Tips From A Negotiator For When You Want To Buy A Car

Negotiating is how you get the best deal when you want to buy a new car
Negotiating is how you get the best deal when you want to buy a new car
Image Credit: Laura Cummings

Even the best negotiator in the world probably does not look forward to the process of buying a new car. They know what they are in for: a lengthy process in which they have to go back and forth with a salesperson, using all manner of negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, haggling over details and, of course, the price. Since there is so much information available on the Internet, for anyone to walk into a car dealership without having done some online research would be a big mistake. Given that nobody likes the process and you can collect a lot of information before you start, what is the best way to negotiate to buy a car?

Pick Your Negotiation Process

Since we now find ourselves living in the 21st Century, this means that we have a number of car buying options that have not been available to us in the past. What this means for you is that you now have the option to enter a dealership and negotiate with a salesperson just like we have always done. However, you also have the option to put out a request for bids on the Web. You are going to have to decide which approach is going to best meet your needs.

One key factor in deciding which way to go is to determine how well you know what you want. If you’ve taken the time to pick out a car that you want down to the very last option, then by all means let the Internet do the negotiating for you. You are going to have to be careful here. The internet dealer who tells you that he or she has the best deal for you may try to renegotiate once you show up in person. If your final decision will depend on cost, then negotiating face-to-face at a dealership is probably your better choice.

Keep In Mind That You Can Just Walk Away

One of the things that too many car buyers seem to forget is that they are the ones who really hold the upper hand in this negotiation. Experienced negotiators like to use exclusivity as a bargaining chip as a part of any negotiation that they are involved in.

This is a tactic that you can use when buying a car. What you need to do is to think about how the salesperson that you are dealing with sees the world. If you walk out the door without signing on the dotted line, the deal is probably dead and they won’t be making any money. This means that you can exercise your option to walk away in order to extract further concessions from your salesperson.

Remember Your BATNA

As you go shopping for a new car, there is one very important point that you need to keep in mind. This is the simple fact that although you may want a car, you don’t need a car. Yes, yes, the car that you have been using may have died and you are worried about how you are going to get to work tomorrow, but in the age of Uber you always have alternatives.

If you still feel stressed about car buying, consider the big picture: you have lots of what negotiators like to call a “best alternatives to a negotiated agreement” (BATNA). This is truly powerful. It becomes even more powerful when you realize that the salesperson’s alternative to a deal with you is forgo making any money. And while you have access to substantial information about his position, he can estimate only how much you are willing to pay. When it comes to buying a car, you are truly the one who is in the driver’s seat.

What All Of This Means For You

If you talk to just about anyone, they are going to tell you the same thing. Nobody looks forward to the process of buying a new car. The effort level involved, the endless principled negotiations, and the feeling that you are paying too much all contribute to a desire to avoid the whole thing. That’s why you need a negotiator to tell you how to be a successful new car buyer.

When buying a new car, your first decision has to be which process you want to take in order to get the car. You can go online and run an auction for your money or you can visit dealers and negotiate face-to-face. When you are negotiating to buy a new car, it can be easy to forget who is really in charge. As the buyer you have all of the power – you could always choose to walk away from the deal. During the negotiations to buy the car you need to keep your best alternatives to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) in mind. You may want the new car, but you don’t really NEED the new car. Use your alternatives to make sure that you get the best deal possible.

Buying a new car does not have to be a trying experience. When it comes time for you to get a new car, make sure that you’ve done your homework and know exactly what you want. When you get involved in the buying negotiations, take the time to remember that you are really the person with all of the power in this negotiation. You can control how the whole car buying process turns out.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: If you decide to walk out on a car purchase negotiation, should you come back if the other side makes a better offer?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I want you to spend a moment thinking about the last time that you walked into a room in order to start a negotiation. Where was your head at? Did you look across the table and see reasonable people who were there trying to find a way to reach a deal with you? Or were you so focused on the fact that the EggMcMuffin that you had ordered this morning had somehow come with no egg and that you had then proceeded to spill coffee on yourself? We often think that we can separate being upset and all of the emotional triggers that come along with that from the negotiating task at hand, but can we?