First off, I’m not painting all salespeople with a wide brush here. Face it, it may be human nature for some to lack the conviction when they have a good bit of doubt about the anticipated customer’s reaction to a proposal. 

I’m not insinuating that most salespeople are lacking conviction when serving the proposal to customers.  I am recommending that management discuss this with the team, that they must get their heads in the game at proposal time.  They certainly need to be reminded that they are counted on to remain very assumptive so they can be influential on the customer’s response to the proposal.

I don’t know if you read the blog on The Mar-Kee Group’s website, Get Mentally Fixed Before Serving the Proposal by Richard Keeney, regarding how many customers can “get into the helmet” of a salesperson, with all the discouraging remarks and price positioning statements during the visit.  I urge you to read this blog and share it with your team.  To lighten this up a bit, I wanted to share a variety of “tongue in cheek” versions of comments a salesperson might make serving the proposal, when they don’t think it will close, and fear the customer will attack!

Find the humor. Then be on a serious mission to make sure all salespeople are giving customers a chance to feel good enough to close!

Here are a few ways that DO NOT work:

  • “Well, here’s where we are right now”
  • “Ok, here’s what they said”
  • “Here you go, how are we doing so far?”
  • “Unfortunately we’re not very close to where you wanted to be”
  • “Tell me how we’re doing…”
  • “Here’s where management wants to be”
  • “Let’s see if this will work for you”
  • “Here’s where we are, tell me how close we are to where you wanted to be”
  • “Okie-dokie, tell me how you feel about these numbers”
  • “Here are their initial thoughts”
  • “Are we close?”
  • “Well, this will give us a starting point”
  • “We might need to try again at a later date”

Try saying this:

 “Great news, I think you’re going to like this.  Fair market price on your new vehicle equipped just like you selected is $_______. They’re going to pay you $_______ for yours, just like it sits and that brings us to a difference of only $______ plus of course the taxes and fees. Ok the proposal right here and we’ll get the rest of the paperwork started.”

This is another good argument for having the salesperson role-play the proposal with management at the desk to ensure they are ready for the event.  They will always do better the second time.  It may be expensive assuming that the salesperson has the right frame of mind for the results you seek. 


Role Play: The Ultimate Sales Tool

Richard Keeney, Co-Founder
The Mar-Kee Group
251-680-6633 (cell)

The Mar-Kee Group is the leading provider of Automotive, Boat & RV Sales, Service & Management Training Solutions.

Photo credit:  Shutterstock