Imagine that you’ve been going back and forth with a customer who by all accounts seems very interested in one of your motorcycles. You’ve managed to build up a nice rapport with them, and the whole interaction seems to be going smooth. All signs point to you closing the deal, and the customer walking away from the dealership as the proud owner of a brand new motorcycle.

Then, just as you’re about to suggest moving on to the paperwork, they drop the bomb. Those dreaded words no salesperson ever wants to hear: “Sounds good, but I’ll be back later to finish up”. Just like that, your potential sale slips away, disappearing through the doors of your dealership.

This scenario, or some similar version of it, is the bane of every salesperson’s existence. If you’ve been in motorcycle sales long enough, you’ve probably heard the old saying “the be back bus never comes back”.

This saying refers to the fact that, if you can’t close the deal with a customer the first time they walk through the door, the odds of them returning to make the purchase are relatively slim. It’s a tough truth to hammer home for people just beginning in sales, but anyone who has been around the block a few times knows how true the saying is.  

Of course, we’d all like to believe people at their word and assume that the buyer is indeed going to do as they say and come back later to finalize the purchase. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case for many potential deals. Fortunately, there is hope for your sales force in thwarting the “be backers”.

The good news is that if you can anticipate it, you can plan for it. Knowing that the be-back excuse is coming, you should be sure to train your sales force to prepare for the top excuses potential customers tend to come up with in order to get out without making a purchase.

We have put together a few of the most common reasons a potential customer hops on the dreaded be back bus and leaves the dealership without making a purchase.

They Need To Talk To Their Significant Other

The “I need to check in with my husband/wife/etc” dilemma is one of the most common situations sales members find themselves in. A lot of customers have some person in their life whose final approval they need to win over before they can go ahead and make a large purchase.

Expecting that this situation is likely to occur, your team can get over this particular bump in the road by asking them right out of the gate if there is another person in their life who would also benefit from hearing this information. Suggestions they get their significant other on board with the process from the beginning can open the doors of communication between all of the parties that are going to be involved.

Taking the preemptive approach to this issue is a great strategy for stopping the “I need to talk to my spouse” routine dead in its tracks. Of course, this is not going to be a factor for every customer who comes into the dealership.

If you can make some small talk and try to determine if there is another person who needs to be involved in the conversation, it can help you a lot when it comes to closing the deal.

They Have Been Burned Before

Buying something like a motorcycle can be a bit of a challenge to those who are inexperienced. Occasionally, even someone who has been around the block a few times can hit a few speed bumps that derail the whole buying process. For most buyers, it’s a big purchase that comes with a lot of budgeting and monetary concerns.

Whether it was paying too much, or getting talked into buying upgrades that they end up never using, many people have been burned when purchasing a large ticket item in the past. This is not limited to motorcycles. Anytime somebody gets burned on a purchase, it leaves them a bit more jaded and cautious than they had been before.

So, when customers are looking to make a large purchase like a motorcycle, chances are they have had some negative experiences in the past. Think about it, have you ever rushed through the buying process for something expensive, just to come down with a serious case of buyer’s remorse after the fact?  

Most of us have been there before, including your potential customers visiting your dealership. To help cool anxieties they may have, think about the hesitations that you have when you’re making a purchase.

Try to address the same concerns that you have had in the past to help assuage their hesitation throughout the sales process. Doing this can be the difference between closing a sale and watching your lead walk out the door.

They’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Purchasing a motorcycle can be an overwhelming experience, especially for first-time buyers. This is hardly surprising. There is a lot of thought and many different decisions that go into purchasing a motorcycle.

The feeling of being overwhelmed can be a big part of the reason some people walk away without signing over the paperwork, and who can blame them? When most of us are feeling overwhelmed, we almost instinctively try to remove ourselves from the situation that is causing us anxiety and clear our heads. Our human nature tells us that we need to remove ourselves from the situation.

With this in mind, your sales team can prepare for customers who may reach this state of mind, and do whatever they can to help make the sales process as simple and straightforward as possible.

Some salespeople have a tendency to word-vomit every single one of the different features of the model they’re talking about. The logic makes sense, you want to keep naming features to see which one will be the one to grab their attention.

However, some customers associate more features with higher prices and start to get antsy. Making the interaction more of a conversation, rather than a presentation, can help relax the customer and make the process less overwhelming.

There Are Discrepancies Between The Staff And The Customer

One of the most common reasons customers exit the dealership without signing the deal is that, for whatever reason, the salesperson and the customers are not seeing eye to eye. At the end of the day, a dealership is only as strong as its sales team. For this reason, superb people skills and respect are essential for any sales team.

When a potential customer gets turned off by the sales staff, chances are they will make up an excuse to get out of the dealership and head elsewhere. Rather than let the dealership know that they don’t want to continue working with a particular salesperson, many people will simply make up an excuse to leave without buying the bike, and never return.

Respect, above all else, should be emphasized in the training of every staff member who will be interacting with the customers. A friendly, well-educated salesforce can be the difference between a higher close rate and an empty dealership.

The Be Back Bus Doesn’t Come Back

Remember the old saying, because there is a ton of truth in it. By taking a little time to figure out the reasons people hop on the be-back bus, your salesforce can effectively anticipate the objections and (hopefully) turn them into a sale.  

A wise salesperson once said, “An objection is really nothing more than a question”. To succeed you have to find the question in the objection and do your best to answer it for them. Do this consistently, and more often than not you can slash the tires on that bus and finally close the deal!

What has been your experience with the infamous Be Back Bus? Do you have any comments or suggestions we may have missed? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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