So you have done some research on the vehicle you would like. You’ve checked out local ads and searched the web. You know roughly what your car is worth (if you have one to trade or sell) and what you are willing to pay for the new one.
The “buying fever” can and will taint your judgment and limit your resistance. So on the first trip, don’t take your trade-in. It’s a powerful tool which will force the dealer to work with you in anticipation of selling you a car. One of the first things we are taught in car business is to “take control at the outset”. One of the many tools you’ll learn here is how you can get and stay in control.
By not having the trade on-site, you reserve a powerful negotiating tool and can focus on the price of the vehicle you want. They will try to make it all based on your trade. You will tell them to forget about the trade and instead, talk price on the new car.
Most dealers have some type of sales training and, under the watchful eyes of the sales desk, try to put you in their program. One of the dealers stronger training system teaches a step-by-step method which will start with a “needs assessment” immediately after welcoming you to the lot.
It’s where the sales rep will ask you to follow them into the showroom and load you into their Dealer Management System or Customer Resource Management. It's not bad. You’ll be linked to their in-house and factory follow-up system. In some cases, it can get you nice service and parts coupons, even if you don't buy a car.
Now, they will start plotting the sale. They will ask you questions, which will ultimately (they hope) point to a particular car they want to sell you. Again, not bad, but do not let them drift away from what you want. Often, there are cars they may be overloaded with and/or carry big factory-to-dealer incentives; some of which you will never know about unless you know where to look.
Soon, you’ll know!