A dealer in Fairbault, Minnesota can see them lingering 58 miles north, where Minneapolis rises from the prairie removing every notion of rural. In the heart of Los Angeles, they seem to exist on the fringes, where houses are still affordable, where hills remain green, where no man could go mad – or, perhaps, where all men have. Out where the coyotes scatter out of the backyard in the morning with avocado stuck to their whiskers.
But this isn’t a story about coyotes and disappearing avocados. This is about low-ballers and disappearing customers. You know who I’m talking about: the ones who give your local customers quotes that make no sense. Quotes that seem to invite your customers to corner you with a cynical eye and say, “I have this quote. Will you beat it?”
“Wow, they’ll sell you the car for that? Doubt they put that in writing?”
“Yes, I have it in writing. Do you want to beat it or not?”
“No, sorry – I can’t touch that.”
Why does the low-baller do it?
The low-baller doesn’t just go $50 lower than you. He goes $600, $700, or $900 lower than you. He goes way below your comfort zone and he does it on purpose. He wants to hit the pit of your stomach. He wants you feeling disgusted when you snidely respond to the customer with:
“Why don’t you just buy it from them then?”
“Wow, I’d buy it for that price!”
…and with no meat left on the bone your only move is to simply walk away.
We’ve all taken the low-ball bait and we need to stop.
Negative responses to low-ball quotes only help low-ballers.
Challenging a customer to go get the deal doesn’t help in any way. It just makes the customer’s resolve stronger. It heightens their determination to work out a deal with the low-baller. And in doing so, the customer may bend on certain items – perhaps items we tried to coach them not to bend on, like their rate or the value of their trade.
We’re making things too easy for the low-baller. We’re sending our customers to their showrooms armed with a strong belief that their deal is unique and a reflection of their consumer savvy. So amazing, in fact, that they believe they need to protect their investment with profitable items in F&I. We’ve made the low-baller’s deals so blissfully simple and easy, they should be cutting the vouchers to us.
But, all that’s over now.
It’s time for you to reclaim your market. To find out how, re-read my article (Part 1, Part 2) and the CarWoo! Infographic on how you can realize 10X improvements in your closing ratio. Then, tomorrow morning when you open your back door, no coyotes will lift their muzzles from your avocados and scatter away back into the hills.