From the Series: Questions People Ask About Car Sales
You guessed it, people are asking the search engines “are car salesmen liars” on a frequent basis. They are also asking “are car salesmen honest”. On the bright side of all of this, it tells me that people are doing research on Google. They are investigating rather than just accepting what they may have heard about car salesmen. Maybe we are starting to make a difference when it comes to selling cars. Hopefully being a professional is catching on and changing some minds. We must continue our quest to clear our bad reputation that started more than 50 years ago.
However, the fact remains that people are asking are car salesmen liars. Well, I hate to say it, but there are some car salespeople that are liars. That goes back to the old saying “a few bad apples spoil it for the whole bunch” or something like that. The car sale professional doesn't need to be a liar to be a successful car salesman. With all the talk of transparency and the Internet, lying will usually work against the salesperson rather than help them.
Sure we can turn the tables and ask are car buyers liars rather than are car salesmen liars? We all know the answer to that question. In fact, we know it so well we have our own sayings like “if their lips are moving they are lying” and the most common “buyers are liars”. Don't even get me started on Be-Backs, but two wrongs don't make a right.
When Are Car Salesmen Liars Comes Up
Applicants: I have interviewed sales applicants that asked me if they need to lie to customers (not many of them but several over the years). I had to ask where they got that from. I was told that their friends, co-workers, and parents told them they would have to lie to be a car salesperson. I laughed and told them no, they would not be expected to deceive or lie to customers. A clear signal that way too many people mistakenly believe that car salesmen are liars.
Training: I have attended numerous car sales training classes, manufacturer training classes, management training classes. Plus I have written several books, conducted many automobile sales training classes and seminars. There is not one time that lying to car shoppers and buyers was an acceptable practice or technique. In fact, when it comes to the subject of lying to customers it is considered unacceptable. Automobile manufacturers and most all car dealerships today will not condone lying to customers. The question are car salesmen liars is a clear sign that the myths and rumors are stronger than we thought. Or there are still a few bad apples that are lying to customers. Are you one of them?
Working Deals: If you talk to customers the time when many ask are car salesmen liars is when they are working a deal. They think the car salesman is lying about their trade value. They also believe salespeople are lying when they are working price. I think car buyers are confusing lying with negotiation. Car salesmen are not the only people that negotiate. All kinds of professions require negotiation, but when it comes to car salespeople they call it lying.
Lying is about making false and untruthful statements. When a car salesperson works a deal with a customer the price comes from the sales manager. So the car salesman isn't lying about the price. The used car value comes from the Used Car Manager. So once again the car salesman isn't lying. Now if the sales manager decides to reduce the price or the used car manager decides to offer more to make a deal that is not lying. When the sales manager decides to sacrifice profit to make a sales it’s called negotiation. Negotiation is not a reason to ask are car salesmen liars.
Some customers ask are car salesmen liars when they talk about payments and the interest rate. Once again some of this is the negotiation. Plus when you come to an agreement all of the numbers, facts and figures are on the paperwork. There is no reason to lie when the customer is going to see the numbers and sign their name stating that they are correct.
Success: I want to say that there is no reason to lie to car buyers. You don't need to be a liar to be a great car salesman or a successful car salesperson. If you look your customer in the eye and tell them the truth they either already know what you are saying or they will believe you. Even if you think that the truth will kill the deal you need to be honest with them. Because it will come out sooner or later. We don't need to confuse lying with leaving something out. When I buy something or finance something the salesperson probably doesn't tell me everything, but they don't lie.
My Confession: I have been in the car business for many years and I have seen why some customers ask are car salesmen liars. I am sure I may have told a lie now and then over the years. I have met and worked with some car salesmen that thought it was easier to lie when selling a car, but they were never the top salespeople in the dealership. My experience has taught me that when you are straight with car buyers from the beginning they will trust you. If you don't know, tell them you don't know and find out the answer. If you don't know something for sure don't say it. Don't assume, guess, reckon, think, conclude or infer. These kinds of things can often lead to customers thinking that they were lied to by a car salesperson. Just be an honest car salesperson and tell them the truth.
So Are Car Salesmen Liars or Not
This leads us right back to the beginning. The internet and transparency in the car business have changed the way we sell cars today. The information is available when they are looking for prices, options or trade values. Very often the customer that walks into your showroom has spent countless hours online. They know more about the car and the options than most salespeople. Lie to them and you will be done and back out on the lot looking for a fresh up. Don't give your customers a reason to ask are car salesmen liars.
Later Fresh Up on the Lot,