Difficult Questions from Car Sales Leads & How to Answer Them

Do you often face difficult questions from car sales leads over email or on the phone? We're going to explore how to respond and advance the sale into a dealership visit.  The mission of a salesperson is to guide leads through the sal...

Do you often face difficult questions from car sales leads over email or on the phone? We’re going to explore how to respond and advance the sale into a dealership visit. 

The mission of a salesperson is to guide leads through the sales process and close deals. But, every once in a while, there are “hiccups” that occur during an initial contact. When a potential customer asks questions that are difficult to answer over the phone or through email, the salesperson needs to be prepared to respond and advance the sale. How do you toe the line with car sales leads that want concrete answers right away?

As a sales rep, you know that trying to answer all of your prospect’s initial questions is like giving a haircut over the phone––you’re blind to issues you cannot see in person. This dilemma affects both parties. Your main objective is to communicate the importance of meeting at the dealership and figuring out the details together. After all, it’s near impossible to sell a car until they’re sitting with you or going for a test drive.

In this post, we’re going to explore the questions that car sales leads will ask upfront and how to advance the sale with confident responses. Take notice that each response is similar in execution and focuses on getting the prospect into the dealership.

Difficult questions and proper responses

1. “What is the best price you can offer for this car?”

Many prospects will want to know the best deal they can receive on a vehicle. It’s likely that your initial price quote will be shown to competitors who will offer a better price to earn the customer’s business. So how do you bypass the trap and advance the sale?

In the pre-owned market, car sales leads are looking for a deal, but they are also searching for a professional who will treat them with respect. They want a salesperson who understands and practices great customer service. Here’s an effective response to the question:

“That’s an excellent question, Mike, and I’ve got good news: we always advertise the best price. We use a third-party resource to assist us in accurately pricing our vehicles. But our customers are the ultimate determiner of the condition of the vehicle. Can I ask you a question? If you felt the vehicle was in excellent condition, and priced accordingly, would you feel comfortable taking it for a test drive?”

2. “What’s the highest price you can offer for my trade in?”

Similar to the first question, many people want to be given a concrete number for their trade-ins before they visit the dealership. Having never seen or driven the car before, the salesperson has to resort to Kelly Blue Book or other third-party resources to estimate a price quote.

However, an accurate quote can only be given by knowing the condition of the vehicle, which the prospect may or may not be completely honest in revealing. Asking too many questions about the car may scare the lead away or annoy them.

Locking yourself into a price without having seen the trade car is risky, so what’s the answer?

“Mary, that’s a great question. If you have a good idea what the value of your car is based on Kelly Blue Book’s pricing, how do you feel about printing out the price details and bringing them into the dealership to discuss?”

3. “What’s your guarantee that this car will last for ____ years?”

Car sales leads want to know that the car they’re looking to purchase is worth the investment. Repairs, insurance payments, loan rates, maintenance fees––all of these costs are weighing on their decision to buy. If the standard warranty expires after a year, they’re thinking about what happens next. Will drive train last? Will the car survive over 180,000 miles?

“That’s a good question, Bob. Here’s the truth and disclosure: we don’t build the vehicles. We take them in trade from one customer and sell them to another. However, an extended warranty covering the engine, transmission and rear end––the entire drive train––is the only way to be certain. If I could show you a way to have the car on your terms, at your preferred payment, with an extended warranty, would you want to see it by the end of today?”

4. “My credit history is marginal, so how will I know I’m not being taken advantage of with the rates?”

Prospects with “less than perfect” credit are wary of committing to a purchase agreement. They’re also fearful of being taken advantage of because they lack leverage to negotiate pricing and rates. Knowing that their credit history will eventually be revealed, some may want to lay it out on the table at the start. If they feel car dealers have taken advantage of them before, how can you dispell any doubts and reassure the prospect that he is in good hands?

“Julio, I’ve got good news: banks match your interest score with tiered APRs. The question is, where on the scale is your marginal credit landing? The only way to determine that is to figure it out together. So may I ask you a question? If I can show you way to purchase a car today, and you believed it to be safe, secure, and budget-friendly, would you come over and take it for a test drive?”

Prepare yourself with confident answers for continued success

When responding to difficult questions from leads, it’s best to prepare responses that communicate honesty and confidence. In the used car market, prospects are searching for the best deals they can land, but also a professional who will demonstrate personal service. If you can give outstanding service in response to every question, you are guaranteed to see better results than your competitors.

What is the toughest question you’ve faced with car leads? Is there one you feel should be added to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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Ty W.
Ty W.

Ty was born and raised in the automotive world. He's an enthusiastic expert who writes exquisite content about cars, automotive sales, and dealership best practices. When not writing for AutoRaptor, you'll find Ty on the golf course.