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?
It’s 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 win-win scenarios.
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.
Next – 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.
Here’s a 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.
Jeff Neilan's car dealer experience offers insightful car buying tips that save you time and money. Be sure to visit http://www.acarbuyersguide.com for car buying advice , price negotiating, & more.