Are We Speaking a Different Language than Our Customers?

May 02, 2022

We have all been in this situation; we are in a closing with a customer, and they are really engaged in the process. We have built great rapport. They like us. They are engaged in the conversation about finance products. They are asking the right questions and giving us all the buying signals. Then, when we get to the end of our menu presentation and ask them which option works best for them and their family, they say, “No thanks” and then give us one of a handful of reflex objections that we hear day in and day out.

We pause thinking, “I figured this was going to be an easy one.” Then we launch into an objection handling conversation to try and root out the real objection so that we can overcome it and close. History has told us that we have a good chance of success, but maybe we didn’t need to get this far. Maybe we were speaking a language the customer couldn’t relate to and this caused them to say no. Let me elaborate.

First, we need to go back in time to when we were taking the credit application from the customer. It is critical for the finance manager to do this because it allows us to make sure that we have complete and accurate information to submit to the lender. This is also a great time for us to build rapport and ask questions. One of the most important things we can find out is how the customer is paid. Not only if they are hourly or salary or if they have any additional income outside of their workplace, but more importantly, the frequency of their pay.

U.S. Labor and statistics reports that people get paid the following ways:

12% monthly   |   17% semi-monthly   |   33% weekly   |   38% bi-weekly

If 71% of our customers get paid weekly or bi-weekly, showing them monthly options can be stressful for them. Most people are only a few missed paychecks away from being in dire financial straights and they arrange the payment of their bills around when they get paid. A new (typically higher) payment with a different due date can make the customer nervous and unsure. When customers feel this way, they will say no for fear of making a mistake.

So, if a customer gets paid weekly, let’s not show them a monthly payment of $510. Let’s show them a weekly payment of $118. If they get paid bi-weekly, let’s show them a payment of $235. This makes the payment relatable to the customer and when they get paid. This ensures that we are speaking in a way that makes the customer more comfortable with the process. This also makes the payment increase for finance products feel more palatable for the customer. Instead of talking about an $80 increase in monthly payment, we can talk about an $18 weekly increase. When we can talk speak in smaller numbers, we win more often.

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