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No Best Prices

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It's a nice philosophy, but what does it mean in practice? When we say "no best prices" we mean that it is a serious mistake to respond with a discounted price when a prospect phones in or asks us a price question the moment they arrive at the dealership. Why is this a serious mistake? Well, until we have asked enough questions and have a good grasp of the prospect's situation and needs we may be throwing out a price on a vehicle that doesn't even suit them. Giving a best price too early is almost the lowest service response we can give! So let's examine the challenge and suggest a solution.

Let's keep things Professional
The number one job of the sales consultant is selection. As sales professionals we are expert at matching client needs and lifestyle to products. But without that crucial interview we can't be sure they will even like the vehicle. Any price is too high on a product that doesn't fit their needs. A cheap price on a car they hate equals poor customer satisfaction. The last thing we want to convey in our time with a customer is that we are desperate, unprofessional or untrustworthy. That's unfortunately exactly how we look if we are all throwing out varying prices with no interview and no commitment to buy. An easy-to-get, deep discount seriously erodes brand image.

Maintain control and leadership in the buying process.
When price discussions occur too early in the process we miss all of the other buying decisions a customer must mentally make before they are comfortable saying "yes". Without a commitment to buy and mental ownership being established, every price is too high! How can they make a good decision based on price alone? The short answer is: they can't. Aren't you frustrated with giving out great prices that don't stop their shopping process? Their shopping process doesn't stop because price isn't the only consideration. With our leadership we help the customer focus on their needs: product first and price second.  If you allow a sales process that puts price first and product second you can be sure of:

• Lower closing ratios
• Larger gaps to negotiate
• More confrontation
• Lower sales process CSI

What's the better way?
We all know "Price First" is a low success strategy, yet it still happens regularly. How about this familiar scenario: The customer asks a price question the moment you meet, you give them one, they don't like it and presume they can do better elsewhere, you grasp at how you can get away from the price discussion/ negotiation and back to their needs and the vehicle features, no rapport has been developed, they leave, you write them off as an aggressive price shopper and hope your next prospect is nicer.

Maybe we just need a strategy on how not to do it.
When the price inquiry comes too soon in the process, give a higher service response. We need to transition to interview. A transition has three parts:

1. Recognise their request
"Hi, I don't have much time. Can you give me the best price on this one"?

2. Confirm you will provide what they want
"I would be happy to do that for you. I don't think we've met before… My Name is __________  Do you need the car today?"
Typical response will be "no".
"That fine. That takes the pressure off both of us!"

3. Suggest a higher service "best way" to get that information
"Let's do this, let's take a moment and determine exactly how you want the vehicle equipped to meet your needs and then I can price it accurately. May I do that for you? …Great come with me."

Doesn't sound like your words? That's ok. Use the structure to develop your own response. Practice with your teammates. Make it second nature.
Remember that price first product second is a natural tendency for the buyer. It is easier to ask price questions than product ones. Resist being untrained into thinking that price is the only thing that matters and everybody these days is an aggressive price shopper. Instead welcome the price question... Think: "hooray they want my product!" Price is irrelevant to someone who doesn't want your product.

Does "no best prices" mean we won't discount? Of course not. However, we can only negotiate intelligently and effectively if we have interviewed to understand their needs, presented and demonstrated the best choice, confirmed that the vehicle is exactly right for them, AND confirmed they want to own it.

Automotivaters is highly recognized and one of the most respected automotive training and consulting companies in Canada. Since 1987, the company has acquired an international client base throughout Canada, the United States, the Philippines, Indonesia, French Polynesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and New Zealand.

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Copyright © 2009 by ISI/PAL Automotivaters Inc.
Copyright © 2017 by ISI/PAL Automotivaters Inc. If you share this, print it out, or reproduce it in any way, please retain this copyright statement.

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