Fact Finding Questions

Salesperson Fact-Finding

Here are powerful questions you can ask to obtain the information necessary to find the most suitable vehicle – and to structure negotiations later.

Understand that 100% of the customer’s present behavior is based on past car-buying experience—use this information to find out how they wish to be sold this time.

  • “Why are you looking / in the market for transportation at this time?”
  • “Are you looking for something bigger or smaller than you presently drive?”
  • “What are you driving now?”
  • “Will you be keeping it or selling it?”
  • “When did you purchase it?”
  • “Did you purchase it new or pre-owned?”
  • “What do you like most about the vehicle you’re driving now? _______”
  • “What do you like least about the vehicle you’re driving? ________”
  • “What would you like to have in the new vehicle that you don’t have in the vehicle you’re driving now?”
  • “Will the vehicle be used for work or pleasure?”
  • “Where will most of the driving be done—highway or city?”
  • “How many miles per year do you drive?”
  • “Will you be the primary driver?”
  • “Will there be other drivers in your family?”
  • “What has changed for you since your last purchase?”
  • “What would be most important in your consideration of this vehicle?”
  • “What is the second most-important consideration?”
  • “What price range was the vehicle when you purchased it?”
  • “When is your next payment due?”
  • “By the way, how much was that payment?”
  • “How did you get them so low?”

Building Value

Why value? Because not all presentations are product-related! A one-size-fits-all product presentation has been proven to be ineffective when addressing many customer value-related questions.

As a manager, you must be sure all of your salespeople have all the available tools at their disposal to meet the needs of the customer.

How will the value presentation impact the Drivers of Repeat and Referral Business

  1. Honesty
  2. Product knowledge
  3. Negotiation speed

You must take all of the information collected in the fact-finding step to find the most suitable unit for the customer. It is important to use the five-position walk-around to position the product. However, you will also need the proper communication skills to make it effective.

Start by repeating the customer’s wants and needs.

Present the value, features, and benefits that are important to the customer. Each time you make a presentation, it is your responsibility to answer all of these questions.

  • Avoid discussing price; it is secondary to what fills wants and needs.
  • Ask their ________________.
  • Get the customer ________________.
  • Stimulate desire; use the sense…. sight, sound, touch, imagine.
  • Tailor all presentations to the customer’s dominant buying motivators.
  • Make your value presentation different and unique.
  • Lead with questions, rather than ________________.

Wants and Needs Formula

Show the Feature

  • What is it? When you show the feature, point to the feature. Stay focused, make appropriate eye contact, have a positive frame of mind, find the key point, use appropriate body language.

Provide the Function

  • How does it function/work? How does this provide an advantage over the competition or past model?

Explain the Benefit

  • What will it do for me? When you provide the benefits, use appropriate eye-to-eye contact and explain what it will do for the customer. Use the customer’s words and demonstrate your commitment to them.

Every customer has a different set of expectations and a different set of needs. It will be your task to customize your product presentation for the customer. The flow of the product presentation should be the same in every case. The pacing, tone, and language, however, will certainly vary.

There are four kinds of follow-ups or “tags” you can use to create an incremental decision (a “close”) from a customer.

  1. Standard “tie-down”: It’s a great vehicle, isn’t it?
  2. Inverted “tie-down”: Isn’t it a great vehicle?
  3. Tag: customer says, “This car rides great.” You say: Doesn’t it?
  4. Silent: Ask the question and nod your head.

An inverted tie-down is a question at the beginning of a statement that suggests a “yes” response.

  • Can’t you get excited about it ___________?
  • Do you see the value of ___________?
  • Can you see the benefit of ___________?
  • Can you see the merit in ___________?
  • Wouldn’t it be terrific if ___________?
  • Aren’t you glad that ___________?
  • Aren’t you looking forward to ___________?
  • Doesn’t it make sense to ___________?
  • Don’t you agree ___________?
  • Isn’t it going to be fun when ___________?
  • Isn’t it about time that ___________?
  • Doesn’t it give you the confidence to know ___________?
  • Can you see the advantage of ___________?
  • Wouldn’t it be reassuring to ___________?
  • Don’t you feel that ___________?
  • Wouldn’t it be great to save money by ___________?
  • Aren’t you really excited about ___________?
  • Isn’t it good to know ___________?
  • Haven’t you benefited by ___________?
  • Aren’t you happy to know ___________?
  • Aren’t you anxious to know ___________?
  • Isn’t it worth considering that ___________?

A standard tie-down is a question at the end of a statement that demands a “yes” from the customer. Here are some examples:

  • Aren’t they?
  • Aren’t you?
  • Can’t you?
  • Couldn’t it?
  • Couldn’t you?
  • Doesn’t it?
  • Don’t you agree?
  • Don’t you?
  • Don’t we?
  • Shouldn’t it?
  • Wouldn’t it?
  • Wouldn’t you agree?
  • Hasn’t it?
  • Haven’t they?
  • Fair enough?
  • Right or wrong?
  • Isn’t that right?
  • Isn’t it?
  • Didn’t it?
  • Didn’t they?
  • Wasn’t it?
  • Won’t you?
  • Won’t they?

Here is an opportunity to examine several different types of selection offers, and opportunities to improve the customer’s circumstances during the product presentation:

New to Pre-Owned Selection Offer

  • “Would you consider a vehicle with low mileage, factory certified with a full warranty, and a savings of $1000, $2000, perhaps as much as $3000?”

Pre-owned to New selection offer

  • “Would you consider a new or perhaps newer vehicle if the payments were the same?”

New to New Selection Offer

  • “Would you consider a new 2021 Accord and a savings of $1000, $2000, perhaps as much as $3000?”

Lease selection offer

  • “Would you rather lease or own if the payments were the same? Allow me to show you both.”
  • “Would you consider an option that would allow you to keep your cash (or trade equity), provide you with more vehicles, more options at the end of the term, and reduce your monthly cost as well?”

As a rule, the dealership’s inventory has absolutely no effect on offering to improve the customer’s situation. The selection offered is just common sense.