Asking for the Sale

People looking at car

I delivered 11 vehicles in my first month as a salesperson. But as the months wore on, I did not sustain that success rate; eight in my second month and six in my third. This downhill cycle had to stop; consistency was not part of my selling strategy. I had to start getting consistent with my sales process too become consistent with my monthly sales.

I knew I had great potential to become one of the best in the dealership, but I was closing fewer and fewer deals, until one day when I realized that all-important mantra: If you do not ask, you will not receive.

Asking for the sale can be a tricky thing. If you inquire too early, the customer may feel you are rushing to the finish. If you don’t ask at all, you could lose a sale entirely, because the right prompt wasn’t offered.

If you are confident you have asked and answered all the right questions, offered a demonstration drive and sold the customer on the benefits of your dealership, you have earned the right to ask for the sale.

Once you are back in your office, you have to put the customer in a controlled environment and make them comfortable. Most customers are nervous and uneasy at this stage of the selling process.

Never forget how you felt when you bought your first car. The emotional intensity level of the customer is at its highest and how you proceed will determine if you sell the vehicle.

If you have done everything possible, follow this guide to asking for the sale:

Step one:

Tell the Customer: “Before we go any further, I just want to make sure we have the right vehicle for you?”

Get a verbal confirmation. Start the vehicle selection process again if they say no.

Step two:

Ask: “I have a few questions to ask you…So, you enjoyed the ride and features of the new vehicle?”

This is done again for clarification. If yes, proceed to Step three. If no, you will have back track to the vehicle selection process again. This means they are not sure about purchasing this vehicle and may need to see another one or two before they can proceed.

Step three:

Ask: “Do you have any other questions about the dealership or about the vehicle?”

If they do have concerns or questions, answer them.

Step four:

Ask: “If there was anything preventing you from getting the vehicle today, what would it be?

The customer is going to give several conditions, including the price, trade (difference), monthly payments, interest rate and terms. If you are selling a used vehicle the conditions could be additional repairs they want done before agreeing on numbers.

Handle their response with Step five.

Step five:

Ask: “So what you are suggesting to me Mr. Customer, is that, if the (e.g. price, payments, customers trade in, terms, or used vehicle repairs, etc.) is/are agreeable with you, you would like to get the new vehicle as soon as possible, is that correct?”

If everything is confirmed and clarified, pull out your worksheet and fill in the details on the vehicle they are interested in purchasing.

Now that you have a script on how to ask for the sale professionally, role play with one of the other sales people at the dealership or with someone at home. Have fun with it. Make it easy at first and as you get better, increase the difficulty level.

When it comes to asking for the sale you will find there are two areas you will need to learn quickly: First is that too much pressure will blow the sale; second is that not enough pressure will blow the sale.

If you don’t want to be the high pressured sales person people hate, you definitely don’t want to be the sales person everyone likes and never buys from. It’s a balancing act. Do your best to know when to push and when to back off. Never forget why the customer’s are in your dealership—they want a new car.

Darin George is the founder of the Automotive Sales College, est. 1996. For information on recruiting new sales staff and in dealership sales training, contact Darin by email at ASC company websites: and

Michael Bowen


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