If you have ever bought a car then I am sure you have seen some of the things I am about to talk about here. The key is to be aware of them and know how to counter them.
The dance begins on the car lot where the salesman or pack of salesman jumps you as soon as you get out of your car. Personally, if they do this to me I just leave. Anyway, when they approach you it usually starts like this. Hi, I’m Johnny ShowroomShark, are you looking for a car or truck today?” You answer, they begin to lead you around and show you what they want to show you. One way to take control immediately and put them off balance is to say “I just want to look around by myself” and take control. This is a big issue with car dealer management; they ALWAYS want to be in control.
Next, assuming you find something you like they will now have you come inside to see what kind of price they can get you, if you balk they may say well just come in and let me get you one of my cards then. What will happen in that case is that you will then be introduced to a closer who will do everything possible to get you to sit down and talk about making a deal.
If you are interested in negotiating on a car, here are some other things to watch out for. One trick that salespeople will use is to ask for your driver’s license so they can make a copy. Don’t give it to them; they will use this as leverage when you are getting ready to leave. Beginning the negotiation process watch out for trick closing questions, the most popular of these is a variation of “If I could would you?”. It goes like this, “If I can get $1,000 off the price will you buy today?” or “If I can get your payments under $300 per month can I earn your business today?” All of these are psychological closing questions designed to get you to commit to a certain figure. One way to counter this is to come back at him with questions such as, “If I am willing to buy today will you sell me the car for $1,000 under invoice?” If you have educated yourself on cost, rebates, dealer holdback, etc. as I suggest you do, you can lay all this on him too. Most salespeople will be completely overwhelmed and dumbfounded that you actually know the cost of the car better than they do!
Another trick is to hit you with astronomical payments and down payments. For example, they may give you on a $20,000 car a down payment of $5,000 and then $450 per month when it should be maybe $2,000 down and $350 per month. One method you should watch out for is called the “4 square”. It works like this; the salesperson will have a piece of paper divided into four equal parts. In the top left will be the retail price of the vehicle, in the upper right may be the down payment, the lower left for your trade, and the bottom right the monthly payment figure. This system has been used for years to make profit in the car business. Again, the best way to counter this is to take control yourself and don’t play their game. If you want the car you tell them what you will do and if they don’t meet your demand get up and leave.
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Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida with his 16 year old son. For the best in quality car care products go to www.carcarewizards.com
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