Sold! Used Truck Guide: How to assess customer needs and present pricing

Used Trucks 9

How a salesperson presents prices and responds to customer inquiries may significantly impact on a customer’s willingness to buy.


When customers tell a salesperson what they want in a truck, they expect a prompt reply with a reasonable price. Don’t underestimate the importance of your response, says sales consultant George Papp.

If you want to sell trucks, you first have to sell customers on your price, says Papp, professional sales consultant and trainer for the Used Truck Association’s (UTA) “Selling for Success” training seminars.

Papp warns salespeople of what can happen from a poorly presented price. Hypersensitive customers can be turned off by poor body language and indifference, for example. Veteran customers can spot mistakes or lack of expertise when a salesperson isn’t focused. That means a poorly worded response, delayed reaction or incorrect price quote significantly hinders completing a transaction.

“We say that truck costs X instead of saying Y per month,” says Craig Kendall, UTA president and specialty market manager at The Pete Store. “There are still people who pay cash for their trucks, that’s wonderful. But we need to think of the cost per month, rather than the cap cost. We scare the life out of these customers.”

Here are three specific tips to handling the customer:


Papp says to avoid modifiers before a price reveal, such as, “Our regular price is,” or unrealistic guarantees such as “Tell me where we need to be.” This language can weaken a customer’s confidence in your price.

Papp instead advises salespeople to be receptive and sparse with words when listening to a customer’s requests. The more time a salesperson learns a customer’s needs, the quicker that information can be turned into an accurate price quote.


For example, a customer request for warranty information should be met with a quick outline of the program and its strongest features. Instead of highlighting too much detail, Papp advises modifying the question as a rebuttal.

For example, ask why the customer wants to know about your warranty program. The response will provide a better understanding of needed coverage, which will have a bearing on the overall price.


To eliminate any confusion, review a customer’s requests one final time before presenting a price. Papp says he likes to present the price and options included at once:

“You told me you were most interested in this, this and this. Is that correct?” he says. “With that in mind, let me tell you how our product can help you achieve those things. It will provide you this, this and this, and all for this price. Plus, you will [receive] this, this and this as well.”

This allows customers to hear their needs included and see the effect it has on the base price. If the customer is shaken, Papp says “let them tell you why.” If a spec change is requested, get the information and present your overall package again in the same way.

David Bibler, finance manager at Truck Country, says he appreciates that thorough approach from his sales team before bringing a customer to him for financing. He says detailed questioning and evaluation of the customer during the selling stage minimizes downtime when acquiring financing and gets a customer into their new or used truck faster.

A customer talking price and spec’ing wants to buy. By presenting your price effectively, you can move the customer even closer to the dotted line.

Successful Dealer Playbook Logo

This is part of a series of stories from Successful Dealer on the best practices for moving used trucks. To download the entire guide, click here.

Learn how to move your used trucks faster
With unsold used inventory depreciating at a rate of more than 2% monthly, efficient inventory turnover is a must for dealers. Download this eBook to access proven strategies for selling used trucks faster.
Used Truck Guide Cover