How to Handle Car Sales Objections
Pricing objections are standard for any salesperson today. Vehicles are a commodity, and, we both know the customer in front of you can walk into your competitor's showroom and get the exact same car. 

Pricing concerns from customers is the number one deal-breaker for car salespeople today. We, as sales professionals, need to understand how to attack this hurdle and close the sale. 

Would you like a comprehensive list of car sales objections handling techniques & scripts? Keep reading, you're about to change your numbers, big time!
Psstt! The Sales Objections Guide is for you if you're wondering:
  • How do you Handle Customer Objections?
  • How do car sales deal with price objections?
  • What are the most common sales objections?
  • ​How do you handle, overcome & beat objections?
  • What are the different types of objections?
2021 Guide: Car Sales Objections Handling Scripts & Answers
Are you struggling to handle objections by customers?
If so, let's find out the #1 reason why you can't handle objections for now.
Marc Lavoie,
Autobahn Academy
When I first started in sales, I would get closed on customers on everything they wanted... Then they would leave somewhere else. I was so bad. I was NOT born with sales skills. I thought that if I answered all questions with the smile, gave every piece of information about the product (in this case a car), they would buy on the spot... It was a rude awakening...

You and I both know this is not how it works... For the first month, I had the worst closing ratio: 0 sales on 19 customers. Pretty hard to beat right? 

So there I was, in my tiny car salesman cubicle (the one no one wants because it's cold in the winter & hot in the summer) waiting for my next "up", wondering how I could make my very first sale. Me and my girlfriend at that time wanted our own place, and I had to find a way.

What happened next, changed my life.

A nice lady came in and asked to see a new car salesperson. It was my turn, so I jumped out of my seat and went to meet her in the showroom. She wanted a Beetle. We had a few in stock so I proceeded to take her outside to show her what we had. 30 minutes later, she told me: "I'll take her". 

WOW. I was on my way to sell my very first car, a Salsa Red 2008 Volkswagen Beetle.

What happened? What did I do? Was it something I said? 

Problem was, I didn't know... 

How can you expect to replicate something you did or you said if you don't know what happened in the first place?

Keep this in mind, she didn't come in with an appointment. She had put a deposit at another store. She was throwing me all types of objections. I didn't know they were objections, what type or any rebuttals at that time and I think I got lucky at first.

So when she left, I got thinking. I started to think about every step of the sale. I'm a huge pattern guy, I remember thinking: "There must be patterns why people buy. And if I figure it out, I can make sure I dramatically increase my chances of selling again by handling the same objections."

I have to say it got me some time to understand what was going on, and I lost many more sales after that. But every day, I was getting better & better, taking notes on what kept me away from the sale. 

Remember, that was in 2007, and walk-in was abundant & a real source of traffic for car dealerships. 

Car sales have become much harder. I know, my company is training car sales people every day online and offline.

The main problem is this: nowadays, a customer that comes in your dealership is not walking in on an impulse.

They are walking in with the freaking cost report of the car, 3-4 other quotes, the ability to buy online...

You simply CAN'T miss your shot. 

10 years ago, salespeople use to see 10, 15 even 20 people A DAY! Is it the case for you? So how do you expect do make your numbers? The game has indeed became harder, but good news, we've also became smarter. 

Remember when I told you about patterns?

Using those patterns will help you increase your appointment & sales closing ratio by a few points every month. 

Eventually, you'll be able to double your sales with the same amount of customers.

I know it seems crazy, but sales objections handling is all about maths. And wether you love or hate math (like me), you can't argue it works.

So, those cash-causing patterns you can use to handle car sales objections, we made a list:
Objections: Do you ever feel like you're losing control?
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Car Sales Pricing Objections Guide
"Handling objections is the most critical portion of the negotiation process, yet 99% of salespeople hate it."
A Few Tips on Handling Sales Objections
  • Never interrupt your client
  • Always pause and take time to think before answering
  • Ask a question in return to get further in your prospect qualification
  • Reformulate the reason why they object
  • Clarify what every objection means to both of you
  • Always diffuse one objection at a time
What is an objection?
First and foremost, let's understand what exactly is an objection.  

A customer objection happens when your customer needs to communicate important and valuable information with you. Your potential client has needs, wants, concerns but most importantly, fears. Those fears can prevent your customer from buying from you. Theses fears will manifest themselves through objections like "it's too expensive" or "I'm not buying today.

