Cheesy Car Sales Tactics That Won’t Die

In case you hadn’t noticed, cars salespeople are changing. For years, they were the butt of the joke – viewed as pushy, aggressive types who had a casual relationship with the truth. And whilst that was always a stereotype, there did seem plenty of real-life Arthur Daleys. But over the last twenty years or so, they have been quietly disappearing. Go to many garages today and you’ll find reasonable, professional salespeople who are a million miles from the dodgy types of yesteryear.

Having said that, in a few quarters, old habits linger on. From our own experience of car-buying, we’ve gathered together some classic cheesy tactics and lines that just won’t die.

1. Great cars these, I had one myself.

This one is borderline cheese. After all, it’s possible that the salesperson did indeed drive one. Then again, it’s also possible that he’s just telling you what you want to hear: first-hand, positive, experience of the model you’re considering. To test this, we suggest returning every day in a different disguise to see if you get the same story. Or is that extreme?

2. Actually, my wife drives one of these.

A tried-and-tested variation on I had one myself, and just as plausible. For your response, see above.

3. I’ll ask the manager what we can do.

Here’s how this one goes: you make an offer. The salesperson looks doubtful. For this one, he’s going to have to go to the top. I’ll ask the manager what he can do, he says. He disappears to an office for some time. Eventually, he emerges, and it’s good news: whilst the manager won’t agree to your offer, he has authorised a terrific price reduction.

This pantomime is designed to make you believe that you’re getting some mind-blowing exclusive deal. What he really discussed in the office, you’ll never know. On occasion, perhaps a salesperson genuinely doesn’t have the authority to agree a price. But mostly, this is the finest mature cheddar.

4. I don’t normally do this, but…

Yes, you do. You do normally do this. This is a routine offer that you make to customers. Just stop it.

5. I like you/you’re nice people, let’s see what we can do.

Congratulations! Your personality is so appealing that the salesperson is compelled to make you a very special offer. This offer wouldn’t be available to just anyone, you understand. It is only extended to a few shining examples of humanity. You win at buying a car and at life!

Obviously, the salesperson is combining the ‘special deal’ tactic above with (a) attempting to form a human connection and (b) appealing to your ego. Is there anyone so naive that they actually believe this dairy produce?

6. Oh, they’re all like that.

Here’s an example: you test drive a car, and the gear change is so slushy that it feels like your stirring wallpaper paste. Or you need Schwarzenegger’s left leg for the clutch. When you timidly raise this, the salesperson airily tells you, “Oh all Hondas/Renaults/Suzukis are like that.”

Trying to pass off a particular car’s shortcomings as a design flaw? Classic cheese.

7. That other car you’re interested in? It’s rubbish.

Telling the salesperson that you’ve got another car to see — crucially, a model that isn’t on his forecourt — is a golden opportunity for cheesy tactics. Magically, the rival car becomes an unreliable deathtrap. Of course, this message will be dressed up a bit. It might start with, “Out of interest, what’s the other car you’re looking at?” Your response is then greeted with a small cough of disbelief or just a pained expression. This is your cue to ask for more information, which the salesperson will apologetically supply. You’ll learn, in essence, that only a mug would buy one.

8. What will it take to earn your business?

We would guess that this one has been imported from the USA. It invites many responses. Hopefully, you’re polite enough to keep most of them to yourself.

9. If we take the car out, are you going to buy?

We’ll throw this one in because it shows you what the opposite of cheese looks like. This tactic doesn’t make you feel like a special human being sprinkled with angel dust. Instead, it tells you quite plainly that you are an interchangeable sales statistic. Brutal honesty with a side-order of bullying. It’s not cheese, but it’s still a tactic that needs to disappear.

In response, you could question the salesperson’s logic. Or — as with all of the above — you could just go somewhere else.

For MOTs, servicing and repairs in the Cardiff and South Wales region, Welsh VW Specialists offer main dealership levels of service at realistic prices. No cheese here, just high quality services for VW Group (and all other) marques. Get in touch today.