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How to Use the Option Close

July 2003, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Ron Martin - Also by this author

Question: What do you get if you combine a

“Hammer,” a “Jammer,” and a “Slammer?”

Answer: You get a salesperson that inflicts pain, by drawing a wedge between themselves and the customer. And sometimes that salesperson ends up in an orange jumpsuit.


What you definitely don’t have is a formula for effective selling. The good sales-closer takes the customer smoothly to action and doesn’t force the issue. They have a systematic planned presentation that involves properly approaching the customer, giving the customer information, asking questions, and listening — and only then do they ask the customer to make a decision.


Many salespeople put together great presentations that describe the benefits of the product only to get to the end and ask, “Would you like to go ahead with it?” or “What do you think?” I can give you the answer to these two questions: “I’m not interested.” (I know this because when I first got into the sales business, this was the response I received all the time.)


The professional closer always begins with the end in mind. They look for that opportunity that presents itself during the presentation to ask the customer to make a decision.


I have found the best way to get a positive decision is providing favorable options. That is, options that give the customer a reason to move to action since they recognize the benefits provided are worth the cost.


You’ll find what you’re looking for.


The Hardest Part

Closing, for many, is the most difficult part of the sales process. The reason can be summarized in one word: REJECTION! Let’s face it — if we don’t ask the customer to buy, they can’t tell us no! This, for many, is the only thing that keeps them from being exceptional at selling.


I can illustrate just how true this fear of rejection is. Let’s say we at The Vision of F&I Inc. have statistically developed a mailer that assures every customer on the list is 100 percent guaranteed to purchase every F&I product they are offered. We are going to send this mailer to qualified applicants in a 50-mile radius for a three-day sales event.


If you truly believed in the authenticity of this mailer how many products would you offer to the customers who responded to it? How many customers would you wait on? Most importantly, how enthusiastic would you be with your presentation?

You know the answers. You would take all of the customers you could, offer every product to every person, and do it with a high degree of enthusiasm! Then you would ask every customer to make a decision. Why? Well, one reason is you would have absolutely no fear that the customer would say no.


What if we could use that same level of enthusiasm for each and every customer? How much more effective at selling F&I products would we be? If we were to ask each customer to make a decision, and instead of being apprehensive about their response we expected to hear the magic three letters, YES!


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