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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Angela, I'm sure you'll get a lot of good feedback on this.  Of all the answers to this question that I've ever heard, the best (from my perspective) was from a cousin of my mom (who has since passed away).  He was one of the top Mercedes salespeople in the SF Bay area for many years.  He had a smile as wide as the ocean and expected/welcomed a 'best price' question because he said he knew when he heard that it was the beginning of serious engagement and he would make a deal.  When asked, he would smile, point to the sticker (or quote the asking price) an then say to the customer "That's our price...what's yours!  If you like this car as much as I think you do, I'm confident we can get to a price you'll be happy with."

Another successful Ford salesperson I worked with would always say  "If you've shopped around you know this is a good price, but I'm sure theres a little room to move.  let's put together an offer and let me go hammer my boss.  He's under a lot of pressure to make break his own record this month and we just never know what he'll do." 

Two points:   First, never say something ..or let your body language indicate..that an offer...even a goofy one.. is a bad idea.  Once a customer signs an offer he is mentally committed to go forward.  Second, the biggest mistake you'll ever make is responding with even a ballpark 'drop'.  A good deal is between the ears and everyone has different gray matter between the ears.  some may be okay with $100 move.  some may take a lot more.  Listen.  Listen.  Listen.  Ask questions.  Confirm all the good reasons the customer is landed on that specific vehicle...size, color, style, features, safety, etc.  Let the customer know you want this sale as bad as they want the car and be sincere. 


finally, if you can't make a deal and your mgr has 'ok'd' a walk, wait a half hour, then call the customer.  Even i you can't make any further price concession, call them.  Thank them for coming in.  Tell them you hope that after they've shopped around you'll get an opportunity to talk with them before they make a deal.  People love to do business with people who really want their business. 

Great question, eevn in the business office I get asked that question not on the unit but on products that I sell. I agree with the value over price close. It wont matter what my price is if the value does'nt make sense. I tell customers that all the time and let them see that Value will always support Price.

These days consumers seem to want to give us the opportunity to bid on their business, and it isn't a closed and sealed bid.  They will play the sales person off against their own Internet Department, and against dealers in a 250 mile radius, or even further out in some cases. 

I don't think there is any such thing as a "walk in" "store Up" these days UNLESS you are a BHPH dealer.   

Since most car shoppers are not trained negotiators it is common for customers to use price as the dominant factor during a sales negotiation.  One thing you always want to keep in mind is that when a customer asks for your best price that simply means the customer is interested in your vehicle, which is always a positive in this business.

In my opinion, the most successful salespeople will respond by answering the customer’s question and then shift the focus away from price and onto value. To do so, I recommend promoting the vehicle’s value, option and reconditioning highlights. For example, if your customer is asking for your best price on a used vehicle, you might respond by saying: “From my perspective, the best price is whatever price both you and my sales manager can agree upon, and I am happy to present any offer you may wish to make. Having said that, I would be remiss not to share with you that this particular vehicle has been priced very competitively considering its low mileage, optional in-dash navigation system, clean CARFAX, and especially when you take into account the fact that, unlike most vehicles in the market, this particular XYZ model vehicle just received a full 60k mile service, all new tires and new brakes."

The point is you want to demonstrate to the customer that a higher priced vehicle is often actually a better solution - a higher value. This is just my opinion, but I hope it is helpful to you in some way. I wish you the best of luck in your new career. 

I feel that price is a good way to keep a conversation going.  However, you need to be careful with how far you take it.  Build value in the price.  Sell your reputation, the reputation of the vehicle, and the dealership.



We need to handle these customer with proper care, sensitively, emotionally, personally by explaining the following:

a. Quality of Product, Competitive Edge over other.

b. Durability

c. After Sales Service, Turn Around Time (when he wants service back up)

d. Customer Service, etc.

The same situation happened to me when I joined in my orgn. Management has advised that no discount on tag price of product. So, discussed with sales team and finalized that we operate on the above. You may run a special promotion for a shorter period, if you need. In that case, price factor would not apply.

Thanks for giving me an opportunity.

KR. Ganesan


Angela, there are a million opinions on the best way to handle this one so I'll throw my two cents in and say that Grant Cardone had a great answer for this when he said:

"Price is the easiest part of my job Mr/Mrs customer. I'll be happy to get you the best price on any vehicle you're interested in and if you aren't happy with it, I wouldn't expect you to buy...fair enough?"

In my humble opinion, it's a question that you handle directly, and quickly, then move on by asking a good question.

For example, let's say the customer is looking at a BMW. After you handle the price question you'd transition into the sales process by asking something like:

"By the way, are you driving a BMW now?" or "Will this be replacing a vehicle or are you adding one to the family?"

It's not about 'controlling' the customer or the sales process necessarily, it's more about asking good questions that will help the customer arrive at THEIR intended destination. 

When they come in, they're hoping to leave with a vehicle. The main reason that most of them don't is because we, as sales people, screw them up by trying to jam them into a car instead of asking great questions to find out what they want and what they need. As Cardone said, 'if you learn how they bought their last vehicle it will help you learn how to sell them their next vehicle.'

Just remember, don't worry about selling a car. Just worry about using common sense to have a good conversation so that you can help the consumer get their goal accomplished. 

Zig Ziglar said it best: "You can get anything you want if you just help enough others get what they want."

Hope that helps :)

Hi Angela , I love when a prospect hits us right between the eyes with that one! Opinions will definitely vary on this question and there have been lots of great responses already. But , Ultimately it depends on your sales style and ATTITUDE that will get you through this. Some people will tell you to use many strategies like deflection and "let's pick out a car that meets your needs etc. Remember , the wrong car is always too much money. This day and age people are gonna want a price before we want to give it. Keep smiling and look them dead in the eyes is my first and NO PROBLEM still works. Remember , "we do this everyday , the consumer does this between every 3-7 years. They don't know how to negotiate or even know what to ask when they come on the lot because it's just a reflex response.

