The Goal of the Car Salesman's Game

By Michael Royce
Consumer advocate, former car salesman

The car salesman's game is a game of strategy and, like all strategic games, has a specific goal.

The car salesman's goal is to sell you a car or truck that is in stock at the highest possible price today.

If you've already done some car shopping, you may have experienced the kind of pressure the salesman can exert on you to buy today. There are two reasons why it's so important to him that you buy a car today:

1. Buying today means you're emotionally-charged.
The salesman knows that if he can get you to buy today, before you've done all of your homework and before you're fully ready, then you're probably buying because you're hooked emotionally. Maybe you're turned on by the smell and feel of that car or truck. Maybe you're excited by the anticipation of showing it off to your friends. Or maybe you're jazzed by the promise of a super deal.

Whatever it is, you're reacting on an emotional level. And that's exactly what the salesman wants because he knows this all-important fact:

The emotionally-charged buyer negotiates less effectively and, therefore, ends up paying more for his car or truck than the analytical buyer.

That's important to the car salesman because he works entirely on commission. If you pay more for your car, then he makes more money.

2. Buying today means you won't buy elsewhere.
The salesman may be convinced that if you don't buy from him today, he'll never see you again -- that you'll buy from another salesman who is more aggressive or more clever than he.

He achieves this goal by following a game plan. He learns the plan in seminars and classes. He practices the plan in role-playing workshops. He follows the plan because it works...

Excerpted from Michael Royce's free online Car Buyer's School.

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