"I want to go home and think it over"


CPI Whitepaper

“The Four P’s”

Despite there being a plethora of training guides on how to close a deal on the dealer level - they often are stale and outdated. And are unable to meet the demands of today's customer.

Where in many cases the sales training takes aim at the ‘price’ objection, which while it is important and does need to be addressed it fails to address the other core principals of closing a deal.

That is Product, Place, Person, and Price.

The Four P’s can and will offer your sales consultants success on the dealer level. Knowing that for every customer who comes into the dealer has the intention of purchasing a vehicle. Understanding that a customer is not coming into the dealership to waste time. The customer is coming into the dealership because they want to purchase a car.

But there is nothing more frustrating for a sales consultant who has just spent one to two plus hours working with a customer - running all over the lot - to find the right car for the customer to ultimately say that they need to go home and think about it. Knowing that the likely hood of that customer coming back to purchase the vehicle is slim to none. As they will most likely go and buy the car at the next dealership they visit. So instead of focusing on how many customers have left and did not come back, it is time to focus on the Four P’s.



1.  Product (rate on a scale of 1 through 10)

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Even though we ask the customer if they like the vehicle which seems to be nothing more than common sense. We do not ask them to rate the product. Wherein, your sales consultant would ask the customer on a scale of one to ten what rating would they give the product.

For example:

Sales Consultant: “On a scale of one to ten with one being terrible and a ten being solid - you love the vehicle - how would you rate this car?”

Customer: I would give it a 9

The first P for Product sets up your sales consultant for success. Noting that if the customer offers that the vehicle is a five or a six then perhaps we are not on the right car, which could be color, price, and or packages to name a few. That said, it is best at that point to offer the customer another option that is within their interest.  In this example, however, the customer offered a nine in which case we can easily turn that nine into a ten. To turn that nine into a ten you want to ask the customer “to make it a ten Mr. Customer what do we need to add?” to which the customer might offer something to the effect of “well, I really wanted the moonroof.” While the moonroof is not going to be the case each time, it is a means of ensuring that you can do your best to make the car a solid ten. Knowing that you can still close them on a nine.

2.  Place (your dealership)

Dealers often win awards on the dealer level but fail to use their hard-earned accolades to sell their brand. Not to mention the fact that their dealership is a state of the art facility with incredible amenities. And their average rating is a 4.7 with over fifteen hundred reviews. Customers read reviews, which might even be what ultimately influenced them to visit your dealership? So if that is the case, but they did not buy we have to figure out why they did not buy?

For Example:

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Sales Consultant: “Mr. Customer, I know that you have spent several hours researching our brand and ultimately choosing the car. With so many options out there we appreciate the opportunity to earn your business here with us at ABC Motors. Here at ABC Motor we have won several awards for our outstanding customer service with over fifteen hundred reviews and counting online. We have a state of the art facility, amenities, and so much more to offer. Is it the place?”

Customer: No, not at all. This a clean dealership. I appreciate you giving my kids popcorn and juice.

So What is Next? They Love the Product. They Like the Place? Is it you?

3.  Person (you)

People buy from people and if the sales consultant is able to connect with the customer - building rapport - it makes it that much easier to close the deal, right? Well even though you built a rapport with the customer, it does not mean that you have a solid deal. Where even though the customer has stated multiple times that it is not the price that is stopping them from wanting to move forward. It could very well be the price.

Sales Consultant: “Mr. Customer, if it is not the Product or place, is it me?”

Have I done something to offend you? I genuinely believe that we were having a good time. You have spent a little over two hours working with me. And I have test driven two of the four options with you making sure they had all of the options you asked for including the CarPlay, which was a must have in your next vehicle?

A customer will rarely - if ever - say that they do not like you to your face. As they do not perhaps want the experience to be awkward.

Customer: Oh my gosh no. In fact, I was just telling my husband how much we have enjoyed our time spent with you here at ABC Motors. I am just concerned with the trade-in value. We have a year left on the loan. And I am concerned that I am not going to be at the monthly payment I need to make this happen. I also want to make sure that if I do go through with it that I get my CarPlay!

This next step is the Final P. That is P for Price – their real objection. Where instead of letting the customer go knowing that their likelihood of coming back into the dealership is slim to none that you need to be able to close them now.

The P for Price is that next step in the Four P’s, which leads into the final P in the Four P’s.

Because the sales consultant did not back down asking the hardcore question is it the “person” the customer opened up offering the sales consultant that it was, in fact, the price even though in several instances the customer offered that the price was fine. Now the sales consultant has the chance to close the deal in which case the customer will leave in their brand new vehicle.


4.  Price (the actual objection)

One of the things a customer will say - without even meaning it - is that the issue is not the price. And will offer that they just need to go home and think it all over. This is where many sales consultants let the customer go without taking it one step further.

Now that we have isolated the real objection (price) – it’s time to go for the close.

Sales Consultant: “Mr. Customer, well you told me you love the car (product). You’re happy with the dealership (place) and me (person). What’s left?

It must be the price.”

Customer: Yes, it’s the price.

Sales Consultant: “Mr. Customer, I can certainly understand that. To be fair, you have not offered me the chance to have it appraised. And before we could appraise your vehicle, I wanted to make sure I had the car you were hoping for, which happens to be a solid 9. And here at ABC Motors, we pride ourselves on offering excellent customer service and will make sure you get an excellent trade-in value. Not to mention, your vehicle is out of the OEM warranty, no? So if there were to be a major repair, which can be as much as $1,600 not to mention the fact that it might be time for new tires and brakes, which can be another $1,200 that could easily translate into as much as an additional $233 in monthly payments. Especially since you are not able to purchase an extended warranty, which starts at $1,200 plus dollars depending on the coverage you choose. That said, with your commuting one hundred miles a day, don’t you want the peace of mind driving a brand-new vehicle that has the OEM warranty?”  

Customer: Oh, wow. I had not thought of it like that. And now that you mentioned possible repairs, I do need new brakes and tires, which is why I decided to start looking for a new vehicle because of the mileage I have on it. I do not want to be stranded on the road after a long day at work! I want to chill out!

Sales Consultant: “Exactly! That and why spend as much as $350 on towing your vehicle, which does not even add the cost of the diagnosis and or repairs. So can we go ahead and get this appraised? It will take as little as twenty minutes. In fact, how about we do this. I am going to have my manager appraise the vehicle. In the meantime, why don’t you take your vehicle to lunch?  I remember you saying you wanted to try that barbecue place downtown. It is a hit! The time you get back, I can have all of the numbers for you. Sound fair?”

Customer: That sounds great!

How to Get to this Point With the Customer?

You cannot get to this point if you do not ask the customer the Four P’s. Had the sales consultant given up letting the customer go without asking about the product, place, price or person than the customer would have left. Going to another dealership in which case they would have most likely started the transaction on the premise of what they can get for the trade-in. Revolving the entire experience on price and not on the fact that they truly love the vehicle.

So instead of letting the customer go - having spent as much as one to two hours with them - ask the customer the Four P’s! In doing so, you will see success!