Butch’s Mailbag: I Can’t Give Price Over The Phone

Dear Mr. Bellah, I read your website all the time and haven’t seen you address this issue. I am in the car business and my manager will not let me quote prices over the phone. He wants us to get the customer to come to the lot before we discuss pricing. It seems to turn a lot of people off and they never show up. Do you have suggestions that would help me?

Aaron K. Tempe, AZ


My first suggestion would be to make sure your manager realizes this is not 1984. Since he is an expert in automotive sales training, I consulted my friend Scott Tarkowski on this one and asked him about it.

“The manager clearly needs to catch up to the times,” Scott said. “Do you have prices in the newspaper? Do you have prices on your television commercials? Do you have prices on the radio? Then why would you not give a price to someone who is clearly interested in your product?”

Scott went on to say that with the increase in internet sites that publish costs, etc. buyers are much more informed than they used to be. Don’t aggravate the situation by looking like you’re “hiding” something from them. You want an appointment and they want a price.

You can both get what you want. But, not by playing games.

Ask the manager why you can’t give a price if it is so readily available elsewhere? Do so in a non-threatening manner and let him/her know you feel as if it is keeping you from getting potential customers into the store.

Ultimately, what your manager wants is to sell cars. If you can show how you can get people in—usually, they will listen.

Good luck and let me know how it comes out.

While today’s email was from the car business, everyone should look at their methods and make sure you aren’t still doing things in a way “just because we’ve always done it that way”. Times change and so must you. Your competition is changing and you should stay one step ahead.

Question: Got a question for the show? Email me at butch@redcapsalescoaching.com