Here’s the script for the “Vehicle Negotiation” video above:

The salesman has finished their presentation, and you’ve gone on a test drive.  They asked in some way if you want to buy it today, and you said, “Yes!”  Here’s what to expect during your vehicle negotiation going forward.

They’re going to lead you back inside the dealership to sit at their desk.  *NOW* they have earned the right to ask you about finances and how you intend to pay for the car.

In vehicle negotiation, there is always someone in the water drowning, and there’s someone on the shore with a life ring ready to throw it out and save you – if you say the right things.  The person onshore has what is called “posture” because they have what you want.  When most car shoppers go in after the test drive, the dealer thinks that the buyer is drowning because they want the car that the dealer has available right now.

It’s our job as buyers to flip that around and put the dealer in the water so that we have what they want (the money) and that they’re now begging us as buyers to throw the life ring.

It’s a simple thing to flip posture on a dealer and put them in the water…all you must do is not want what they have.  It’s ok to be excited on the inside, but for this part, we’re going to keep it right there, and we’re going to act like it’s totally ok if we leave without it.  You must make them believe that you could care less if you get the car or not.  Now you have the posture.

Their job at this point will be to ask some discovery questions because they’ll need to communicate your intentions to the sales manager.  Some of their questions may be like,

  • “How do you want to buy the car?  Cash, Finance, or Lease?”
  • “How much of a down payment will you have?”
  • “What is your credit score? Or How is your credit?”
  • “Do you have a trade-in?”
vehicle negotiation

You may even meet an experienced sales rep who will try to close you before they even get the first pencil. It was a tactic that I used frequently where before even asking the desk, I would dig in so deeply that a customer would say as an example,

“If you can get me at $350/mo for 60 months, and zero down, I’ll buy.”

I’d come back, tell them we can’t do 60, but we can do 72 and would settle it up right there…even when I knew the desk would do it at 60 months.

You aren’t going to let someone like me get away with that, though, because then you’ve just been taken for a sucker.

A dealer will expect that if you come inside, that you will tell your sales rep what you want for payments and how much you’ll put down.  So I’m very non-committed at this point and don’t tell them exactly what I want to accomplish.  This will frustrate the sales manager and put the sales rep on the defensive with them.  The more chaos we can create in the tower, the better it is for our deal as buyers.

When the sales rep asks how I want to buy it, I’ll tell them that I haven’t decided yet.  If they ask how much I want to put down, I’ll ask them to show me various options.  If they push for a credit application, tell them you might just write a check, so it’s irrelevant.  If they ask about my credit score or profile, I’ll tell them to not worry about that yet, worry about getting me the best price on the car.

Because that’s what everything about vehicle negotiation boils down to folks.  Payments and rates or buy or lease, cash or financing…all that matters right now is the price of the car.

Send them into the sales tower for your numbers with as little information as possible just to put them on edge.  At this point, you’ve put a huge dent in the sales rep’s confidence in making a deal here.  You don’t want to come across as a “Lay Down” – Yeah, you’ll save a bit of time that way, but you also won’t get the best deal that you can.

One final thing, though, if you do have a trade-in, you can give them the keys for it now so that they can have a sales manager appraise it.  We’ll get into that next.

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