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7 min read Published January 17, 2023

Authored by Dana Dratch Written by Personal Finance Writer Dana Dratch is a personal lifestyle and finance writer who is a fan of all things credit and money. With a degree of English as well as writing, she enjoys asking the kinds of questions people would want to ask and then providing the answers- along with the most effective money management advice from the experts. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are committed to helping readers to manage their finances through providing concise, well-researched and well-documented facts that break down complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate guarantee

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We are compensated in exchange for the placement of sponsored products or services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. So, this compensation can influence the manner, place and when products appear within listing categories, except where prohibited by law for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other home lending products. Other factors, like our own rules for our website and whether or not a product is available within your region or within your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this website. While we strive to provide an array of offers, Bankrate does not include specific information on each credit or financial item or product. The process of purchasing a or vehicle has a lot of moving components. It is necessary to negotiate with sales representatives of the car and negotiate with lenders to get an auto loan — all while trying to negotiate a bargain for the trade-in. Making mistakes can cost you dearly the money, so being prepared is crucial. “The salespeople are specially trained to separate you from your cash,” says Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports’ managing editor for automobiles. “This is something they apply every day, while the average buyer of a car buys one car every five years or so. This isn’t a fair fight.” Be aware of these tactics and think about the following salesman tips to stand a better likelihood of getting what you want with your next purchase. Seven salesperson techniques to be aware of There’s a good chance you’ll be confronted with high-pressure sales pitches when you visit a dealer. Below are 7 of the most popular techniques you may come across. 1. Playing out the clock Some salespeople for cars use time as a tool, says Bartlett. They’ll draw out the process until you’re exhausted. The salesperson will be there all day regardless of you. Therefore, if you’re planning to go, don’t be frightened to set aside an entire day to spend at the dealership — and take something to entertain your time as you wait for the salesperson to arrive. But you don’t have to go through the entire process in a single day. It’s fine to take your time making a decision. When you’re ready to make a purchase do not be held hostage. Speak up and say: “Give us your best price.” Then, if the salesperson suggests going back and forth with their manager, tell them to text or email you the results. The strategy is to arrive at a dealer, immediately begin the process by saying something like “I’m here to take testing the car. Tomorrow, I’ll be back and discuss numbers.” 2. Psychological profiling Sales staff get extensive training on how to break down the requirements and weaknesses of potential customers. Their quick evaluation of their customers allows them to tap into scripted questions and guide the conversation. “Car salespeople are specifically trained in how to persuade people,” Bartlett says. “You’ll need to know not only , but your weaknesses.” One question that you may be asked is “How much do you intend to spend every month?” Bartlett says that it’s crucial to keep that information in your pocket. “If you announce that upfront, it may alter the course of action. This leaves you vulnerable.” Insist on the day you test drive, and are currently signing documents. It’s okay to let car salespeople help answer some questions, but remember that they can use any details against you such as vanity, family needs or safety concerns, to upsell you on a more expensive car or . “Stay focused on your goal,” Bartlett says, and repeat the mantra: “Let’s focus on this. Let’s get back to that later.” Your plan of action: break down the buying process into phases and concentrate only on one aspect at each step. Begin with the car you would like, and then move on to and put off any add-ons or to be discussed in a separate conversation. 3. The pressure of the “imminent event’ You know the things you want, and you have . The salesperson tells you the if you do not purchase the car today then you’ll be unable to make the sale, or that someone is going to come and look at the vehicle. This is a tactic used to sell a car known as “the imminent occasion.” “People are more interested in getting something that they know that someone else would like or already has. The salespeople at the car dealership often take advantage of this,” says Ronald Burdge who is a lemon law attorney. “Suppose you’re in the car dealership and you pick out one particular car and the salesman breaks the bad information to you, telling you that there’s already an investment in that vehicle or that there’s a buyer who said they’d return later today in order to take it home,” Burdge continues. “That’s generally followed by the invitation to put a on it or purchase the car now before they come back. The imminent event might be real, but most of the time, the tale is an esoteric sales pitch to get you to commit to the purchase immediately.” “A car dealer who does that to you is most likely to offer a whole of a lot more than they encounter,” Burdge says. Remember, you can find the exact car elsewhere, whether at another dealership or even on the internet. It is also possible to purchase something else. Your plan: Look at the salesperson’s face and say “Are you saying that if I come back the next day, you’ll be unable to make me buy the car?” In other words, your best defense is to simply leave — or at least be prepared to do so. 4. The “porcupine closing” this method, the seller “sticks” the potential buyer with the buyer with a question. This could be “If I could get you this monthly installment, would this be enough to convince you to purchase this car now?” Or “If I can get this in midnight blue Would you be willing to purchase this car right now?” This strategy, also known as”the “if,” signals that the seller is seeking the trigger to buy, according to LeeAnn Shattuck, creator of The Car Chick website and Car Chick TV. The strategy you choose to follow: Your answer to this question should always be”no,” Shattuck says. Instead, tell the salesperson you are shopping around with different dealers to determine the best overall deal. Once you compare your deals, you’ll need to take a decision. 