Most people shop for a vehicle once every several years, with some doing it more frequently and some less frequently. The automotive business is huge, and there’s no shortage of articles that focus on how to try to get the best deal possible when buying a car or truck.

But there’s one approach that’s often overlooked in these articles, and that’s how to get a salesperson to help you get the best deal possible. If you communicate effectively with a salesperson, they’ll be on your side, instead of merely going through the motions of trying to find you the right car. And having a salesperson on your side is always the best option.  

Here are seven things you should always tell your salesperson when shopping for a vehicle:

1. Whether or not you can make it

You wouldn’t believe how many people make appointments to come in and look at a vehicle with a salesperson and don’t end up keeping them. If you can’t make it, let your salesperson and know and they can reschedule with you – it can help make the process go a lot smoother.

2. Be upfront about your timing

It will help you tremendously if you let the salesperson know when you plan on purchasing a vehicle. If it’s very soon, then the salesperson will pull out all the stops to make it happen, ensuring a better deal for you. If, however, you’re just starting to look and don’t plan on buying for a few months or a year, let the salesperson know so that they have the right expectations and can plan accordingly for when the time is right.

3. Let them know if you have a trade-in

Despite certain myths out there, it’s much better to let your salesperson know that you have a vehicle you’ll be trading in up front in the process. This will make the process go much faster and more efficiently. It’ll also allow you to find out whether there are any discrepancies between the value you’re expecting for your trade-in and what the dealership will be offering you earlier on in the process.

4. Always be honest about your deal-breakers

If you know that certain things are complete deal-breakers for you, let the salesperson know up front. This will help narrow down the search and prevent you from wasting your time. Whether it’s a certain make, style, or price, always be sure you communicate what won’t work for you no matter what.

5. Be direct about your credit

If you know that you have a spotty credit history, it helps to let the salesperson know that up front. That way, they can run a credit history check to better understand what you will qualify for. Similarly, if you have stellar credit and know it, let the salesperson know so that they understand you’ll have no trouble getting approved as needed.

6. If you’re not interested, say so

This might sound like a silly point, but too many people worry about hurting a salesperson’s feelings and instead make empty promises or promise to think about it and come back. If you know you don’t want a certain vehicle or deal, just say that you don’t want it and you’ll save the salesperson from wasting time on needless follow-up, which will mean less emails and voicemails you’ll have to answer (or ignore).

7. If a deal works for you, say so

We’ve been conditioned to believe that you should never let a salesperson know that you’re interested in a deal for fear of not getting the best pricing. Nothing could be further from the truth. We want you to be happy, and there’s nothing that is more valuable to a salesperson than someone who walks away with a vehicle at a price that makes them smile. So if the vehicle is the one you want, and the price works for you, let your salesperson know.