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5 Steps to Handling an Objection

Being able to handle an objection isn’t rocket science, but it does require you to adhere to a strict process. The magazine’s newest F&I expert lays out a five-step plan of attack.

December 2011, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Don Geroni

Do F&I managers hate objections? It’s safe to say many of them do, but the top F&I performers actually love objections. Why? Because an objection is like a road map: It gives you a way forward.

First things first, if you want to get into the realm of two-plus products per deal, you have to be able to upsell products your customer didn’t choose. You must also be able to upsell products that might not be on your menu, especially if it only has room for five or six products. And before you begin plotting your course, make sure you have a process for handling objections in place, because sitting in front of an objecting customer is no place for shooting from the hip.

The process I teach involves a series of steps aimed at getting you organized and prepared to handle any objection. It starts with you walking out and meeting and greeting the customer to conduct an effective interview. Doing so is crucial to you being able to handle the objections that will follow your pitch.

Find Out What the Objection Is

This might sound pretty basic, but you’d be surprised by how many F&I managers fail to find out exactly why the customer is objecting to a product. The best way to figure that out is to ask a question like: “What is it about the service contract that concerns you?”

The same question can be adapted for any product. Just swap out “service contract” with “appearance protection” and ask away. And once the customer reveals his or her true objection, be sure to acknowledge it. This can be done by simply saying, “I understand,” or “You make a great point.” Let the customer know that you understand his objection and that you’re not disputing it.

Empathize by Restating the Objection

Restating the objection will show the customer you understand where he or she is coming from. Some examples include:

• “It’s hard to justify the cost if you can’t see the value.”

• “Honda does make a quality car.”

• “Sticking to a budget is definitely important.”

Once you’ve restated and clarified the objection, ask the customer one of the following questions:

• “May I ask you a few questions?”

• “May I explain something to you?”

• “There may be some additional facts to take into consideration. May I explain?”

Asking permission puts the customer in control and gives you permission to sell. The exchange should go something like this:

Customer: “It just costs too much.”

F&I manager: “I understand how you feel. It’s hard to justify the cost if you don’t see the value. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”


  1. 1. Tim C. [ December 28, 2011 @ 09:34PM ]

    It was nice to see the things I have developed through stupid mistakes being put into a cohesive presentation.

  2. 2. Dan [ July 08, 2016 @ 12:27PM ]

    Two words that will stop you dead in your tracks: "No Comment"


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