Here’s the script for the “Meet Your Car Salesman” video above:
You’re on the lot. You know the car you want. Now we’re going to meet your car salesman.
They want to help you buy a car. It’s the only reason they leave their families and spend all day at the dealership, so let’s build some rapport and get them on our side. You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so let’s turn them into an advocate on your behalf so that everything goes more smoothly.
Pretty quickly they’re going to ask you some type of question like, “What brings you out today?” or “What can I do to help you?” or the super-cheesy, “What can I do to get you to drive out of here with a car today?” No matter what they say, the objective is the same.
Let’s shock the world and be totally up front with them. Just be like,
“Hey Jim, that’s a great question. I’m here to look at a specific car that I saw on your site, and if everything works out well, I’m prepared to drive it home today.”
Then tell them the car that you want or show them the printout. It should have the dealer’s stock number right on it so they can go and grab the keys right away. It’s also great to hand them your driver’s license as they’re going to get the keys because they’ll need to make a copy anyway in case anything happens on the test drive, and they need to file an insurance claim.
Their next step should be to ask if you’ve been speaking with anyone else at the dealership. I’ve seen fistfights over sales associates not asking this question. When they steal someone else’s customer, it’s called “Skating” and is one of the very worst offenses that a salesperson can commit. If you have been in touch with someone like an internet sales rep or another associate, please let them know upfront. Now let’s just assume that you have yet to contact someone there, so when you meet your car salesman, just let them know that you haven’t spoken with anyone yet.
Here’s how your sales rep is feeling right at that moment…”Hooray!!! I have a serious buyer here.” They’ve got a pep in their step and are ready to get moving.
That being said, car salesmen and especially new car sales reps are supposed to be professionally trained, but since they’re people who don’t always sell a car during a 12-hour shift, so, therefore, don’t get paid anything…sometimes they don’t have the best days and may fall into some bad habits.
Here’s the very worst habit that some have, though, and I used to be guilty of it on occasion as well. Trying to talk about money before the customer says that they want to buy that car. We don’t know what happened with the sales associate. Maybe they just spent 4 hours with someone who couldn’t get approved for financing. Maybe they’re in a lower credit type of neighborhood, so want to run a credit check before they even show you a car. Some might go right to, “What type of payment are you looking to get?” while you’re on a test drive. These types of questions are horrible habits that some sales reps can develop and run contrary to their instructions from every manufacturer.
I can’t emphasize this point enough: A sales rep does not have any right to ask you about money, or payments, or down payments, or credit, or trade-ins in any way shape or form until you have driven the car and tell them that you want to buy it. Period.
Some will try, so don’t be surprised. It just means that they’re having a bad day, week, or month…and some just never get better. If that happens, just say politely,
“I can appreciate your concern, but I don’t even know if I want to buy a car here yet. However, I am financially prepared for anything I choose to buy.”
That being said, make sure you are financially prepared to buy when you meet your car salesman. Salespeople only make money if they sell a car and have missed an opportunity to put food on the table if you skipped earlier sections, especially on financing. If you’re on the right car in the first place and are prepared, this process will go far more smoothly.
Finally, if you don’t like your sales rep or there’s something that’s bothering you, it’s ok to ask for a different one. Some people simply aren’t cut out for the job and lack the necessary social skills. I know that it’s an awkward thing to ask, but just imagine spending the next 3+ hours with someone that irritates you.
Buying a car should be an exciting experience for you, so there’s no need to feel like you’re stuck with some weirdo sales rep.