because the member introduced himself that way. Did I believe it? Maybe. Maybe not. However when I engaged the member in a manner aligned with his self description, watch what happened. He responded: "The 'crappy car salesman' thing is more me being extra hard on myself. Actually, I know there is a great salesman inside me just waiting to burst out."

A little different, huh?

Now that's not a selling situation because it's not my role in life to sell the member on himself. That's up to him. However, sales DOES NOT (contrary to misguided beliefs) function outside of the realm of common human behavior. People say things for a lot of reasons, but if we're going to sell for a living, we'll go broke challenging what comes out of another person's mouth. THE KEY IN SALES IS TO ACCEPT IT AND LET THE PROSPECT FEEL THE BURDEN OF HIS OWN WORDS.

A person says to himself "I'm ready to buy a car." First step: Go talk to a car salesman and say: "I'm not ready to buy a car." Pretty silly, huh? Silliness is part of the human condition. But how long is this guy going to keep telling people he's not ready to buy a car when he IS ready to buy a car?

The answer to that last question is in BOLD above.

Advanced?--Yes. Some sales education programs worth their salt call it "striplining." To me, it's called manipulation through acceptance and honesty. And THAT is the best kind.

Some people will get this and some people won't. The ones that do will make a lot of money. - by Gary A Boye
Excellent post Gary, very well stated. - by rich34232
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.