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Who is the Best Person to Negotiate With at the Dealership?

Who is the Best Person to Negotiate With at the Dealership?

By Jeff Youngs, February 24, 2012

A typical car dealership negotiation scenario has the customer sitting in a small office near the showroom and the sales manager in another office on the other side of the building. The hurried salesperson nervously runs back and forth between the two offices holding a piece of paper called a 4-Square,showing the sales numbers of the "deal" and the history of the negotiation. This traditional approach purposefully slows the communication process down, puts the sales manager in charge, and creates a "good salesperson/bad salesperson" environment to the detriment of the buyer. If the deal begins to fall apart, the manager then shows up to save the day. Considering this, it is not surprising that many people loathe the process of buying a car.

To alleviate many of these issues, it is imperative to meet and work with the decision maker-the individual who controls the final price on the car-during the negotiations. Every dealership works differently,but this person could hold the title of Fleet Manager, InternetManager, Sales Manager, or Finance Manager.

There is no need to alienate the salesperson once you have completed the test drive. Simply make it clear that you would like to negotiate directly with the manager when the time comes. Better yet, after the test drive, go home and contact the Internet Manager or Fleet Manager directly through the dealer's Web site. Meeting and working directly with the decision maker puts a face on the names and it retains the"human aspect" to eliminate much of the animosity. In nearly every situation, the negotiation will conclude much quicker, the process will be less stressful, and the customer will be happier.

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