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A Better Way to Handle Price Negotiations

Article Highlights:

  • Stop defections caused by leaving customers alone during deal negotiations.
  • An electronic negotiation process makes you more efficient and productive.

Webster’s defines defection as “withdrawing support or help despite allegiance or responsibility.” How many times has your sales team experienced customer defection during price negotiations?

The salesperson had built rapport and helped the customer find just the right vehicle. Then, he had to leave the customer to speak to the sales desk about the deal. Poof! The customer defected and the chances of closing that deal went out the door with him.

When you leave customers alone during price negotiations, they can feel like you’re wasting their time. They may wonder why there’s not a better way to communicate back and forth about deal details — especially in an “always connected” world.

Time spent alone gives them time to search the web on their smartphone to determine if they’re getting a good deal. And, you know what happens when they no longer think they are. Defection.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s a better way to handle price negotiations.

Using Technology to Improve Negotiations

Newer technology tools enable your sales team to create a new dynamic during price negotiations that can lead to a better customer experience. It’s an experience that puts the customer first while still meeting the needs of the dealership.

For example, there are technologies that take the negotiation process from pen and paper to a mobile tablet. In doing so, your sales team is able to negotiate with customers anywhere, any time.

Salespeople also can electronically send deal details and customer requests to the desk or sales manager. This electronic communication allows them to stay with customers and keep the conversation going.

For customers, an electronic negotiation process creates a smoother and more transparent pricing discussion. It also engages them in the negotiation process by using an interactive display of a proposal they can accept or revise.

For dealers, besides reducing the opportunity for defection, an electronic negotiation process helps create more opportunities for the sales team to show off vehicle features or discuss accessories. Plus, it can improve the efficiency and productivity of the sales team by reducing bottlenecks at the desk.

All of which can improve the customer experience with the dealership.


Your sales team spends significant time building relationships with customers to get them in the right vehicle. An electronic negotiation process can be the difference between closing the sale and experiencing defection.

Want to see the process in action? Watch this video.

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Director, Product Planning, CRM and Variable Ops, Reynolds and Reynolds

Ed Pontis is Director of Product Planning at Reynolds and Reynolds for CRM and variable operations solutions including Contact Management, docuPAD®, Desking and more. Ed was a director in a large international consulting firm, bringing in leading practices from these segments to Reynolds.

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