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Evidence: An Objection’s Worst Enemy

Chances are, your customers will object to some aspect of what you are selling. When you attempt to overcome your customer’s objection, as you know, you want to make sure you find the real objection before you start. After you identify this objection, you need to figure out what evidence you can use to convince the customer that he or she needs what you have. There are four categories of evidence, and below we dive deeper into each one.

 

1. Verbal Evidence

Verbal evidence is usually where we start. This can come in the form of introducing new information you have not yet discussed. This must be NEW information. If you simply repeat what you’ve already said, what the customer will hear is either that you don’t think he or she is smart enough to understand what you said the first time, or that you can’t remember what you already said. Neither is good.

 

This is the biggest reason why you should never tell a customer every single feature of the products on your first swing. A short, simple explanation leaves you plenty to discuss if the customer chooses not to take a product.

 

2. Created Evidence

Created evidence is anything you sketch out on the fly as you talk to the customer. Giving the customer a visual while you are talking can be extremely powerful.

 

My personal favorite piece of created evidence was named the “heart attack payment” by one of the finance managers I recently worked with during a dealership visit. You simply show what their payment looks like without your maintenance program or service contract and what it would look like with it.

 

The key is to draw this out as you engage the customer in conversation about the needed routine maintenance.

 

For an example of this, go to the following link to download a video: http://tinyurl.com/laaugod

 

3. Physical Evidence

Physical evidence is anything you have on permanent display in your office. I see good examples of this wherever I go. It’s even better if you can include the evidence as a working part of your office. Here are some examples I have seen used to good effect:

 

• An attractive glass canister filled with objects that have been taken out of flat tires in your service department.

 

• A damaged piston being used as a cardholder.

 

• A piston with a hole in it (from a valve being forced through it) being used as a penholder.

 

• A burnt-out ECU used as a paperweight.

All these things either are being used as decorations, or they have been repurposed for use at the finance manager’s desk. Try to keep anything that a customer might see as a sales tool to a minimum. An entire damaged tire or rim leaning against the wall in your office has no other purpose but to be a sales tool. This is not the worst thing I see, but it’s not the best, either.

 

4. Pre-Printed Evidence

This is anything that is pre-printed and pulled out when it is needed. The best way that I have seen to store and use pre-printed evidence is to keep an evidence manual.

 

This manual is usually a three-ring binder full of plastic sleeves. It is divided into sections with one for each product. In the service contract section, you would want copies of repair orders. Have some service contracts that have been paid, some that have not, others where the failure happened just outside of the warranty, and some that were paid outside of the coverage dates due to the customer doing all of their maintenance with your dealership, etc.

 

In each section you want to think of any situation where hard evidence might help you make a point with a customer. Any time you come across an objection where evidence would help you rise above it, add another piece to your manual. This is also a great place to keep the product brochures so you can use them when needed.

 

For more examples of great objection-handling, you can go to www.gartsutton.com and find more information about workshops in your area, where you can learn more about handling objections.

 

Now, go get those objections!

 

Steve Dodds II is a moderator, trainer and consultant for Gart Sutton and Associates with experience in every position in the sales and finance departments. Dealers rave about his ability to identify areas for improvement and implement the changes that produce superior results. If you have questions about what he or one of our other talented consultants can do to help you meet and exceed your goals, contact us at [email protected].

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