SANTA MONICA, Calif. — January 21, 2016 — Car salespeople know the importance of making a good first impression, but the first impression that car shoppers give is just as valuable, say experts at car shopping destination Edmunds.com. In particular, Edmunds says that shoppers who are upfront and clear about their intentions at the dealership are more likely to have a better shopping experience.
"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," says Matt Jones, a former car salesman and currently the retail experience editor at Edmunds.com. "Knowing the right things to say — especially at the beginning of the sales process -- can help make your car buying process easier, faster and a little less stressful."
In his latest consumer advice piece, "10 Things You Should Tell Your Car Salesman," Jones identifies the key phrases shoppers can use to make deals move more smoothly. Here are five of the most important lines to be used, when and as appropriate:
1) "I plan to get my new car this weekend."
If you are upfront about being ready to buy now, you go from being an average sales lead to a "hot prospect." A "hot prospect" is attractive to salespeople, who 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. Telling the dealer that you're six months away from a purchase will minimize any immediate follow-up calls and emails.
2) "I have a trade-in, and I'd like to have it appraised as soon as possible."
Getting a trade-in appraised can take time. Moving that element up earlier in the deal process can speed things along. It also lets the salesperson know that it's very important to you to get a good trade-in value. If it turns out the dealership and you are thousands of dollars apart on the trade-in value, the earlier you know that, the better.
3) "My credit is pretty beat up."
Bad credit isn?t the end of the world, but it may limit your options, so it?s important to tell salespeople early on so they can work to find a solution for your situation. "It wasn?t unusual to have frustrated customers who spent an afternoon zeroing in on cars that they could never afford because we?d later find that their credit drove the interest rate too high," says Jones. "In most cases, if I'd known that those customers had poor credit, I could have shown cars and programs more suited to their situations and gotten them happily on the road."
4) "If you sell me the car for 'X,' I will buy it right now."
Got a price in mind? Don't be afraid to tell it to the dealer. This can cut out negotiation and save both you and the dealer some serious time. Very few things capture the attention of salespeople more than knowing they're in front of buyers who are ready to do immediate business. The simple buy-right-now statement can make you a priority customer in the eyes of management.
5) "I'm in love with this car."
It might sound counterintuitive to tell a salesperson that you're head-over-heels for a car. But informed shoppers are in little danger of being overcharged just because they?re willing to admit that they?ve found a car that gives them butterflies. "More than anything else, a dealer wants to sell to people who love the product and their experience at the store," says Jones. "These people become advocates for the brand and the dealership, which can lead to strong reviews, referrals and repeat customers. These opportunities trump any temptation to squeeze out a few hundred extra dollars because the shopper has a burning desire for the car."
The full list of "10 Things You Should Tell Your Car Salesman" can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/10-things-you-should-tell-your-car-salesman.html.
For shoppers who are still nervous about buying a new car, Edmunds offers free personalized Live Help from its staff of car shopping experts. Shoppers can connect with a Live Help expert by phone (1-855-782-4711), text (ED411 or 33411) or e-mail (email@example.com).
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Car shopping destination Edmunds.com serves nearly 20 million visitors each month. With Edmunds.com Price Promise®, shoppers can buy smarter with instant, upfront prices for cars and trucks currently for sale at 10,000 dealer franchises across the U.S. Shoppers can browse not only dealer inventory, but also vehicle reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories on both Edmunds' wired site and on its acclaimed mobile apps. Regarded as one of the best places to work in Southern California, Edmunds.com was also named one of "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Automotive" by Fast Company. Edmunds welcomes all car-shopping questions on its free Live Help Line at 1-855-782-4711 and firstname.lastname@example.org, via text at ED411 and on Twitter and Facebook. The company is based in Santa Monica, Calif. and has a satellite office in downtown Detroit, Mich., but you can find Edmunds from anywhere on YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ and Flipboard.