Save Yourself From a High-Pressure Car Salesperson
The high-pressure car salesperson is something of a cliché: he – high-pressure sales people are always men in popular culture – rushes to greet you as soon as you arrive at the dealership, letting you know all about the special deals available today. He then quickly asks you what you’re looking for and says something along the lines of, “Well we don’t have exactly that make/model of car, but we do have this sexy number perfect for you over here,” as he places his hand on your shoulder, steering you toward the much-more expensive car.
Not all car salespeople are high-pressure, of course. In fact, many car dealerships have turned away in recent years from that “method” of car salesmanship.
But these sharks of the car selling world are still out there. Here’s how to stay clear of them.
- Be wary of the seemingly harmless question, “So, what brings you here today?”
This question is geared to get you to divulge that your current car is showing its age, that your teen son needs a car, that you want to buy a car as a gift for your fiancé, etc. All of these things could well be true, but you don’t need to let the salesperson know because he or she can use this info against you.
How? Let’s say that your car has given up the ghost and you need a new-to-you car as soon as possible in order to get to work. If the car salesperson knows this, if he or she is unscrupulous or works in a high-pressure dealership, he/she could then steer you toward a very expensive car and/or compel you to make a purchase today.
No matter how desperately you need a car, don’t let on. (You’ll find some way to get to work tomorrow, after all.) In answer to the “what brings you here” query, answer: “I’m looking for a late-model Ford Focus with less than 50,000 miles. What do you have?”
Notice that this answer assumes you know specifically what make/model car you want. In other words, make sure you know exactly what you want before going to a dealership. Research thoroughly online before physically looking for cars.
- Negotiate price on the phone, not in person.
This assumes you’ve seen a car online that you like, you’ve already taken it for a test drive (and left before the salesperson could offer that the two you “head inside to talk”), you’ve discovered its VIN so you can get a vehicle history, and you may even have had the car inspected by your own mechanic, so you know it’s in good shape and you want to make an offer.
Call the salesperson to negotiate! Doing so means you won’t be in the dealership’s controlled environment, a place where high-pressure salespeople have you “cornered” and they have the upper hand, allowing them to use all the tactics and strategies they’ve honed to wear you down until you agree to a deal — a deal that you can probably will be better for them than it will be for you.
- Beware the old “bait and switch.”
Yes, this underhanded tactic is still used today because it’s still effective. This less-than-upright strategy entails wooing you into the dealership with an ad for a certain vehicle. You come in to take a look at the car, only to have the salesperson tell you that the car is no longer available. Hearing from the salesperson that the car was “just sold” is a big red flag and a sign of a fishy dealership.
Instead, call the dealership before visiting to inquire about the vehicle in question and make an appointment to see it.
We don’t allow high-pressure sales tactics here at the PAACO Automotive Group. We want to help Dallas-area families and individuals find good, affordable cars, and our salespeople/finance experts are trained to do just that. Give us a call at 877-810-4555 or stop by one of our locations to learn more.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net