How to handle car salespeople

Car Dealers Tactics ⇦ Car Sales People ⇨ Negotiating Tactics

Avoid This Common Confrontation

Based on what you know from earlier in this guide, there will usually come a point when the sales person will ask you how much you want for your part exchange car... the answer is simple... just tell them the figure that is the Trade price for your car - remember, that is all you are going to get anyway. You need to get this right of course so, beforehand, you should have found out the Trade price, made any adjustments for mileage and condition, and that is your figure.

This will often “take the wind from their sails” straight away, makes them realise that you know what you are talking about, avoids confrontation and removes the need for a lot of the patter, flannel and stories that you would be subjected to later.

From your point of view, this is the ideal way of handling this situation.

They will still want to remain in control and keep you with them though….

What’s all the Coffee for?

Another technique that is widely used is to sit you down and give you coffee - and they are not just being nice to you! If they get you to sit down, you are less likely to leave. If you have a cup of coffee in front of you as well… you are even less likely to leave, at least until you have finished your coffee. This gives them more time to work on you. Again, the longer you are there, the more chance they have to sell you that car.

Don’t be too keen…

One thing that will definitely NOT work in your favour is if you appear to really like the car that you are interested in! The dealer knows that people are passionate about their cars and if they think that you really like their car, they will be far less likely to move on price. Dealers know that if someone really wants a particular car, they will spend far more than they wanted to! So, if they can tell that you really like their car, when you get to the very end of the dealing process they will not believe you when you say you can’t afford the deal and ask them to better it.

DON’T say that you really like the car and DON’T talk enthusiastically about it. Your attitude to the car you want to buy should be “Well… it’s OK but…”

You should try to appear indifferent and also occasionally mention some other car that you have been looking at – that you preferred the colour/make/style/price (or whatever) of the other one. Try not to even look at the car too much – once you are happy that you want to buy it, don’t look at it again!

…in fact, argue with your partner about the car!

If you are at the dealers’ with your partner, and assuming you both like the car, you are obviously going to talk about it to each other and the salesperson will hear some of those conversations. The dealer knows that both you and your partner have to be in agreement before you will sign up. If you both clearly like the car they will think that they are “home and dry” and will not have to do too much to get you to sign up – they will be less likely to move on the price.

What you and your partner say to each other, and the way you say it, is a vital clue to the dealer as to how far they may have to go to sell you the car. This is SO important: We know of one dealer (several years ago) who took potential buyers into a room/office to do the final negotiating. The salesperson frequently left the customers alone in the room. That room was bugged and the salesmanager could listen in to what the customers said to each other! Needless to say they were one of the most successful dealers in the country, not just in the number of cars they sold but also in the level of profit that they achieved on each deal. When they knew that both partners wanted to buy the car all they had to do was hold out, refuse to do a better deal, and the customer would agree to place an order in the end. However, this practice is illegal and they were stopped.

The best thing to do is to make it obvious that you and your partner are NOT (yet!) in agreement about buying the car. Argue about it in front of the salesperson/salesmanager – particularly, near the end of the final negotiating. One of you could say that…

• you preferred some other car in another dealer
• you can’t afford that much per month
• you still have some other car to look at
• its not economical enough
• its too big/small

…anything, just to show the dealer that you are not yet BOTH in agreement.

The dealer can’t do much about any of the above but what they CAN do is work harder to convince you both – they can offer you a better deal! Remember, the dealer will only do just enough to get you to sign up.

Don’t be too keen, let the dealer convince you (both) to buy the car – they know money talks, and that’s how they will convince you.

Why does the Salesmanager look at your car?

At some point, usually after you are sitting down with your coffee, it is likely that the salesperson will ask for your keys, saying that the Salesmanager (or mechanic) would like to look at your car as well.

Now, the salesperson has already had a good look at your car and appraised it… why does the Salesmanager/mechanic want to look at it as well? Are they going to try to find more faults OR are they going to try to find a reason to give you a better deal because your car is so good?

Neither, the Salesmanager/mechanic does NOT need to look at your car! However, from your comfortable seat in the showroom, complete with coffee, you WILL see someone else go and look at your car! This is just for show… can you guess what’s really going on….?

It’s simple. They have got your keys, so there is no way you can leave now! That is all there is to it. There is no other reason why someone else would need to look at your car. Cunning…!

Don’t worry about this though; they are not going to hold you to ransom! In fact, you should be pleased when this happens - if they take your keys, it is a good indication that they think they are not far from doing a deal with you.

However, you will only get the best deal if they know you are going to sign up there and then…


So, you need some good negotiating tactics of your own...

Car Dealers Tactics ⇦ Car Sales People ⇨ Negotiating Tactics