The present state of the Information Age’s maturation has made transparency not just a good idea, but essential. Everyone can find out everything about your product and about what people are saying about you. For an automobile dealer, it’s time to embrace this on all fronts.
It’s a lot like Judo, take the energy that is directed at you and direct it where it benefits you.
This presents an opportunity for one of my favorite sales concepts; the negative close. The negative close historically has been reserved for seasoned professionals who knew that hammering the customer with benefits and features did nothing other than put them in direct competition with all of the other salespeople out there. The seasoned professional would utilize the negative close to differentiate themselves as well as their product so that the customer would close themselves on the deal seemingly without the nudging of the salesperson.
This is not a trick. It is a process fashioned around product knowledge and knowledge of human nature. The salesman exposes the shortcomings or negative aspects of proposed deal or product PRIOR to the customer doing so. Providing addressable shortcomings (or objections) that the customer may or may not come to in advance builds credibility and trust. I quote from Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive “…if you’re selling your car, when a prospective buyer comes to give it a test drive, volunteering negative information about the car, especially information that the prospect would be unlikely to discover on his or her own…should do wonders for his or her trust in you and your vehicle”.
Since we are living in a world that is far more transparent than at any time in history, the negative close is more relevant than ever before. One thing that you must keep in mind, however, this strategy is only effective if the weaknesses exposed are genuinely minor. In other words, the negatives are ones that can be successfully overcome.