You can make sure to handle and get rid of those objections through effective reframing. An objection is nothing more than a hurdle in your sale, and you should not see it as a wall.
Pricing Objections Golden Rules
ALWAYS remember:
Customer Perceived Value has to exceed cost in order for a sale to happen.
Why is your prospect objecting in the first place?
First, let's get this out of the way. Customers in the showroom, on the phone or via email are objecting because they fear they are going to get run over by a sneaky salesman. 

While this fear can be founded in some cases, the reality is the sales team across the nation are getting to understand that helping the customer vs. pressuring them is what is going to get the sale closed.

Objections & sales go hand in hand. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you'll become a master at handling those objections.

This doesn't mean it will keep you out of the sale though. Many people say "a sale happens when both parties feel like they got screwed."
Well, we believe a sale should happen when both parties are happy with the deal. This should be your goal when handling sales objections on your next customer meeting or phone call.
Common Sales Objections (and how to handle them):
  • It's above their budget/too expensive
  • They think they could get a better deal elsewhere
  • They don't like you (hey, it happens!)
  • ​​They fear they'll regret their decision
  • ​​They believe they are being pressured into the sale
  • ​​They've been told by a relative/friend/colleague to say no the first time
  • ​They fear to become emotional, so they block out
  • ​​They need more information to make a purchase decision
  • ​​They request more time to "think about it."
  • ​​They simply object impulsively
The 4 Types of Objections in Car Sales
As we were listing 189 objection handling scripts for the 2021 Sales Objections Playbook (only available for users that download the Sales Objections Guide), we had the opportunity to segment objections in five big categories: Timing, Trust, Product & the most feared among salespeople, Price

Let's take a deeper look into each one of them:
1. Timing Objections
Timing is everything in sales and although you can't always control your prospect's life, you can deeply influence it. In car sales per example, it might have to do with their current vehicle, or the outstanding balance on the loan they contracted for their current car.

It could also be a change in their personal life that makes buying a new car a little more risky, like having a kid or a job change. Just like pricing objections, you must understand the underlying fear about today "not being a good timing" to change vehicle. You must deeply understand your prospect and put yourself in their shoes to then offer smart solutions about why now is the good time. 

Make sure you don't use fake urgency as these techniques don't work anymore.
Common timing objections examples:
  • I'm not ready to change
  • Now is not a good time for me
  • I want to wait
2. Trust Objections
It's almost impossible to make a sale if your customer doesn't trust you. They might be concerned with the truthfulness of what you're telling them. It might not even be your fault, because everyone has been burned by a salesman in the past. You just have to make sure it's not you this time.

Do you know what builds trust? Genuinely caring about your customer's interest. You don't have to agree to everything they say or think, but you do have to care. Remember, you want the best for them and when it shows, they'll trust you more.
Common trust objections examples:
  • I've had a bad experience with this brand
  • I've had bad experiences at other dealerships
  • I want to take time to research ...
3. Product Objections
It's pretty common that a customer of yours will be looking for a specific vehicle you don't have in stock. You might have a hard time getting your manager trading for it as well. How can you handle this objections, since a specific color or feature might be really important for your customer?

You must find out HOW important that feature is for them, and if it's really available in the first place somewhere else. Sometimes, your client might have to order their car and wait for months, are they prepared to do that for a specific option, color or feature? You must dig in why it's really important. I like to grade those objections on a scale of 1 to 10 with the client. When it's not a ten, it's usually something you can move on the side and proceed with the sale.
Common product objections examples:
  • I'm not sure this is the right vehicle/product for me
  • I'm not sure this product will work for me (common on accessories and F&I products)
  • I was looking for feature X, yours don't have it
4. Pricing Objections
Probably the most common and most feared among salespeople. Pricing objections can sometimes feel like we're not in control. It could be about the price of the product we sell, your client's budget, cost of goods or even your prospects concerns on ROI.  It's super important you get in control.

Pricing objections are directly related to value perception. This means you need to understand why your client still thinks your product is not worth what you're asking for.
Common pricing objections examples:
  • It's too expensive
  • I can't afford it
  • Give me your best price
When is it OK to talk about price with your customer?
Knowing how to handle pricing objections is critical in a car salesperson's toolbox because a dealership's profit margin is the reason we are in business. Discounting your price will also show less value in your business & service.

If you want to succeed handling pricing objections when it's time to close, you must bring the subject in a smart, strategic manner towards the beginning of the process. In other words, address it before they do, because they will.

Once you have qualified your customers, you can ask a question like "So, you're looking at a $XX,XXX (price of the actual vehicle) car is this right? 

