Wheelers and Dealers?

By on / Negotiation Skills

Car salespeople truly understand how to use modest concessions to extract much larger ones.

First, they spend a long time legitimating the sticker price and suggesting that it’s not only fair, but nonnegotiable.

When they do make concessions, they make sure these are salient to the buyer through techniques such as these:

– Seeming apprehensive as they drop the price
– Making a show of speaking to the “boss” to get their special permission
– Suggesting that they rarely, if ever, make such concessions.

Car salespeople are also careful to never to give up all their potential concessions in one shot.

Typically, a salesperson will drop the price a few hundred dollars at a time while demanding much greater incremental price increases from the buyer. Many salespeople will use contingent concessions as well, ratifying price reductions only if a buyer agrees to purchase accessories and would prefer that you spend your money on these rather than on the car itself.

Smart buyers can use this knowledge to their advantage. If you offer to purchase a $250 accessory in exchange for a $300 drop in overall price, the salesperson is likely to agree.


Learn how to negotiate like a diplomat, think on your feet like an improv performer, and master job offer negotiation like a professional athlete when you download a copy of our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


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