Don’t Swallow The Price Bait

Sales TechniquesI was at a top-rated car dealership looking to buy a  new car. I knew a lot about the dealership, having spent time in the car industry, and I’m fairly well-versed in the particular sales techniques used in this market. Looking to cut to the chase and save some time, as well as wanting to get the best deal, I pushed the sales guy right into a numbers game. He took the bait. In fact, he swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.

Unfair, you cry? Hardly. The interesting part was that I wasn’t being sneaky. I just simply steered the sales conversation to price and the sales rep followed. What should he have done?

He should have controlled the sale presentation instead of letting me do it. The moment I mentioned price, he should have checked in with me in regards to my budget. Why waste time if I can’t afford the car. If the price was out of my range, he could have suggested another model (the classic take-away sales technique).

If I just didn’t want to spend that much, he could have found that out and then began highlighting the features and benefits of the car of choice as well as fuel savings, resale value…etc. He did none of this. Instead, he wallowed in the mire of the price game – and I rolled him around and around like a crocodile munching on a gazelle.

Too often we act like a gazelle, hoping to get across the river and make a sale, despite the crocs in the water. We do not ask questions. We do not take responsibility or control of the situation. Instead we make a mad dash and wind up rolling around in the quagmire of price.

Sure, we need to discuss price, but let’s do it in a controlled way, and on our terms so we can build value, help people meet their needs, and sell more, for more.

Thanks for reading,


  1. If the sales professional was asking more questions from the start and listening to you more, he could have avoided that situation. Either way though, you can always make it a numbers game when it comes to buying a car. Even at the time of negotiation, just push your chair back and be on the edge of walking out. That’s something I learned from a short time in the field as well.

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