5. The ‘Ben Franklin close’ This one is a classic. The way it works is: The Salesperson draws a straight line in the middle of a piece paper, listing reasons to buy the car on one side, and the reasons to not buy it on the opposite side. It’s a common marketing technique used in the automobile industry and elsewhere. “The notion is to show that on the whole it is better off buying a new car,” Burdge says. “Of course, that actually is contingent on what the buyer writes down and how truthful it is in the first place.” What you should concentrate on the following aspects when you use this method which includes your monthly payment and your down payment and the length, interest rate and total price. “Know the exact numbers that these should be, according to your budget before you enter the dealer, and make sure to stick to the figures,” Burdge says. Your strategy: The best way to defuse such a tactic is to label it. You can say, “That’s the Ben Franklin close.” Doing so is likely to cause an uncomfortable moment for an agent, however, it’ll also stop the technique from going on for long. 6. The alternative choice close This technique is among the most well-known, according to Dan Seidman, managing director at Read Emotions and author of “The Ultimate Guide to Sales Training.” You’re given a choice between two things, like whether you would prefer a model in blue or red. Good car salespeople never ever ask you to answer a question because they don’t want give you a chance to say no. The key is that both options are readily available. “In the automobile business it’s all about selling what’s on the lot,” Seidman says. “A knowledgeable buyer could say, ‘I want to look at everything you have.'” If a salesperson attempts to lure you in with the alternative closing, don’t fall for the bait. “You’re at ease, you’re relaxed, you’re not ready to make a final decision,” Seidman says. The strategy you can use: Learn an example from the political world. Refuse to answer with a noncommittal answer -as if you’re interested in various colors- before switching to a new topic. 7. The drive into the rear office The finance manager is one of the most skilled people at the dealer, Bartlett says. They’ll suggest that you put on a lot of things you don’t really need. Since you’re spending a significant amount of money on your vehicle, you might be advised to buy security measures for interior staining, anti-theft devices such as rustproofing, and . “If you’ve been strategic during the buying process make sure you don’t flinch at this final stage,” Bartlett says. You’ll want to be specific about what you’re looking for — presumably not tacked-on additional profit-making features and finalize that package. To make sure that the additional costs do not add up, you should go line by line through your bill, looking for charges from the dealer that you could . The most common ones to check for are preparation charges as well as title fees . Your strategy: Know what you want and need before going to the dealership and adhere to your plan. You should have financing secured and you should always remind the finance manager that you’ve got a set plan and aren’t flexible. What influences a salesperson’s tactics? Salespeople are usually under pressure to maximise the profit for each vehicle they sell to earn more commissions, and this influences how they interact with you. The more a car salesperson can convince you to pay for an automobile, the greater profits they earn. Their commission may be up to 25 percent of the vehicle’s price at the time of sale, Burdge says. Additionally, the management of the dealership offers bonuses for selling cars that may have been sitting in the parking lot. There are also additional bonuses from the car manufacturer for salespersons or from the dealership if they have met a sales quota on a particular model year or year of the vehicle, says Burdge. “Dealerships operate on a monthly , so at the end of the month , the sales team is especially eager to get more sales,” Burdge says. “At the beginning of the month, it’s typically more about profit per sale — so how much profit is to be earned on every car sold.” How to prepare to purchase a car prior to you begin your search for a car it is essential to think about what your wants and needs are, then research the cars you’re interested in and nail to the bottom of your spending plan. The you need should be the first factor that you take into consideration. Sedans, SUVs, trucks and minivans are all available at different prices and features. Once you know the type of vehicle, research makes and models. Certain brands have better reputations and warranties. Standard features and trims are also important to consider when you are shopping. Consider whether you would like to go . A new vehicle may come with the latest advancements in terms of safety, comfort, and functionality, but it comes at a higher price point and will be worth significantly less in a year. before visiting the dealership. There are online and banks that provide affordable rates for auto loans and it makes sense to get an idea of your potential monthly payments before the salesperson begins to explain the most common strategies. Utilize your budget as a guide throughout your shopping process. Before you step your feet on the dealership lot, it is vital to be able to balance your car’s needs and the amount you can spend. “The more you , the less likely that someone will talk you into something that won’t work for you or is something you can’t afford,” Burdge says. “Make your own choices at home, and adhere to them when you head to go to the car dealership.” Be confident is key to finding a bargain. Knowing the most common tactics will help you stay confident in negotiations. However, it’s not the only tool you have. Find out about other vehicles, and know the worth of your car before when you visit the dealership. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro — you only need to be clear on the amount you’re willing to pay and what you really need.


Authored by Personal Finance writer Dana Dratch is a personal lifestyle and finance writer who is a fan of everything about credit and money. With a degree in English and writingskills, she likes asking the questions people would want to ask and sharing the answers — along with smart strategies for managing money from experts. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances with precise, well-researched and concise facts that break down complicated subjects into bite-sized pieces.

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