Here are a few of my go to's:

1) People want to know that you are CREDIBLE and that you're not like the guy or gal down the street. So , practice your meet and greet's. Angela: "Welcome to ABC Motors my name is Angela ,what brings you in today?" Prospect: "I want to look at some Suv's." Angela: "Great!" "I want to show you all the SUV's we've got ."We can go over price , payments, put some some numbers on a trade-in or without so we can help you make an educated decision, fair enough?" Prospect : "Sure!" (You're taking price out of their mouths because you've already told them you were going to provide that,you'll blow them away!) Angela : Before we do that, (practice how you say this phrase and emphasize the word "do".) I just need a few minutes of your time ,it may save you four or five hours,ok ?(sarcastic smile & laugh and they may too) Prospect : "OK" Angela : Follow me ! (they will follow)................ I always recommend differentiating yourself and going immediately to your desk and have the prospect sit and do a needs investigation instead of just aimlessly walking on the lot. I believe it settles all parties down along with getting their time and attention. (which is what the first 30 seconds is all about isn't it?)You are already doing something different than the guy down the street. You may need a bridge before you bring them inside like: Angela:"Mr.and Mrs.Customer I like to come inside first because I'm gonna let you talk .We've discovered if we give our customers a chance to talk it helps us better assist them in picking out the right vehicle. So , I'm gonna ask some questions and you talk as much as you want to and while you're talking if you don't mind I'm gonna take some notes because what you have to say is very important to us , fair enough?" (or I don't want to miss anything that might cost you time or money) CREDIBILITY!!!!! Go to general qualifying questions , how they heard of us,is this your first time here? Have you purchased here before,(why or why not?) The vehicle you drove in , what is that? Are you looking to stay with that kind of equipment or.......... THE 1st 30 SECS THE SALES WILL BE MADE 100% OF THE TIME so practice meets and greets, do an office needs assessment and then GO OUTSIDE ...Rapport....Rapport...Rapport.


2) If giving a price is a must use FEEL ,FELT,FOUND and leverage it with a Herd Theory (existing customers)

A. I understand that price is very important now more than ever. A lot of our existing customers were cautious on price but they found it did not matter if they didn't love the car.If I put a tarp  over this car and you didn't know what was underneath it and I told you it was $159.00 per month , would you buy it?Cust:No Angela : "Right why would you? Then move on...........(old school , I know ! But effective.)

3)  Great question ! Nobody ever asks us that. (Haha) Get them laughing .People want to buy from people "not robots"

4) Do you need to buy a vehicle TODAY ? Cust: No! Angela : Great ,most of our customers don't on the same day.........(it will calm them down)   BE YOURSELF and BE REAL people will settle down if you are not tense and not afraid of price.There's Millions of phrases! Just pick one of many that are on this site and be sensitive and let the customer know that simply "You realize it's important , It's important to you that your customers don't pay too much and act like A BUYER's ASSISTANT ....more than a salesperson........Mr.Customer if our customers pay too much they wouldn't be able to  pay  bills,feed their children and referrals are our cheapest form of advertising.....so I will give you a great deal because I just don't want to sell you one car.By the way were you looking for a......................... or...     FUN ANGELA,  MAKE THE EXPERIENCE FUN and don't let your brain get in the way!    John Armstrong

This is why Dealer Elite is the Professional Resource that it is; how basic of a question is the one that pose and yet you have found yourself here looking for the answer?

Personally I have used Joe's approach, especially if you see that your prospect is holding a folder dripping with internet printouts, they have done their homework and are most likely prepared to do business, make note of that and use their preparedness as a means to compliment them as an educated buyer is your favorite customer to work with.

The customer doesn't know what they don't know so asking about the price is a logical place to start.  Money is a universal language which the customer assumes will provide an easily comparable starting point from one dealership and vehicle to the other so technically they are asking the right question at that point in your relationship.  

Today's Internet empowered customer probably already has an idea of the MSRP as well as some online prices from other sites - both third party and individual dealership resources - before they ask what your best price is so it seems redundant and perhaps even evasive if you quote them MSRP or hesitate to quote your online price while you think of a way to answer your questions vs. theirs.  Transparency and relevancy are more than buzz words and until and unless you practice what you preach and apply these consumer centric demands to your sales processes both online and at your dealership you are at a disadvantage from your more forward thinking competition.

Rather than adding another suggested word track to some of the others already shared I will simply suggest that you answer any question directly - including price - and then proceed to provide additional information which will benefit your customer which they may not have known to consider; TRANSPARENCY / RELEVANCY!

Converting your online "sales presentation" to a "personal conversation" that provides added value and personality to your product, price, facts and figures will differentiate you from other dealerships and online resources since you are the only unique aspect of any transaction.  People like to do business with people they like so make a friend vs. a sale and the customer part will follow.

Again, fancy ways to direct your customer off of their planned route in an attemt to control the discussion will likely result in your customer sensing your self serving agenda.  A more productive tact would be to honestly consider what information your new friend will need to make a buying decision and hopefully you can provide the vehicle and dealership to satisfy their present transportation needs.  In the Christmas story the Santa Claus from Macy's directed a customer to the competition because they had a better deal on a particular item and that single act of honesty earned them a reputation in the market as the place to do business.  Apply that truth to your dealings today and you will have many more deals tomorrow!

After all, what are friends for! 



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