Monday, April 2, 2012

New Car Buying Advice - The Car Sales Process

Know the steps and Know the traps.
Most automobile dealerships whether they are new car dealers or used car dealers share many similarities. Therefore, when considering a visit to a dealership it is important that you know something about how car selling is designed to work. All dealers have a structured process that is ultimately designed to guide you to make a positive purchasing decision. The first step in the process that a salesman works on is you and he or she is trying to entice you to purchase a car based on emotions not information.
Meet and Greet
Almost the minute you pull up on to a car lot the salesman who is next up is getting ready to come and meet you. The salesperson is taught to put you at ease from the very beginning. Their dress and speech will mimic their most usual customer and they will usually open with a very well rehearsed greeting. Regardless of what you say based on years of experience they will respond with one of 5 well rehearsed statements. These statements vary from dealer to dealer but almost all are designed to get you moving towards the sale.
Fact Finding and Rapport Building
The next portion of the process is about finding out what you want. They will tell you stories of other customers like you and try to get on your good side. All in all this is not a bad thing but do not be lulled into thinking that you are their friend. Their desire is to find a car you can buy and to make the sale. The goal for the salesman in this part of the process is to find a car that will meet your needs and put you in it.
Vehicle Selection
A good salesman at this point will have an idea of what type of car you are talking about even though you may not know exactly what you are looking for in a vehicle. During the last phase in his asking of questions he has discovered or attempted to discover whether or not you are trading a car in, if you have a down payment and at least an overall view of your credit status. This will help him lead you to a vehicle that not only is right for you but one that you can also afford. Initially you may have had a particular model in mind but after talking with the skilled salesperson you will be in the one he knows you can actually buy.
Vehicle Presentation
The presentation will usually start with a recap of the features and benefits of the car you just saw. An attempt will be made to grow value in the dealership and in the benefits of doing business with this particular dealer. Then you will be led around the car in very structured and rehearsed presentation of all the benefits of this particular vehicle and why it is the best car for you.
Demo Ride
This will be the first real chance for the salesperson to lock you in to a particular vehicle. Usually the salesperson will drive you off the lot on a defined route and then stop at a particular place and let you drive. Many times a skilled salesperson will not do the vehicle presentation until this time. They will explain everything to you on the interior as they are driving. Once you take over the wheel they will become very quiet and let you do the talking and they will listen for clues to making the sale.
Handling the Trade
Once back at the dealership, you will be asked again about your trade and the salesperson will make a walk around of your car, ask for your keys and then call the dealer's used car appraiser. The value that you think you may have is probably not what they will come up with. The appraisal will usually surprise and disappoint you. But in most cases even if you owe more than what you owe the dealer will be able to work a deal on your car.
Show the Store Off
While the appraisal is going on the salesperson will show you around the dealership and build value so that you will not balk at the prices. Here is where your research comes into play. Ask for referrals from the service department this is the only true measure of how well they do in taking care of customers.
The only real advice for negotiating with a car dealer is to know your budget and stick with it. You must know what you can afford in insurance, maintenance, and car payments. Do not be moved above what you can pay or you will find yourself getting a car repossessed. The dealer does not care at that point because the car belongs to the finance company and the dealer has already been paid. If you can come to the dealer with financing in place from your bank or credit union then you are in a much stronger negotiating position than if you have to use the dealer's financing.
Closing the Deal
The closing process is designed to wear you down. By making little concessions over a long period of time the dealer gets you tired and confused. If you have done your research then you will not have to worry about this. They will work you over and turn you over to other sales people and managers trying to get you to raise your budget and down payment over and over. Stand your ground and be prepared to walk away.
To read more about the car buying process please visit [] Cliff has been a car salesman for more than 10 years and rights under several different names to protect himself from industry backlash.
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The Car Sales Process


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