Anyone who has ever had to speak to a salesperson has been subjected to some kind of sales tactic. In some cases, the tactic can be as simple as describing merchandise or explaining promotions and specials to potential clients. In other cases, the tactic might be a “hard sell,” in which the salesperson practically badgers a customer into making a purchase. There are countless tactics between these two extremes employed by salespeople, but they all have the same goal: to make a sale and make one quickly. When purchasing an automobile, you should know about the most common tactics used by car salespeople.
The Bait and Switch
One common sales tactic is to use special deals to draw in potential customers. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this, but some car salespeople use it to pull a bait-and-switch scam. They advertise a popular make and model of automobile at an affordable price, but when a customer shows up at the lot, it is unavailable. Customers might be told that the advertised car is sold out or that the last one has just been sold.
It’s entirely possible that this is the honest truth, but in some cases, the advertised vehicle was never available in the first place. Advertising sales such as these exist solely to lure people into a dealership so they can be shown the cars that are available. To avoid falling for this trick, call a dealership and inquire about the car in question before setting foot on the lot.
Convincing You That You Need to Replace Your Car
Most salespeople will ask customers what brings them to their dealership. It’s usually an innocent question that salespeople ask so they can address any concerns that customers may have. Some, however, use it to dig for information on a client’s current vehicle. They might find that their car has been damaged or is old and near the end of its life.
If you are a customer in this situation, it’s best not to reveal too much information. Many salespeople will use it against you and try to convince you that you absolutely need to buy a new vehicle before you find yourself without a means of transportation. Once they convince you that you need one of their vehicles, they are in control of the transaction.
The Hard Sell
We mentioned the hard sell before, but it is quite possibly the most common sales tactic in the automobile industry. In a hard sell, the salesperson pressures a client into making a decision about a vehicle on the spot. Salespeople are taught to close deals quickly, and that often means pushing clients into making hasty decisions that may not be in their best interest.
It’s best for the client to think hard about before making a purchase, but as long as you are on the lot, a salesperson will keep pushing. Once again, it’s best to avoid dealerships until you are reasonably certain that you want to make a purchase. Until then, try to do most of your business online or over the phone.
Whether these tactics are unethical or unscrupulous is a matter of opinion. But one thing is for sure: there is little chance that you can avoid some of these tactics, but you can still protect yourself from them. Do your own research, and arm yourself with plenty of knowledge of the vehicles you are considering.
Travis Bittermann has a fascination with cars and often writes on car mechanics, used vehicles, car dealerships, the auto industry, automotive call centers and other topics; those who share this passion for vehicles and would love to learn more about automotive call centers should view the great resources from Dealer Live.