Dec 21, 2008

11 Most Common Phrases Uttered by Car Salesmen

While the car business has been forced to be more forthcoming because of the vast information and shopping power of the Internet, there are still those clinging to the "good 'ol days" by using lines that just don't hold up in today's car shopping environment.

Sometimes they work. Sometimes they make people mad. Sometimes they just make people laugh.

    “I don’t know if I can do that it, but if I could, would you buy this car today?

This is the classic non-committal, open-door, promise without actually promising tactic that salespeople love and consumers don’t always understand.

    “What’s it going to take to put this car in your garage today?”

A good salesperson’s goal is to find your trigger that they can target for pulling. If you have a trigger, they want to find it and yank on it as hard as they can.

    “We knew it had that problem. That’s why it’s priced so low.”

Turn objections into positives. That is what a GREAT car salesperson can do. The engine could be smoking, the gears could be grinding, and the radio may be stuck on polka, but a great salesperson handles it properly, and this is one of their best lines.

    “I’ll even throw in the floor mats.”


    “The price doesn’t matter. It’s all about the payments. If it were $5000 cheaper but the payments were $1000 per month, would you buy it?  Of course not!”

They can make the most money if you are focused on payments. Getting down to the right price or trade difference means only one thing to the dealership – less money. Getting down to the right payment can mean many things – longer term, lower rate, lower price, or a combination. If they can keep you looking at the payment, they may be able to sneak the price right by you.

    “I’ll even throw in a tank of gas.”

Yippee! (I thought a tank of gas was included on new cars?)

    “It’s not just leather, it’s Corinthian Leather.”

This has been a private joke in the industry for years. The definition of Corinthian is “the most ornate of the three Greek orders.” Coincidentally, it also means “playboy; a man devoted to the pursuit of pleasure.”

    “I need a sale today to get my kids some clothes for school.”

A struggling salesperson will not use this line. If they use this line, they already have their kids clothes – now they are going for the upgraded golf clubs.

    “Tell your friends where you got it, just don’t tell them what you paid for it.”

They are insinuating that you got a great deal. You may have. Then again, you may have been ripped and they don’t want anyone to tell you so.

    “I’ll even throw in a free detail.”


    Bonus: “I didn’t think you were an idiot, but if you were, I didn’t want to miss you.”

It's a strange world we live in.  Luckily, there are still some honest dealers out there.  In these tough times within the industry, let's hope that these dealerships are the ones that survive and thrive.