O.K. you’re patting yourself on the back for all of the
homework you’ve done on your perspective car that you are going
to buy… so you’re fired up and ready to go… right?
great that you’ve done much homework on the car that you’ve got
your eye on… good job. But, consider this – have you given any
thought at all as to what your negotiating game plan is going to
be? If you really want to maximize your car deal, it only makes
sense to give this area some additional consideration.
Negotiating is skill that can be learned and gets better with
practice. Throughout everyone’s life – first as children then as
parents – negotiation occurs rather regularly. Now that you’re
looking at stepping onto a car dealership, you shouldn’t
suddenly feel as though you’ve never been involved in
negotiations… I’ll bet that you have.
First and foremost,
plan to succeed. Simple thought I know, but it is part of the
preparation. If you go into the process thinking that you would
really like to get the selling price down to a certain figure,
but at the same time you’re telling yourself that this probably
won’t happen… then guess what… it won’t. You won’t have the
confidence, and the sales person or sales manager will get work
on your shaky expectations and get you off your target price.
Be mindful of the other hand though. If you go into the car
selling price negotiating process like the proverbial ‘bull in a
china shop’ you’ll probably trip the sales person’s and the
sales manager’s hot button and they will push back just as
vigorously creating a negotiating chasm.
The key as a
polished negotiator is to stay calm and pleasant and present
Secondly – Be prepared. Don’t go into
any type of transaction such as buying a car unprepared. Don’t
just know about the car and what you want your car to come with
– know what each of these options cost… don’t guess or assume…
There is profit to be negotiated upon across the board at any
given dealership. Knowledge is confidence, and sales people will
pick up on the fact that you know of which you talk and this
will significantly cut down on the sales b.s.
Leave yourself wiggle room inside your cocoon of happiness
target. In other words never start with the price you want to
pay. Remember, by definition here we are negotiating with
another person… if you start with the price you want to pay;
you’ll have no choice but to negotiate your way up and out of
it. So, if you’re will to spend say $15,000 then start at
$14,000 and work to create a win-win somewhere in between. And,
oh by the way… no one in the dealership other than you has or
will have NO IDEA of what you’re willing to pay.
bonus tip – if the sales person kicks off the negotiations with
the first offer, don’t counter with a number… that’s right no
counter number… instead counter back with a pleasant … “I’m
afraid that’s somewhat beyond my budget” … make them come back
with another offer to get you in the game. Now you just gotten a
newer offer and you haven’t even jumped in yet. The first offer
from the dealer is usually their ‘home run’ swing… they don’t
really expect you to serve yourself up at this point (although
some do… and hence the home run in profit).
Keep in that
this is not a one way street. You’ll have to participate and
make some concessions in order for your deal to be a winner. For
instance, if you can’t get to the selling price you want then
get more for your trade, get an extended warranty at dealer
cost, get some no cost service or oil changes, floor mats, …
anything that keeps the deal moving forward and the negotiations
open… don’t get hung up on ‘beating you opponent’ over just one
aspect of the deal.
This is where many people get
frustrated and either walk away after getting so close or just
give in as a result of the frustration. Negotiating a car deal
is a package not just a selling price. Sure the selling price is
the focal point, but you have to give the appearance that you
are offering some concession as well. In fact, as your target
price get within range, don’t just agree on the price and then
begin the delivery process. If you do… you will be in a much
weaker position to negotiate any extras you may want such as
that extended warranty… you see… make sure all potential aspects
of the deal are in place before you shake hands on the price.
About the Author:
Jeff Neilan's car dealer experience offers insightful
car buying tips that save you
time and money. Be sure to visit www.acarbuyersguide.com for
car buying advice, pricing and