Walking into a car dealership can be intimidating.  People in matching uniforms or suits, cars, trucks, SUV’s and vans everywhere, and lingo you’ve never heard before. How do you see past a flashy showroom or car lot? How do you make a confident purchase for your next vehicle? Here at Control the Road, we’ve seen the auto industry from all sides. We know it can be exhausting to buy a car, especially if you need adaptive mobility equipment installed. But we’re here to make sure that your car buying process goes smoothly, regardless of your unique needs. Car buying made equal starts with one vital person—you!

Let’s get you set up and ready to head to the dealership with confidence.

Understanding Car Sales Tactics

If you’re like most car shoppers, you might get in touch with a dealership online or over the phone before you visit in person. These initial points of contact will almost always connect you with a sales consultant who’ll be assigned to walk you through the process of purchasing your vehicle.

Car salespeople are there to help you buy a car, obviously, but you should know that they’re also there to make a living. You want to buy a vehicle that fits your budget and lifestyle, and they may want to sell you one that fits their commission quota for the month.

Now, hear us when we say: car salespeople are definitely not all bad! In the past, pushy sales tactics and secretive car salesman tricks have given then a slimy reputation. In reality, car salespeople can be a fantastic resource for you as a car shopper—as long as you know what to expect.

Car salespeople are typically trained to take control of conversations with customers like you. Why? So they can steer you—no pun intended—toward a car that will earn them a hearty commission or help them meet their sales goals. While letting car salespeople take control will still get you behind the wheel in a new car, it may not get you into the right car. So, how can you get what you need out of your dealership sales experience?

Understanding Car Salespeople

First, it’s important to know who you’re dealing with. Here are a few types of car salespeople you can expect to meet at a dealership:

Sales Consultants

If a sales consultant is new to the industry, they may be operating off a strict set of instructions. Quite often, new salespeople are trained to use specific, time-tested sales phrases and conversational. They won’t have much freedom to negotiate with you on price. They’ll be able to answer most of your questions about different models and features.

An experienced sales consultant can offer more in-depth product knowledge about the cars you’re considering simply because they’ve been around longer to see how the cars perform in the real world. By all means, ask your sales consultant any questions you have before you purchase a vehicle! Experienced sales consultants will have more freedom to handle negotiations and walk you through the sales process without direction from higher-ups. When you have a clear idea of what you want and just need to test drive and sign the dotted line, this is the best kind of dealership staff member to meet.

At one-price stores and dealers, sales consultants have slightly different roles and responsibilities. They don’t negotiate on price, but instead, they’re paid a standard commission rate on each sale. Sales consultants at these types of businesses are paid an additional commission if you purchase vehicle accessories or finance & insurance products, so plan ahead to know what you do (and don’t) need from those “extra” product categories.

Sales Managers

Most of the time, sales managers have worked in the industry for some time, and they’ll have a keen eye for understanding customers’ needs. These staff members may be able to help you figure out solutions or answers to questions you haven’t found on your own, and they’ll be very skilled at working up a deal that benefits both you and them.

Second, it’s vital to go into the dealership with a clear idea of what you need from your next vehicle. The more you can prepare, the better your car buying process will be when you encounter sales staff at the dealership.

Preparing to Interact with Car Salespeople

Believe it or not, car dealers love working with educated customers. It makes their job easier! If you come in with your own research and notes, sales staff will know you’re not there to waste their time or your own. A salesperson won’t have to bend over backward to convince you to buy (because you’re already ready to pull the trigger!), and they’ll be able to make an easy sale. Plus, you’ll have the knowledge you need to navigate through any pushy sales tactics successfully—but a genuinely customer-focused dealer won’t use those on you anyway.

This easy car shopping experience won’t be possible without one thing: research. Spend some time determining what kind of car you’re looking for, then search online for the best car dealers in your area. Online car shopping can be great, but it’s certainly no replacement for an in-person interaction at a well-rated dealership. Even in the digital age we’re living in, 89% of car shoppers still prefer to finish the purchase process at a dealership, according to a study by AutoNews. Why not do some prep work to make your in-person car sales experience the best it can be?

How Dealers Can Make the Car Buying Process Easy for You

If you, the car shopper, have already made up your mind what you want, car salespeople don’t need to spend their time and energy thoroughly educating you about multiple vehicles, right?

Their job is made easier, meaning they can focus more on getting your needs met and helping you get the best possible vehicle for your lifestyle. You don’t have to be subjected to persuasion tactics, and the car salesperson knows they can make a reasonably painless sale—as long as they treat you with the kindness and respect you deserve. When you come to a dealership fully prepared and ready to buy, everyone wins—now that’s buying made equal!

Need More New and Used Car Buying Tips?

Here at Control the Road, we’re dedicated to helping you have the best possible car buying experience. As auto industry veterans, we’ve been on the other side of the car buying process. We want to share our insider advice with you to make the journey easier.Download our FREE Purchase Advisor for more information on how to determine what you need in a new car, find a dealership, stay within your budget and more. Together, we can create a culture of car buying made equal for all Americans.

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