What does a prospect really mean when he says, “I’m just looking?”

What does a prospect really mean when he says, “I’m just looking?”

Selling cars in the showroom falls into the category of “one-close” selling. That is, a dealership sales rep has essentially one chance to make the sale to a prospect. If the prospect leaves without buying, the chances of him coming back diminish precipitously. That’s why it is so important to properly qualify prospects.

Qualifying allows you to learn about your prospect and their needs in order to determine how your vehicles can meet those needs. The best dealership salespeople can save time by using the telephone as an effective tool to pre-qualify customers. The phone enables you to play the odds, covering a large geographic area to screen potential customers and set up appointments.

It is essential to accurately track these calls and designate whether a prospect provides low or high customer potential. When organizing your call schedule, move the lower-potential prospects to the bottom of the list. Catalog all the calls you make, maintaining a call-back schedule. Update this schedule frequently. It may be helpful to employ a lead management software program specifically designed for tracking calls.

As a dealership salesperson, your ability to qualify depends on the number of different questions you can ask in each type of selling situation. When meeting the customer face-to-face, be prepared with a list of those questions. Include every single question you might ask of a prospect in order to make her aware of an overlooked need or buried dissatisfaction.


A helpful technique is to ask qualifying questions to determine the customer’s needs without mentioning your product. Your interest alone can pave the way to a sale.

By asking specific questions of your prospect, you can determine whether the prospect doesn’t have a need for your vehicle line or buys a car from another dealer.

When a customer says, “I’m just looking,” he may really mean, “I’m looking for more information.” So don’t accept the “I’m just looking” excuse. Ask a few questions to find out what the prospect is looking for. Then provide some answers.

If your prospect reveals displeasure with his current car, your presentation should emphasize how your vehicles can meet and exceed their expectations. When prospects are shopping for a vehicle with specific features or a particular price, remember that they are “shopping.” They may be flexible if you can capture their interest and extol the benefits of your offering.

Listen to your prospect’s wish list and then present the merits of your product line. Your presentation should include the key features, benefits and prices. Don’t laud all the bells and whistles if the customer might perceive them as frivolous and get sidetracked. And unless a specific feature jumps out at you, determine the sequence of your presentation with the visible, tangible benefits up front.

Remember, you will never lose a sale by asking too many questions or learning too much about a customer. Many customers are not conscious of their needs. Your questions will stimulate their awareness, qualifying them and hopefully, getting you the sale.

Make it a champion day!

Brandon Hardison
Champion Strategies

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