Shopping for a vehicle can be an interesting and fun experience, depending on how you go about it. There are lots of ways to walk away happy and with a great deal, especially if you’re working with a competent salesperson (like me :)).
But there are also certain things you want to avoid doing if you’re looking for a successful transaction on your next vehicle. Saying the following things can derail your deal and not put you in the driver’s seat, literally and figuratively. Avoid saying these ten things to car salespeople:
1. “Who wants to sell a car today?”
The reason why you don’t want to say this when you enter a dealership is 99% of the time, anyone who says this has zero intention of buying. Auto salespeople have heard this for years, and will often try to get as far away from someone who says this as possible.
2. “I don’t want to test-drive it”
Don’t skip the test drive when buying a vehicle. You need to know how it drives and whether you’re comfortable in it before buying it, and the test drive is the only way to figure that out. Many salespeople will insist on customers taking a test drive for this same reason.
3. “I don’t have a trade-in” (when you really do)
Some people are under the mistaken impression that hiding their trade-in until coming to an agreement with the salesperson on price will get them a better deal. Not only is this completely false, but it will probably extend the buying process for hours, costing you time and not putting you in any better of a position.
4. “But my uncle’s step-brother’s friend got a better deal”
It’s fine to use someone else’s transaction as a reference point, but keep in mind that there are so many variables at play (including the fact that the person who claims to have gotten such an amazing deal might be embellishing) that very rarely are two deals alike. Work with the salesperson to come up with a deal that works for you, but don’t base it on someone else’s story.
5. “Give me this discount, or I walk”
Some people love playing “hardball” in their negotiations, and that’s ok. Car salespeople deal with this every single day. But because of this, salespeople and sales managers will definitely let someone walk away if they don’t have any room to negotiate on price, so if you’re planning on using this negotiating “tactic,” be prepared for it to backfire spectacularly.
6. “I have great credit” (when you don’t)
Granted, some people might think they have great credit when in reality they don’t. But if your credit is spotty, or you don’t know how good it is, don’t claim that it’s great, because it could derail the entire transaction and waste both yours and the salesperson’s time.
7. “I want to speak to your manager”
While we tend to think that speaking with a manager will get us a better deal, automotive salespeople are well-versed on this technique too. There’s nothing wrong with talking to a manager to tell them what a great job a sales rep is doing or to get another opinion, but if you’re looking for a heavy discount just by asking for someone in charge, you’re unlikely to get it.
8. “We’re not looking to buy for another year”
There’s no law against going into a dealership just to look around, but some people spend hours of a salesperson’s time discussing and test driving vehicles when they have no plans to buy in the near future. This is an unpleasant and unproductive experience for the salespeople, who could be working with clients who have more pressing needs, and aren’t just looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon.
9. “I will definitely call you back” (when you won’t)
Too many people say that they’ll get back to salespeople when they have no intention whatsoever of doing it. This is usually because they don’t want to hurt a salesperson’s feelings by saying they’re not interested, or are afraid that they’ll be pressured to say yes. In reality, being direct and honest is the best way to go. A salesperson will know that they shouldn’t spent their time pursuing you if you’re not interested, and you won’t have to avoid the emails and calls that always come when you make promises that you don’t intend to keep.
10. “I didn’t want to bother you”
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: we want you to bother us! Please call us and email us and message us, because we are successful only when our customers are happy. If you have questions, are looking for advice, or need anything else that’s vehicle-related, please call me first. As salespeople, we like nothing more than hearing from customers.