How do you close the sale when you can’t actually close the sale?

An interesting thing happened to me last week.

It will be time for us to buy a new car next March. So we contacted the dealership we bought the last car from to let them know we’d be coming in to look at the new model.  

They told us that with supply issues and demand, we wouldn’t be able to take delivery for at least 9 months.  They can’t actually supply the car, but we already knew that.

We told them what model and specification we wanted to buy and they didn’t have one in the dealership for us to drive.  We had to drive a vehicle that didn’t have the same level of features we wanted.

We also realise that with such short supply, there really isn’t going to be much negotiation going on here.  If we want the car, we’ll have to pay the asking price.

We told them we are about to travel and it would be good to sort this out before we leave.

We chatted a bit more and then they LET US WALK OUT!

They don’t know when we will be travelling and they don’t have an agreed time to come back to us.  They haven’t even worked up a quote for the vehicle.

So here’s the thing.  Every dealership will have the same problem with supply and every dealership will be able to get us a car eventually.  Cars may be hard to get, BUT we can go to any dealership we like.

The sales person doesn’t have a car they can sell to us RIGHT NOW!  They can’t actually close the sale BUT it’s not the car they have to sell to us …

It’s the dealership!  It’s possible that before we leave we may go to another dealership who understands us, helps us and locks in the purchase with a deposit.

How do you close the sale when you can’t actually supply the product right now?

You do what you should always do and make the first sale first.  Close the relationship sale.

Old school car sales people used to have a saying “me, the machine then the money”, which basically means forge the connection, get the customer to fall in love with the car and then put together a deal that works.

What’s your version of “me, the machine, then the money”?