I do not blame Michelle for choosing the dealership closer to her home. It is everyone’s goal to save money. In most cases the time and gas money should be factored into the equation. Toyota of Louisville appears to be a legitimate dealership according to their website. They feature the newest cars and their quiet lounge which is quite accommodating for the hard working customer. Toyota spokesman, Tim Jones, boasts about the newly designed show room and provides clear and simple directions to the location. Although Michelle has some leverage with a possible trade in, she should not reveal this option until the end.
Michelle has to ask the basic questions. She should ask how much work has been put into the vehicle, how many miles does the vehicle have, and she should also consult with her insurance company or any other credible resource regarding the depreciation of the vehicle. Michelle should be prepared to negotiate, compromise, and utilize the knowledge that she has. She doesn’t necessarily have to tell the salesman or saleswoman that she knows the MSRP but she should keep in mind for reference.
The salespeople will know that they cannot or should not drop below the factory invoice. Other factors that they should keep in mind include the length of time the vehicle has been in the lot. One of my first questions would be, “Do you have a down payment?” If the answer to that question is no then I would ask, “Michelle, do you want to trade in your car?” The first question that I would ask would be something along the lines of, “Michelle, what type of car or truck are you looking for?” At this point, I would know that she is looking for the 2013 Toyota Highlander.
The salesman or saleswoman must be observant and aware of the mood of the customer. If Michelle is short on time, he would have to modify his strategy and approach. He may have to focus on the bottom line questions. If Michelle has more time on her hands, the salesperson can allow himself to build rapport and improve the interaction in his favor. He can find out if there is a more affordable option that he can pitch to Michelle.
Michelle may benefit from bringing a friend or a trustworthy family member to the dealership. The reason that this can be a wise move is because she may have to make on the spot decisions or consultations. Her consultant can remind her that there are other dealership options that offer competitive prices. In Michelle’ case, those dealerships are in Ohio and Indiana. She should be prepared to engage with a savvy salesperson. The professional that she will interact with may call her bluff because the drive to those out of state dealerships is no walk in the park.
Both parties have to be aware that the price of the vehicle range from $19,000 to $30,000 on multiple websites to include edmunds.com. Compromise is absolutely necessary in most negotiations. It would benefit Michelle to find out the factory invoice so that she can negotiate with that price in the beginning instead of leading with the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. If and when Michelle brings up competing dealerships, the salesperson should not fall into the trap of talking negatively about the competitors. He or she should focus on what his company has to offer the customer.
The salesperson has to focus on basic salesmanship. If the customer says the he or she will be back, there is a good chance that they will not be back. That experience can be used as a learning reference. The salesperson has to be the one to create a win-win situation. One tool that can be used is the implementation of dealer incentives. These are deals and bonuses that the dealer(s) received from the manufacturer. This special offer can be passed down to the customer to smooth out the negotiations.
Michelle and the salesperson must also factor in her credit history. Her credit report can significantly work in her favor or it can also work against her if the report is bad. Michelle may consider a down payment instead of a trade in if the value of her current vehicle is not high enough to bring the price down. I have not heard of anyone using both a trade in car and a down payment in order to bring the price down. If there aren’t many other people looking at the car, then she can use the lack of demand as leverage.