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Switching from price to finance

By Steve Lemco

Steve LemcoFor most customers the price it not the main issue. At this time I remind the class that the salespeople could sell many buyers a motorcycle for a million dollars if they had a payment plan of only fifty dollars a month. I hope that the salespeople believe that.

Asking the customer what payment is affordable is the key to switching from the higher price they are not paying to the smaller affordable price they are going to pay. I mean, really, how far apart can they be on a monthly payment? Once the salesperson gets the payment that the customer can afford they are more than likely going to close the purchase.

When the customer asks the price, this is the best time to answer and then switch the conversation to financing. If the customer gives you a payment that works for them, you will find that most of the time price is no longer the issue.

On average 80 percent of customers finance their purchases either with the dealership or with their own lender. If the customer’s payment is $300 per month, then it only cost $10 a day to buy the motorcycle of their dreams.

Most people sell or trade their bike within three years and will get around 60 to 70 percent of their purchase price back. That would mean to live the dream would cost them only 30 - 40 percent of their payment or just $3.00 - $4.00 a day. That’s less than a Big Mac.

I ask the class if they think their customer would rather have the motorcycle of their dreams today, or a Big Mac? How about tomorrow? How about next week? Amazing isn’t it?

These numbers are easy to understand because it is the simple truth. The secret is to not keep it a secret and share the information with every customer — living the dream really is very affordable.

To be able to talk about the monthly and the daily price of a bike is greatly increased by the step-two relationship the salespeople developed before price was even brought up. Probing is such a big part of the selling process and so is switching from price to finance.

Two important notes:

  1. I never quoted a payment. Heck, that's not my job (unless payment quoting was a part of your dealership’s procedure.)
  1. What I did do was ask the customer what payment worked for them. I want the class to notice and remember that I started at the higher payment of $600. Believe it or not, sometimes the customer says that $600 a month works for them, but most customers will say the payment is too high. The next step is to come down in small increments.

Many times the customer has a payment range. They might be thinking $300-$350. If salesperson asked what payment the customer wanted without starting high, they will almost always hear the lower amount of $300. But if salesperson starts a bit high and then come down in small increments, they will almost always get the higher payment request of $350. If it is possible to get the lower payment, I am sure the customer won’t mind; but if it needs to be higher, than the payment range will be very helpful.

I really try hard to get my trainees to memorize the answer to the often asked question of, “How much would my payment be?”

More important than learning the lines is learning the understanding behind the words. I want every salesperson pushing financing because it is the way most people buy. Plus, the payment will always be the least amount of money the customer will be asked to consider.

This is the 27th part in a series of blogs about hiring new salespeople. To read the previous blogs in this series, click here.

Steve Lemco is the youngest brother of the late Ed Lemco and has been doing sales training and hiring for motorcycle dealers since 1983. He is the author of three sales books, the new “Training and Hiring New Salespeople,”  “Motorcycle Sales Made Easy” and “You Gotta-Wanna.” Steve has trained in every state in the U.S., as well as England, France, Australia and New Zealand. Steve incorporates motivational boards and games along with his training and hiring because he believes the best way to get the job done is to make it fun. 

Contact: stevelemco@aol.com

Website: www.stevelemco.com

Phone: 253/826-6110

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