you never get a second chance at a first impression. I must have heard that adage a million times during the 12 years that I sold cars.
And it’s true: If done well, the first impression a salesperson gives a customer can go a long way toward setting her at ease. A bad first impression, though, can set the stage for a bad few hours for all involved.
But what about the first impression the shopper gives the salesperson? Many buyers don’t know (or don’t think) that the first impression they give the salesperson is valuable, too. Those first several minutes can determine the flow of a deal and either get the salesperson on your side or relegate him to the role of a guy who’s merely trying to sell you a car. And here is a car-business insider tip: You always want the salesperson on your side. A salesperson on your side might mean a few extra bucks off the deal, time shaved off the paperwork process or an extra-clean car when it comes out of the wash.
As a former car salesperson, I have a few suggestions for things a shopper can say to make a deal easier and let the salesperson know exactly where you stand: all for your benefit.
For starters, I always suggest that shoppers begin by smiling and being friendly, regardless of whatever bad sales experiences they may have had in the past. After that, here are 10 things you can say to get your deal moving quickly and flowing smoothly:
1.”I plan to get my new car this weekend.”
When you contact the dealership, be sure to tell the salesperson that you’re ready to buy now (some people don’t do this, for whatever reason). If you are frank about being ready to buy, you go from being an average sales lead to a hot prospect. A hot prospect is incredibly attractive to car salespeople, and being one will get you faster, more enthusiastic service and better deal offers. Conversely, if you’re not planning to buy your new car for several months, tell the salesperson that, too. You may not want a lot of immediate follow-up from the dealership if you’re not yet ready to pull the trigger. Telling the dealer you’re six months away from a purchase will slow down the follow-up calls and emails.