Car Dealers Tactics

Car Sales ⇦ Car Dealers Tactics ⇨ Car Salespeople

Car dealers tactics

They will usually start calling you by name straight away. This may seem overly familiar but it is a powerful psychological tool. If someone is friendly and calling you by your name it is harder to be “rude” and walk away. Your name is your handle and they get hold of it straight away.

When they find out what car you are interested in they know that car will be a bit of a magnet that will keep you there. They play on that - obviously “talking up” the car, saying and showing you how it will do the job for you and getting you to go for a test drive in it. Clearly, few people would actually buy a car without driving it anyway, but by doing so, you are also committing yourself to remain with that dealer a little longer. They don’t mind how long you spend there - as long as you end up buying a car.

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Don’t worry about these things, giving your name and spending time with them. Their hope is that the longer you are there, the more chance there is of you buying a car from them. But this also works in your favour – the more time they spend with you, the more important it is that they end up doing a deal with you. They (as well as you) would be really disappointed if, after spending a couple of hours with you, they failed to do a deal.

The third thing that they like to find out straight away is whether you have a part exchange car. If you do – they WILL want it…

If you want to replace your existing car (as opposed to buying a second one), what are you going to do with your existing car? Obviously you can either trade it in or sell it privately. If you went off to sell it privately that would probably mean that you wouldn’t be doing a deal there and then. If you weren’t able to do a deal there and then, that means that you would be classed as a “be back” and you might go and buy your new car elsewhere.

So, no dealer would be happy for you to sell your car privately, unless you were able to buy your new car first and worry about selling your old one later. However, as they know most people can’t afford to do this, they will probably say they want your old car and this introduces us to the third fundamental fact:

Car Salespeople Tell Lies

Sorry, but it’s true… even the nice friendly ones!

We can’t possibly look at ALL the lies that they will tell you but we can cover many of them and show you how to handle any others.

As far as your potential part exchange car is concerned, they could tell you one of many stories, all designed to make you think that you will get the best deal on your part exchange from them. They might say anything from: they like your car and that it would look good on their forecourt, to: they have a customer looking for exactly the car you have and that they would be able to sell it quickly so they can give you a really good price for it.

On the other hand they might try to talk your car down: unusual model, high mileage, wrong colour etc and that it will be difficult to sell but, surprise surprise, they will STILL do you the best deal.

If the potential customer has unrealistic ideas as to how much their part exchange is worth (not you, now, hopefully!), another tactic that they use is to find all the faults with the car. This usually happens later on in the dealing process: they put the car on a ramp and invite the customer to come underneath and look at it with them. They point out problems and tell them to avoid standing in a particular place because oil or fluid is dripping from their car (even though it probably isn’t!) Anything to make the customer start doubting how much they might get but then tell them that they will still TRY to get the price they want. Again, making the potential customer think that they will get the best deal there.

The point we are making here is that salespeople are excellent story tellers. The stories will vary depending on their approach, their training and how they think you can most easily be influenced. A good rule of thumb is to disbelieve anything and everything that they tell you. Assume that it is ALL lies. After all, it’s not important anyway. What matters is how good a deal you get.

The danger with their “stories” is that if you begin to take notice or, worse still, accept them as being true – you can’t help being influenced, it’s human nature. You have got to remember that car salespeople tell stories for a living; they are extremely good at it and its all part of the patter, the flannel that is designed to draw you in and make you feel that you are important, your part exchange car is important and that you won’t get a better deal elsewhere. The only really important thing, to them, is that you buy a car from THEM and that they make as much profit from you as they can.

One of the best things to do when you are subjected to these stories is to disregard them completely, smile sweetly and go on to change the subject.

Whatever they say, if you have a car to part exchange, they will want you to part exchange your car with them – unless it’s more or less worthless (sorry!).

We will see some of their other lies/stories later…

So, straight away, the car salesperson will usually try to take control by asking your name, what car you are interested in and whether or not you have a part exchange. At some point, early on, they will also ask how much you want for your part exchange.

This is always a tricky subject… and often leads to some tension as no-one wants to say how much they want for their car. You have most probably acted in this way yourself: “I want as much as I can get” or “You tell me” are common answers. Either that, or the potential customer comes up with some unrealistically high figure.

The potential customer seems to think that the salesperson might just come up with a really high offer and so they don’t want to spoil their chances by saying what they want in case they say a figure that is “too low”!

In any event, the salesperson will usually persevere, trying to get the customer to say how much they want first. This is partly due to them wanting to retain “control” of the customer and partly due to the fact that, at such an early stage, they really don’t want to tell you how much they will offer!

Sadly, if they are going to change their car, the first thing a lot of people do is shop around, “collecting bids”, to see which dealer will offer them the most money for their car. They then often use this as the basis of not only where they are going to buy a car but also what car they are actually going to buy!!!

However, as you now know, this is a totally misplaced judgement and they are actually doing themselves a disservice because:

a) No dealer is likely to offer their “best price” to someone they know is still shopping around and, more importantly,
b) No dealer is REALLY going to offer more than another anyway – you are going to get the Trade Price wherever you go.

If a dealer just came up with an offer for your car it gives you, their potential customer, a figure to “shop around with” and they know that the majority of people will do so… it’s one of the quickest ways to turn you into a “be back”. For them, it is far better if YOU tell them what price you want and they say they will try to get it for you – it keeps you there, always hoping for the good deal.

So, they don’t want to “bid” you on your car and you don’t want to tell them how much you want. Normally, this can only lead to a bit of tension, in fact, some customers get really upset. This is a shame because it sets you off on the wrong footing before you even start.

Next we see how to handle car salespeople...

Car Sales ⇦ Car Dealers Tactics ⇨ Car Salespeople