Originally posted September 20, 2014
Conventional wisdom says never, ever let a car salesperson know that you love a car. If you do, you’ll pay more than you should for the vehicle. You’ll see it in advice like “Tip #4: Don’t Fall in Love” and “Don’t Fall in Love in the Showroom.”
The reasoning is that a trained salesperson will use your emotional attachment as a lever to get you to pay more. Actually, with a bit of savvy, you can actually use the power of love to get that car at a better price.
Some background: until fairly recently, new vehicles came in many configurations. The vehicle that you liked on the lot might have been the only vehicle in town with the unique set of features and color that you saw. So if you fell in love with this “scarce good,” you had to pay what the seller demanded.
Today, to save costs, manufacturers build and equip vehicles with trim packages, within which there are limited options.
So if you don’t purchase the vehicle you see at Dealer A, odds are the identical vehicle is available across town at Dealer B. That gives you, the buyer, power.
When you (or your spouse) show a strong emotional interest in a vehicle, you are creating an equally strong emotion in the salesperson. He or she starts to believe that you are a legitimate buyer who is going to buy right now–and the salesperson sees and feels his/her commission in your love.
In other words, your emotion fuels the dealer’s emotional anticipation of a pending sale.
That excitement works to your advantage. If you like the car, let the salesperson know. Heck, gush over the features, the color, the performance. Every time you do so, the salesperson’s “pending sale” eager meter will go up.
By the time you sit down to discuss price, he or she probably will have the commission money mentally spent.
A few words of caution: First, remember to NOT let emotions get the best of you. Always be ready to leave the dealership without buying the car. Don’t forget, the identical vehicle is probably available at another convenient dealer.
In other posts we’ll talk about how to determine the price you should pay, but in this post the important lesson is to let the salesperson know your price, and stick to your guns. Be clear that you’ll pay this price, right now, but you’re also ready to shop a different store if this dealer won’t sell the car at your price.
By ringing the salesperson’s “pending sale” emotion bell, he’ll be more likely to try to meet your price and close the deal.
Showing the “power of love” is no guarantee that you’ll pay the price you want, but it just may get you there–by turning the emotional table around to your favor.