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Road-to-the-Sale Training

Overview of Road-to-the-Sale

This course is an overview of the steps involved in selling a vehicle and building a customer relationship that serves the sales professional, the dealership, and most importantly, the customer, best.

What Customers Look for in a Vehicle

In this course, we’ll discuss what customers are looking for in a vehicle – and the wants and needs that drive them to make the choices they make. Understanding the difference between “wants” and “needs” is important for salespeople who need to identify and build on one or both when it comes to customers shopping for vehicles at the dealership. Every customer who comes through the showroom doors or looks at the vehicles on your lot has wants – and needs – and you need to use them to help the customer move forward with the purchase of a vehicle that meets both.

What Will Make Your Customer Buy?

In this course, we look at something successful salespeople spend a good deal of time thinking about and working to thoroughly understand – because it has a direct impact on the salesperson’s bottom line and the dealership’s profitability. The question is, “What makes a person decide to buy a car?” There are a lot of factors that influence which car he or she buys, but that’s not the question here. The question is – and we answer it in this course – when a person goes out to look at cars, what must happen in order for them to decide it’s time to stop shopping and actually make a purchase?

Why You Fail to Sell a Car

In this course, we’ll look at why a customer chooses not to buy from you. There are probably many small factors that lead to a decision not to buy, but it all boils down to the fact that a customer who has chosen not to buy from you doesn't see a justification - a good reason - to buy the car you're offering. This happens when we fail to show that car as a solution to their problems or as satisfying their emotional wants and needs. If they don’t see the car as a good value, they can’t justify the purchase in their minds. By examining how you may have failed to justify the purchase, you’ll learn how to avoid the same mistake in the future.

The Meet & Greet

Your primary goal when greeting a potential customer is to give them an immediate feeling of comfort. You will welcome them with your physical appearance, your attitude, your confidence, your sincere smile, and your eye contact.  You must not force yourself on customers walking onto the lot or into the showroom. You must develop a greeting that causes customers to want to respond to you in a positive way.


The first words you and the customer exchange can make or break the possibility of selling them a car. You will learn how to make your first exchange a positive one, how you can respond to the customer no matter how he or she reacts to your introduction, and how to make sure that the “Meet & Greet” leads to the next step in the process of selling a car.

Fact Finding

The Fact Finding step along the Road-to-the-Sale can speed up and improve all the steps that come after – from selecting a car from the dealership’s current stock to filling out the paperwork to handing the customer over to your dealership’s financial team. Why? Because the more you find out from the customer after you’ve met them and given them a warm and reassuring greeting, the easier it will be to close the sale quickly and provide the customer with what they need and want in a vehicle, at a margin that’s good for the dealership.

The Power of Questions

We’ll learn about the most powerful tool in any salesperson’s toolbox – the question. Questions can come from the customer, giving you the chance to not only provide helpful information, but to determine what’s driving their car shopping and what’s important to them in terms of the car they’re eventually going to buy, hopefully from you. Questions will also come from you, as part of the fact-finding and rapport-building process. From questions that arise from the questions customers ask to questions you initiate through the exchange of information is what makes it possible for you to successfully sell the right vehicle to your customer and make money while doing so.

Selecting a Vehicle from Stock

Selecting a vehicle from dealership stock is only possible if you’ve done a good job fact finding. If you asked the right questions and asked them in the right way, the customer will be willing to give you useful answers. By now, you should have all the information you need to select the right car or truck to show your customer. The first one may not be the one they end up buying from you, but the closer a match it is to their expressed desires, the more likely it is that you’ll close a sale with that customer.

Product Presentation & Demo Drive

The success of this step in the Road-to-the-Sale rests on two things – the effectiveness of your interview and how well you present the vehicle you’ve selected from your dealership inventory. And, of course, how well you present the vehicle makes the evaluation of your customer's trade-in, possible – because you won’t be closing a sale if you don’t get them excited about the vehicle you show them.

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Trade-In Evaluation

Your customer is just back from a test-drive in the vehicle you selected from stock, and they’re interested in the car. What’s next? If the customer has a trade-in, now’s the time to begin determining what the dealership will give the customer for the trade-in and preparing for any objections the customer will have regarding that amount and how it affects the final cost of the car.

Getting Seated & Relaxed

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? The customer just watched you go over their trade-in with a fine-tooth comb, noting every defect, including a lot of tiny ones the customer might not have noticed on their own. They’re worried about the trade-in’s value, as it’s one of the few ways the customer can reduce the amount they have to finance in order to buy their new vehicle. What would make sense to do if your customer is worried and feeling vulnerable? Help make them comfortable by getting them seated and relaxed in a chair by your desk.

The Trial Close

This is where you'll find out how the customer feels about the deal you’re offering them. If they’re trading in a car, they may disagree with the appraisal, but might not have said so yet. They may also have an issue with the price you’re charging for the new car, or maybe they’re not sure about the car you showed them and they want to see another similar model before deciding. The trial close makes it possible for all those objections to be aired, giving you a great opportunity to resolve them and close the sale.

The Write Up

The Write-Up is the natural result of the trial close, where you make an effort to find out if the customer is ready to buy, and if not, what is holding them back. With their objections to price, trade-in value, or the car itself hopefully revealed and resolved, it’s time to write up the sale, going over all the numbers with the customer and preparing for the next steps, where the sale actually closes, including setting up their financing, if needed.

Time for Negotiation

You’re about to iron out the final details of the deal and close the sale on your customer’s vehicle of choice. All the steps that came before – including the Trial Close – helped get you to this point. Hopefully, you have all your notes from conversations with the customer and the evaluation of the trade-in at your fingertips and all of the paperwork required by your dealership is in order. Any last-minute negotiations are more likely to go your way if you present them properly and have all the ammunition you need to counter any argument from the customer on any aspect of the deal. Hopefully, however, you won’t need any of it – and you’ll be watching your customer drive off the lot in their new car soon enough.

Presenting the Figures

Presenting figures can be a scary proposition for newer salespeople, because we’re all conditioned to believe every customer is assuming we’re going to overcharge them, and it can be stressful to imagine the customer’s response if they don’t like the figures you present. This results in some salespeople skipping the process as a separate step and simply asking for the sale and hoping the customer says yes and signs the order. Given that the customer may be nervous about such a large expenditure, it’s risky to skip or whip through this process, as it only delays objections to the price, the trade-in value, and the size of their payments with the down money and loan duration they’d prefer. It also feeds their belief that car salespeople can’t be trusted, if it looks like you’re trying to slip this information by them, unnoticed.

Turnover to the Business Office

All of your hard work is about to pay off as you hand the customer over to your skilled and helpful Business Office. Whether your dealership calls them the Business Office or F&I, their role is the same. They’re locking down the dollars that make your deal a reality and profitable.

Proper Delivery of the Vehicle

The proper delivery of the car or truck you sold to your customer is yet another chance to build trust, to add to the rapport you’ve developed, and to make certain that this exciting moment is flawless for the customer. It’s your chance to make sure they leave happy, which increases the chance they’ll be back to service their vehicle at your dealership, purchase their next car and be willing to refer customers to you.

Follow-Up After the Sale

We’ll learn about following up with your customer at specific intervals after they’ve taken delivery of their new car or truck. From maintaining the trust and rapport you painstakingly developed during the sales process to obtaining valuable referrals from your satisfied customer, there are many reasons to get in touch and stay in touch after the sale. 

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