This is a Ã¢â‚¬Å“how toÃ¢â‚¬Â with a unique approach to getting exactly the deal and car you want, to not only avoid all the things we have grown to hate about visiting a car dealership, AND actually enjoy the process. What a concept!
As car buyers, here is just some of the negative junk that we have all experienced:
Rude and indifferent treatment by salesmen that are dressed like pimps (donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you ever wonder what their house or car looks like?), being ripped off on trade-ins and new purchase, the tons of wasted time it takes to transact a deal, the agony of being handed off to a Ã¢â‚¬Å“closerÃ¢â‚¬Â, and if you are a woman just coming onto the dealership premises by yourself, being asked, Ã¢â‚¬Å“is your husband with you?Ã¢â‚¬Â as if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a brain in your head.
WouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you love to avoid this junk? You can. Easily.
Here are some general guidelines:
Before actually visiting the dealership, set yourself up with a positive mental attitude that makes the following statement: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am not only going to enjoy this visit, but also stay in control of what happens at all times. I am also going to exude confidence, and a sense of humor to all I meet.Ã¢â‚¬Â Believe me, if you can adopt this attitude, it will not only defuse any negativity that might occur, but it will subconsciously put at ease all with whom you interact while there.
NEVER just Ã¢â‚¬Å“drop inÃ¢â‚¬Â at a car dealership if you can possibly avoid it. If in passing by you see a car you like, pre-owned or new, then go to your computer and find that vehicle on the dealership website. If you just park and walk onto the premises, you may possibly subject yourself to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“pack of wolves syndromeÃ¢â‚¬Â, and find yourself at the mercy of a regular salesperson, who if you happen to luck out may be a good contact, or may actually be the last person in the world with whom you would want to deal.
ALWAYS do preliminary research. (And DONÃ¢â‚¬â„¢T make a big deal out of this. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s simple.) The research is designed to not only to get information about your target vehicle, but to also find the right person to talk to, and you will find out that this person is probably the most important part of this process.
Treat your salesperson with respect and courtesy. It is O.K. to be friendly. Put yourself in his or her shoes. Believe it or not, these folks are not hardened criminals, and have feelings just like you do. People are much more inclined to respond to genuine respect with a display of knowledge than they are to arrogant demands and unrealistic goals. As an long-time Internet Director for major manufacturers like Acura, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, and Saturn, I will tell you that I will bend over backwards to help customers that are friendly, knowledgeable, and frank about their needs and expectations. This may surprise you, but these customers always get the best deal possible.
Be realistic in your purchase price expectations. Internet pricing is generally very fair, and todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dealership profit margins are extremely low because of competition. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Low-ballingÃ¢â‚¬Â a sales consultant with a ridiculous price just to see how far the price might come down, is childish, will not only anger the salesperson, but probably close the door to the possibility of best price. Research will provide a realistic price range to pursue.
DO NOT KEEP HIDDEN AGENDAS when talking with your salesperson. Be frank and honest about your expectations. If you have quotes from other dealers, or research material pertinent to your pending purchase, then share that information up front with your salesperson. DO NOT spring this on them after they have made their calculations and gone to the work and trouble of giving you a quote. If you do this, you will probably regret it, as you will probably have instantly alienated this person, and erased the rapport you may have established to this point.
Now, here is the simple 5-step process:
1. Do your research and zero in on the manufacturer and model and pricing you want and can afford. There are many websites out there that will give you quick access to information. Here are just a few of them: (Many of these will give you information on both pre-owned and new.)
Pre-owned: Autotrader , Cars.com, Autobytel, Autoweb.com,
New: Your best best here is to visit your chosen manufacturer’s site
General information and research: Check out the Road Test archive here in The Garage or any of your other favorite car blog.
Ladies: Ask Patty is a great resource for you.
According to the latest surveys, women would rather have their appendix
removed with a dull spoon than visit a car dealership. Because women now comprise over 64% of all auto purchases, and have more buying power than ever, Ask Patty has developed a team that will be sure you enjoy the buying process.
2. After finding the dealership or dealerships you want to deal with, GO
ONLINE through any of the sources above and you will receive a response from an Internet-trained salesperson, sometimes from the floor, or most generally an Internet Director of the dealership. (You can also try calling and asking for someone through the store Manager) When you fill out the online form for dealership response, it is extremely important to do the following:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Use the comments section of the online form, and write as if having a real conversation. You want to establish rapport. Rapport saves you money!
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t use commands or demands.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be rude. Always be courteous and keep a sense of humor if possible.
3. Do as much online and phone agreements as possible. Nail down a competitive
quote and a price commitment by email from your salesperson. If you want to save time and aggravation, agree to a model configuration, actual Stock number from their inventory, price, plus fees, that will work for you. DO NOT VISIT THE DEALERSHIP WITH THE IDEA OF HAGGLING THAT PRICE DOWN FURTHER. The odds are you will tick everyone off and that will cost you more!
4. Set an appointment time with a specific salesperson and arrive there on time. (If you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, you may have someone else helping you, and you might have to start all over again at the dealership, and you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want that. Ask your contact what you need to bring, and come prepared with any pertinent personal information that may be required, a copy of the price commitment from the Internet person, email copies of any competition quotes, and information on any trade vehicle you may have (including pay-off if any) with your expectations on what you want for it, any finance or credit information that may be necessary.
5. If you are comfortable with the proposed deal and really want to save yourself valuable time, tell your contact that you would like to have the vehicle ready for purchase and delivery when you arrive at the dealership.
If you do all this prep, you will probably have an enjoyable and quick visit to the store. But in the slim event that you might run into unscrupulous individuals there that try to change the deal with a major bump in price from what you agreed upon, or switching you from the vehicle you agreed upon with the pretense that it was sold, OR if you are treated with disrespect, then thank them, and walk out.
Oil on the water reminders:
DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fear going into the finance office. Finance Managers are not blood-sucking vampires. And considering extended warranties is not a bad idea. For your information, most people in the automotive industry get extra warranties on all their vehicle purchases.
Go in with a professional and courteous presence, and the odds are you will be treated in the same manner. Hmmmn. Now why does that sound familiar? Oh yeah. I remember. The Golden Rule.
Well, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s it. Pretty simple stuff, huh? Go get Ã¢â‚¬Ëœem!