Wait for their answer, and then move on regardless of what they tell you. We'll cover later why this simple technique will help you when you're at the closing stage of the sale.

This little technique will help you probe & qualify based on pricing and will let you know if you must adjust the sale altogether. Is the customer even looking at the right car for his or her needs?

If you're unsure on how to deal with a customer objecting strongly, I suggest you use our Sales Objections Handbook to keep control of the sale.
How to handle the "It's too expensive" price objection in car sales.
How is it too expensive?
The term "too expensive" is a very general sales objection. It can mean anything to your customers. They might be talking about the monthly payment, the vehicle's interest rate, or the total amount. 

Ask your customer what's too expensive for them precisely, and let them elaborate and justify how is the car is too expensive and what exactly is the issue.

Before you find out the real reason behind the rebuttal, you'll be wasting your time and stalling the sale.
It's too expensive compared to what product?
Are they comparing with the same vehicle elsewhere? Are they looking at a new or used car? You can only compare prices when the items are identical, everybody knows that. Make sure you politely remind your customer.

If they're comparing the same vehicle, they got a quote for elsewhere, ask them to see the quote details. You must know if you're talking about the same numbers. Your competitor might have left some fees out.

Most prospects will be comparing with other vehicles, maybe another brand or maybe the same. For this example, let's say they're hesitating between a Honda CR-V and a Nissan Rogue. Now, they are looking at two different vehicles, there are going to be some pricing differences. Your product might even be cheaper, but they will object so they can have a better deal.

Dig deeper to learn what the difference in price means to them, and what they get in your vehicle vs. what they don't with the other guys.

You must understand what's important to your customer before you can hit the right button. This is why the discovery/qualification part is key in any car sales.
Is it a budget or cashflow concern?
Are they looking at a monthly number or total price tag with tax & interest? The total price is going to be lower if your customers pay over 36 months vs. 96 months. However, the monthly payment will be far smaller when extending the term.

Once you understand which price they're looking at, you can then manage to play around with payment options.

Today's auto market is so competitive that you must ask questions to learn about the prospect's budget. More finance inclined customers might look at the total cost to own, while the others want the weekly payment to fit their monthly budget.

If your customer's money-conscious, it may be a good thing to do the entire math with them. Most consumers will respect that and trust you more. If you find yourself working in a brand known for its reliability, you can then press on how this new car will save money over time.

If the monthly is too high, review options with cash down to reduce the monthly payment & interest paid. Studies have shown most buyers today are open to a little bit of money down on their car loan.
Is the price the only missing part?
Ask your prospect if the price is the only question mark left in their mind. If it's not, go back for more discovery and see what's missing. Until you gather all the pieces of the puzzle, there's no point in getting to the money discussion.
Have you calculated your cost of inaction?
Is the prospect's lease due? Is the car they have in need of major repairs? Is their car about to hit a depreciation milestone? Example 100,000 miles or fall out of warranty?

What if they wait, what's the risk? You must expose your customers with potential issues that are going to come back and bite them hard. Fear is a powerful selling tool, and you must use it to your advantage.

What did you expect to pay for this vehicle?
Consumers today come in your dealership well aware of the price of everything you sell. Throw the ball in their court and see how they justify paying less for something they know costs X.

If they're looking for a deal and nothing else, you can ask them if the transaction, experience & after-sale has any value to them. 

Let's explore how you can afford the vehicle you like.
Consumers today come in your dealership well aware of the price of everything you sell. Throw the ball in their court and see how they justify paying less for something they know costs X.

If they're looking for a deal and nothing else, you can ask them if the transaction, experience & after-sale has any value to them. 

Expose what they have right now, with the costs associated with their current car payment, insurance, maintenance & gas expenses.

Draw the same comparison with the new car, and work with the delta. Use the same insurance numbers with a * since you can't control this.

You should break it down to the cost of ownership vs. a single component in a bigger picture.

I hear you're concerned about the price, but if money was no object?
Are you having the discussion over the right car? Take this opportunity to circle back to basics and see if you're still on the same page.
I'm surprised you think this is expensive
Look shocked and go back to the value they're buying. Match every essential component in the vehicle to their needs. You'll only learn that by probing & qualification.

You have to show you're listening, this is about them and not about you.
Is the price the only thing that keeps you from buying?
This is one of the best questions to ask & see if you did your probing job right. You should not be addressing pricing before the value is built & customer concerns addressed.

