Buying a Car part 3

Buying a Car part 3

Parts 1 & 2 of this series covered:

  • Identification of Goals/Needs
  • Being an Educated Consumer
  • Communicating with Transparency
  • and Establishing Ground Rules.

This edition focuses on:

  • Being Fair and Firm
  • and Understanding High Value vs. High Cost.
  1. Be Fair and Firm:
    1. Car:
      1. When negotiating, if you’ve done your homework, you can do so from a place of power and reality.
      2. From your earlier research, you should have a really good idea of the value of their vehicle, what they paid for it, and what the trade-in value should be. (Here’s the best blog post I found on how to identify the actual invoice price of a new car.)
      3. When the sales manager comes in and asks you for a number, you should be able to say one with confidence and with justification. This number should be one that is fair, because an unrealistic number does not create a good environment for negotiation.
    2. Business:
      1. Unlike the car industry, your prices should not be negotiable. If they are, that means you either are taking advantage of the customers who don’t negotiate, or you aren’t confident in the value you offer. We have found the way you present pricing dramatically affects the level of negotiation. We use Price Calculators that line-item every component of our project. If we get to the end of the proposal presentation and they say the price is too high, then we pull the calculator back up and ask which line-item they would like to take out.
      2. If you are in the service business and charge hourly…stop it. A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post called “3 Reasons Hourly Billing Screws Everyone”; it’s probably even more relevant today than back then.
  2. Understand High Value vs High Cost:
    1. Car:
      1. There are lots of additional high value things a dealership can throw in to sweeten the deal that doesn’t necessarily cost them a whole lot. Dealerships with service departments are looking as much for the on-going oil changes and service opportunities as much as a sold vehicle. Ask them to throw in your first 2 or 3 oil changes and service vouchers. The sales manager we worked with had sheets of $50 vouchers (of which we got 10) in his drawer.
      2. Ask them what is included when you are servicing your vehicle with them. If they don’t provide it already, ask for a courtesy car and free car washes with service…and you can even ask for free car washes at any time. Once again, look for things that are of high value to you (car wash and vacuum $25-$30 a piece) but low cost for them (they’ve got the car wash and employees their already).
    2. Business:
      1. You must understand what your customers find important, and give it to them in a “…but wait, there’s more” sorta way. Often times the things your clients find a lot of value in may seem insignificant to you…and that’s the beauty of it, but you’ll never know what they want if you don’t ask. Once you find a pattern in what your customers want, find a way to systematically include it as a value-add.
      2. Be sure to get “paid” for the extra things in goodwill you provide by communicating the value they will receive and how this isn’t done for everyone. Customers are like kids and can get spoiled and entitled in a hurry with ever-increasing baseline of expected service if you don’t remind them of how you are going above and beyond.

What do you think? Have you benefitted from any of the tips so far? Be sure to check out the other posts in this series, and look out for the fourth installment soon!

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