Car-buyers experience a mixed bag of feelings when visiting a car dealership. On one hand, there is the excitement of looking at new vehicles. On the other, there is the `car salesman bogeyman’ they have to protect themselves from. The idea that car salesmen work for commissions and have a monthly quota to fill has created such an atmosphere of distrust that it actually ends up hurting the customers instead of helping them.
Dealership agents are not really the crooks and hustlers of the auto industry as they’re made out to be. They’re usually the on-site facilitators who can actually set you up with a sweet car deal that you’re very satisfied with. And even throw in freebies you never expected.
True, there are some bad eggs out there – just like in any other business. But the goal on the whole at reputable dealerships is not to shortchange customers on a few hundred or a few thousand dollars when these very same customers can become their brand ambassadors – especially in these days of social media when a bad review on Yelp, Facebook or some other channel can damage or even destroy a business’ reputation.
So do think about letting down your guard and opening up communications with your car salesman a little bit, so he/she can fully understand your needs and expectations. You’ll probably be very glad that you did afterwards.
# 1: Ready To Buy? Let Them Know!
• Don’t play cat-and-mouse with the car salesman if you’re ready to buy a car right away. It won’t make you seem overeager, and therefore vulnerable. Rather, your readiness will motivate the salesman to speed up the process, give you some great deal offers etc. just to close the sale.
# 2: Just Looking? Let Them Know That Too
• If you’re in the initial stages of shopping, and not a ready buyer, be frank about it. That way, you won’t have to deal with endless follow-up emails and phone calls that you may receive sometimes for up to 2 years!
# 3: Remind Them About The Test Drive
• A lot of people book test drives and then don’t show up on the appointed date. As a result, salesmen too get lazy with the preparation process, such as cleaning the vehicle and bringing it out of its storage location in advance. It’s always a good idea to call and re-confirm the test drive, so the dealership knows you are definitely coming. You’ll save a lot of unnecessary wait time that way.
# 4: Be Honest About Price Point
• If you’re not looking to spend a lot of money, care only about practicality and are flexible on brand, color or model, don’t deplete the salesman’s enthusiasm and waste your own time by looking at cars that come with all sorts of bells and whistles. Tell your salesman that price is a priority, and the selection will be narrowed down to efficient vehicles that are within your budget.
# 5: Be Honest If Your Credit Sucks
• What’s the point of looking at cars that you won’t be approved for if your credit is in bad shape? Let the salesman help by matching you up with cars and deals that you’re likely to qualify for instead.•
# 6: Reveal Your Magic Number
• A common belief during the car-buying process is this: don’t let car salesmen know what your price ceiling is because they might quote a lesser sum than your target price. Truth is, this rarely happens.
# 7: What About Extras?
• If you want some extras and freebies thrown in with the deal, ask for it! If the dealership is committed to good customer service, you won’t go home empty-handed.