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Handling the Non-Objection Objection

An evolution is taking place in the F&I industry. Instead of handling objections, the push in recent years is to create a sales and F&I process that prevents them. It’s a good thought and one we should all strive for, but, unfortunately, those pesky objections still find their way into our daily interactions with customers.

I guess that’s why my Stump the Pro session has become a mainstay at the magazine’s annual conference since debuting in 2012. This month, I’m bringing the same concept to the pages of F&I and Showroom. So if  there’s an objection that has you stumped, email it to me at editor@fi-magazine.com. I’ll also be happy to review and help fine-tune a response to an objection that’s working for you. Now let’s kick off this new section with an objection I’m sure many of you have faced.

Name: Mark Bernard
Company: MMB Automotive Consultant LLC

Objection: The customer has not given an objection and won’t commit to purchasing the product.

Tony’s Take: What Mark brings up is what I classify as a non-objection objection, which simply means there’s nothing for the producer to latch on to. What we must do is turn that non-objection into an objection, which means we must determine the customer’s specific objection.

See, I classify objections two ways: broad and specific. A broad objection is difficult but not impossible to overcome because we don’t know what the customer is objecting to. Typical objections include: “No thank you,” I don’t buy those,” or “I will pass on all of that.” A specific objection is when the customer tells us why they’re objecting. Examples would be a customer saying: “The payment is too high,” “I am buying a good car,” or “This is too expensive.”

The Approach: What Mark needs to do here is simply ask the customer why he or she objects to purchasing the product. “Why” in itself is a powerful word in the F&I manager’s toolbox. We can ask customers “why” once and even twice, but we don’t want to utter that question a third time. Let me tell you why.

Drilling for Answers: For our third attempt at drilling down to the customer’s specific objection, try this: “I appreciate everyone’s point of view, so what concerns you about the service contract.” This question, in most cases, should get the customer to tell you what his or her objection is. If it doesn’t, ask again. The truth is we know the customer is objecting for one of three reasons. It’s either the value, the product itself or the payment, so ask them which one it is.

Warning: When uncovering your customer’s true objection, be sure not to pose a question like this: “Do you not see any value in this?” Instead, try this: “I know it adds to your payment; however, wouldn’t it make sense to have this coverage?”

Remember, objection handling is a skill, and I hope to use this column to improve your skill set, improve your knowledge and make you a more proficient business manager. So send those objections in today.


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