How do I handle the customer who states " Whats your best price?"

I am new to Automotive Sales:

 I have a question that I constantly get hit with on the lot: what's your best price? ...how do you answer that question without losing the customer? I usually tell them the sticker price and sometimes they lose interest. How do I bridge and overcome without losing my customer?

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Ahhh. The age old objection that haunts every new (and some seasoned) car sales person. The only reason it's such a terrorizing objection is because it is one that is never learned to handle from day one. First, understand the difference between an objection and a question. Is the customer simply asking you a question, or does the customer really have a problem with pricing? You're right, it's just a question. So treat it like one. Most untrained salespeople turn that very question into their worst objection. There are so many ways to handle this QUESTION (not objection). So here's a simple one you can try. When asked "what is your best price", simply reply with "that's a great question and I'll certainly make sure you get our best deal today on the vehicle of your choice. By the way, who is the car for? You or someone else?" Now, I'll have 2500 people tell me I'm right and another 5000 people tell me I'm wrong in my reply. But think about your answer; sticker price. Is that really going to be your best price? Probably not. In fact, do you really think the customer will believe you even if you gave some kind of crazy discounted price on the lot? No. The customer will always think there's more to discount. So you need to help your customer by not letting him or her get sucked into their own problem. Be the professional and help them find what they need and want. Price isn't that important. We think it is because money is hard to come by and we don't want to part with it. Be empathetic. Acknowledge it and move on with a question. He who asks questions controls the conversation. Hope this helps. There are many people here who probably have much better ones than I do. Check out David Lewis, Grant Cardone, Bobby Compton, Fran Taylor, Chris Saraceno (my dE partner), and look for some others here in DealerELITE. Thanks for being a member and good luck with handling your QUESTION!

Thanks. This is something I do struggle with. As a new salesperson (only 4 months in) I am still learning the difference between a question and an objection. And this affects my nerves. If I perceive it as a question, I will be less nervous. If I'm not nervous, I can bridge and overcome effectively.

I hear you.  Remember it's just a question.  They don't know what to ask.  Grant Cardone gave me some great come backs over the years.  It depends on where you are at in the sales process.  Remember that when VALUE exceeds PRICE by one penny you have a much better chance of closing the sale.  With confidence state that is an excellent price.  When they ask if you how much you would discount the price, with confidence let them know you would never lose a sale for $20 or $30 dollars.  Oh yes don't forget the besides price what other information can I get for you.  That one will cost you a sale.  Give in, sure I would be happy to get you the best price, then take over by asking closing questions.  Good luck.  Remember when the customer wins so do we.

Great tip about value exceeding price. Thanks!

Like most things there are many ways to effectively address this.  Mike is spot on with his bypass of acknowledging, then building a bridge and then asking a series of control (either/or) questions to encourage the client back on the road to value.  Here is my offering of a possible response:


The best price is the one you will agree to and my manager will approve.  But wouldn't you agree that no price is the right price unless we've determined the exact car to fit your needs?  Please allow me to ask a few simple questions to determine if this one is the right one or another vehicle will better suit you.  Do you prefer _______ or _______?    Good Luck Angela and Carpe Diem!

Wow...I really love that reply. I will try it when I am asked this on the lot next time. Thanks so much!

I also use the saying "we have a outside price and a inside price" most of the time it gets the customer inside

I'm not sure whose line this is, but it's my personal favorite. "No problem Folks. Getting you the best price is the easiest part of my job. In fact, not only will I get you the VERY BEST POSSIBLE price on the vehicle you're interested in, I'll also get you information on your payments, down payments, trade figures, lease options, or any other piece of information you're looking for today. By the way, were you looking for basic equipment, or are you looking for something with some additional options?" Selling yourself upfront and letting your customers know that you'll do whatever it takes to provide them an exceptional shopping experience will elevate most objections/questions. Remember, the more objections you're getting the less your customers trust you.



If I had a nickle for every time someone asked me that question-------

What I found that works best for me is, when I'm asked about price I will quote the sticker price of the vehicle in question and then I'll quote the starting price all the way to the fully equipped model and then ask "what basic equipment do you need?"

My answer might cause some controversy here, but it is one that has worked for those we train, as well as had worked for ourselves.  Based on the suggestions below, it seems that people are assuming customers are only asking this question in the showroom.  That couldn't be farther from the truth.  They usually ask this on the phone, or in email correspondence long before they make it to the showroom.

Recognizing that almost all customers have been online researching, use that as your position to address their question.  Everyone below has given great feedback - all things that I had heard and been taught ages ago.  However, the tried and true tactics of the 90's are no longer what is tried nor true.  Don't "overcome" or "work around" their question, but address it by responding back with a question:

"Sir/madam/miss/{customer first name}, have you had the opportunity to research this vehicle online?"
- when they say yes.
"Great, which sites?"
- they will tell you.
"So I'm sure you already have a pretty good idea as to what those unbiased sites are recommending as fair purchase prices.  I'll tell you what, as soon as you've picked out the exact vehicle for you, I'll invite you into the store/we'll sit down at my desk and price out the specific vehicle you've chosen on your preferred site.  More often than not, we are able to match - and, in some cases, even beat the pricing that the Edmunds and KBBs of the world are recommending.  Sound fair?"

Now...much of this is up to you.  You must, as a professional, understand how to navigate these sites, build out vehicles, show customers online references on these very sites to "holdback" and "a note about advertising fees" as a means of EDUCATING the customer, rather than selling them.  I have yet to meet any dealership that will not take Edmunds "TMV" pricing on a vehicle once those additional, legitimate costs are added back into the price.  As a matter of fact, it is usually considerably higher than the price they are usually selling their vehicles for.

"Sales is no longer about negotiation, but education." ~ Joe Webb.  (You can quote me on that. :) Use the online resources to your benefit rather than the customer's benefit and you'll convert many more customers to sales.  If management is scared of this tactic, it is only because they don't know how to do it yet.

I agree with your answer Mr. Webb.  


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