See value as if you're putting IKEA furniture together, you can't possibly conclude the sale if they are screws left on the floor. Otherwise, nothing will hold, and you will lose the sale.
Ok, I understand. What option should we remove?
Sometimes, the only way to deal with a price objection is to de-construct what your client has in mind. The car they built online or with you equals a price. 

If they really don't want to pay the price that comes with it, you have to find a way to go down a notch.

One trim down? No sunroof? No 20-inch wheels?

Your client must understand that if they're not willing to pay, they will have to concede some items.
Be open about your business.
I've seen many instances where exposing the dealer's profit has helped the sale. Some people think dealerships are making thousands off a $15,000 car. It's not the case, and for their sake, they should know.

You want to make sure they know you're paid off commission, because they know anyways, and that you have to make a living.

Delivery is critical with this tactic because it humanizes your business and will help you find common ground.
Will the price keep you from what you really need?
This question is one of our favorites, because it will force them to have the reflexion. 

After all, they might be spending $30,000 for something they don't want, instead of going for $31,000 for something they REALLY want and need.
Here are our top pricing objections handling videos:
What if the price is not the only objection?
Great, you've overcame all the classic pricing objections in sale. But your prospect is still not buying. Now what?
We all fear objections, from our clients, our friends, family, spouse... But most objections have a common underlying though. The objection is the wall between what we want and what your client wants. 

The job you have to do is to figure out how high is that wall and how many of them stand between you and the sale.

If you've been doing your job for a while, you may recognize the same objections will come over and over again. The most savvy of you will address these objections up front, during the sale process. This will help a lot but it's not a fail proof plan.

Objections stink on both the seller and prospect side. Sometimes, as a consumer, you just want your problems to go away and buy everything. At the same time, you may have real restrictions, preventing you of said sale.

On your end, you can lose the deal for many reasons:
 - The price is not within your prospect's budget
 - You can't find the exact vehicle they want or need
 - Finance didn't go through
 - They expected way more for their trade (we all know that happens!)
 - You didn't qualify them onto the right vehicle
 - Timing is not right (job change, bad luck)

... and so on.

As you can see, not everything is under your control, so don't be too hard on yourself if your closing % is not 100%.

But your job must be clear. You must obliterate any objections left to move toward the sale and solve a real problem for them.
6 Easy Steps to Handle any Objection
1. Agree with your customer, let them feel understood
Agreeing with your customers is the first thing to do. It shows you understand their situation. You must be GENUINE in this action, otherwise, it won't help you. 

If your customer doesn't feel heard, it's going to take you one step back instead of making your life easier. We all a robust B.S. detector built-in, remember that.
2. Take the time to qualify your customer
Being thorough at the qualification stage will save you & your prospect a ton of time. As you understand what your customer needs, want, and the difference between the two, you can better serve them. 

Offering products in line with their soft buttons will accelerate the sale, increase your profit margin & reduce negotiation time. It's a win-win situation for everyone.
3. Understand the end goal
When meeting with your customer for the first time, you must try to find out what's their desired outcome. Are they looking for more information, buy today or buy later. In any way shape or form, you can bet your customer will buy. You just need to make it, so they buy from you.
4. Discover the underlying reason for the objection
The tough part about objection handling is that you can be misled by a ghost objection. A ghost objection may be the price of the vehicle. But the real reason is that they're not happy at their current workplace and might be looking to change, spurring instability. 

Now that's a much more complicated question. While you can't control your prospect life choices, you may ask what's the real reason the vehicle is too expensive or not within the budget. If they won't tell you, it's because you haven't built enough trust.
5. Tell stories
A great way to handle objections from customers is by telling stories. You can take them to a place where they can relate to you or someone you know. It could be a similar buying experience or life experience. It will help you build trust & rapport with your customers.

For example, if they are objection about timing & price, you can tell them how a client of yours ended up saving thousands in unwanted repair. By changing vehicle earlier, they avoided replacing a whole transmission worth over $3,000.
6. Build trust
Without trust, human interaction is almost impossible. It's vital to a sale, especially in the car business. Customers don't want to be screwed over, forced into a deal, or sold something they don't like or want. 

You must be ready to show them you're there to help. The easiest way to gain trust from your customers is once you know what's the most significant objection on their end, you tell them about your story. 

They have to relate, and you must be open about it. If you made a wrong buying decision in the past, use this to show them how you could have made the right decision, and avoid risk if you had made a different decision.
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What if they are not ready to buy yet?
Buying a vehicle is a major decision, and sometimes timing is not quite right.
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