How to Be in Control of Car Sale

How to Negotiate Car

Understanding how to negotiate the price of the car is what makes a car salesman successful. Controlling the customer, helping them find a specific car and allowing them to feel like they’ve gotten a good deal are important to success. If you’ve been in the car dealer business for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard sales managers harp about “controlling the customer.” However, while you can’t (legally) control people, as a professional car salesman, you do have the power to influence the process. There’s a process, and understanding these 7 features of the process can help you with selling cars.


When a customer is walking into a dealership, they may be at one of many points in the buy a car process. Some may just be looking at or, or searching for a specific car while others feel it’s time to buy a car today. Being confident in your knowledge of the different vehicles and yourself is critical to selling to your customers. Make sure that you’re well-groomed and professionally attired, pressed clothing and workplace-appropriate dress.

Think about how you look, because that inspires confidence. No potential buyer wants to test drive or buy from someone who looks rumpled or who doesn’t know about the cars on the lot. You won’t be able to control the sales process if you have a bad first impression. Make sure that you approach the customer with confidence to earn their respect. A firm handshake, looking at the customers directly in the eye, and carrying yourself with good posture all will help you gain that all-important respect. Growing your confidence comes to form the inside, and the more faith you have in yourself, the more you’ll be able to control the process.

Listen To the Customer

You can’t sell a car to someone if you don’t know what their needs are. It’s important to develop active listening skills in order to fully understand how to match the right person with the right car. Here’s a couple of things that you should know about selling cars and listening. The first is “Your customer will tell you how to sell them a car if you listen” and the second is “You have two ears and one mouth and so you should listen twice as much as you talk.”

When you listen to your customers, make sure to build a rapport, asking open-ended questions and learning what they want and need. This can be anything from their concerns about auto loans to car insurance and the features that they want in their new vehicle. When you’ve made a connection with your customer, you start working for them, so listen closely and gather all the information you need to control your customer and sell them a car.

Get to 85%

This follows up your listening skills and your ability to gather information from your customers. You’ll never get every piece of information you need, but you can get about 85% of it, then it’s time to get to work. This can be anything from knowing whether they work from home or may use the car for their small business. Remember that you may have to complete this step more than once. First, selecting the car. Next will be the terms for the sale, including negotiating the price of the car. Finally, you’ll have to understand their needs for financing and the terms. Regardless, don’t wait until you have 100% of the information, or you may turn a sure sale into a be-back!

The Reason Behind the Reason

This is typically the “overcoming objections” phase of the sale. Often, a customer will have objections even if it’s time to buy, so you’ll have to find the real reason behind their objections. Maybe they’re worried about their credit scores. Usually, the most common objection is the sticker price. Whether or not you have the lowest price, you may still get objections. Make sure you understand the real reason that your customer is objecting so that you can sell the car.


You’ve listened to your customers and gotten the information that you need to help guide them to a specific car. This isn’t like buying stocks – cars can keep your customer and their family safe when traveling, so it’s important that you make sure they know what they are getting. They get the services of you, the salesperson, plus any upgrades and amenities that the car dealership offers. This can be free washes, loaner vehicles, or just abt anything. Create the Big Picture of buying the car, including service and the warranty coverage. Communicate the happy ending for the customer.

Be Creative

Many successful car salesmen are naturally creative. This can help you close the sale if it’s not going anywhere. It’s close to overcommunicating and painting the picture. You may consider switching cars, to a different color or trim, or maybe changing the payment structure from 60 or 72 payments to 66 months, for example. You can work out the down payment if that’s a problem for those with tough credit scores. Use the tools you have at your disposal to help work out the right terms of the sale.

Emotional Equity

This is where you develop the rapport with your customer, bonding over shared experiences or things you have in common – even laughing about both of you having bad driver license photos! If you’ve practiced active listening and have gotten to the 85%, then you may have all the information you need for a sale. This emotional equity can help you sell the car, as customers will buy from someone that they like and trust.


These tips, when used properly, can help you greatly when it comes to selling cars. Make sure to think about each tip thoughtfully, and consider how you can apply them to your professional life. Car sales mean that you, the salesman, are in charge of directing the process. Speak with confidence, and project yourself to create a great first impression, then follow It up with active listening to get you to the 85%. Once you’ve developed that trust, you’ll discover the reasons behind objections and be able to close the sale. Remember – don’t be afraid to get creative and use the emotional equity!