We always joke about the saying “Buyers are Liars”, but that's only because we know first hand that customers are always lying to the car salesperson. Every car salesperson has heard all the lies, starting with “I will be back”, “I am just looking”, “I have to go”, “I can't afford that”, “the price was lower at another dealer”, etc...
We can treat our customers like they own the place and give first class service. We can roll out the red carpet and supply them with all the information they request. However, it's very likely that we will still find that our car buying customers are lying to the car salesperson. The sad yet amazing thing about customers is that they believe lying is acceptable behavior when buying a car. I asked customers again and again through the years and most of them will actually admit to that fact.
Once you know these signals you will usually be able to know if they are lying to you. However, you must spend enough time with them to get to know them a bit. You need to build some rapport so you know how they typically act. Everyone's a little different and therefore a person's normal behavior may seem like one of these cues. So you need to notice the change in their behavior to determine if they are lying to the car salesperson. Some people are more obvious than others and some are not detectable at all. It's a science, but it's not 100% accurate in every situation with every person. The more often you watch and notice people's behavior the better you will get at spotting a liar.
Lying to the Car Salesperson 10 Indicators
- Their Breathing Will Change: Lying for most people is against their character. They typically don't lie and when they do their body automatically will alter their breathing patterns and heart rate. They will start to breathe heavier, their voice may change in pitch and their shoulders will change position. Lying to the car salesperson will make them nervous without realizing it and this is when these cues are visible.
- Nervous Talk and Excessive Information: Once again lying for most people is against their nature. So the act of lying to the car salesperson will usually cause them to start nervous talking. I mean they will provide more information than you request or need. Plus in many cases, the information has nothing to do with buying a car. Sometimes they will ask a silly question to change the subject and then start talking to too much after you answer them. Combine this with the previous sign and you will probably notice their voice change as long as the lie is the current subject matter.
- Speaking May Become Difficult: This sign is harder to recognize when it comes to buying a car. Lying can cause a person's mouth to become dry and speaking might be avoided. That's why I say when working a car deal it's probably not your best signal that they are lying. Your best bet is to use the other signs because of the nature of the car business.
- Their Head Position Changes: When you look your customer in the eye and ask them a direct question and they suddenly change their head position it's often a sign they are lying. They will typically look away or down and sometimes even tilt their head to the side when answering. This is an automatic physical response for many when they are lying to the car salesperson. Don't confuse this with looking up, because that usually happens when some is thinking rather than deceiving.
- They Stand Very Still: Watch most people when they stand and talk and you will notice that move around a bit. Sometimes they shift their weight from side to side or turn one way or another. But when they suddenly stop doing that and become a statue it's likely that they just told a lie. Standing still and rigid is rarely a sign they are calm and confident and relaxed.
- They Repeat the Question: When a person repeats the question or part of the question they are often buying time to think of an answer, rarely the truth. Also when they repeat part of the question they are trying to justify the lie they are about to tell in their own mind. However, if they are looking up they may actually be thinking. But the type of questions asked by the car salesperson does not require deep thought unless they are lying to the car salesperson.
- They Cover Body Parts: As you know by now when a person lies their physiology changes. Such as heartbeat and blood pressure. The same holds true here and they cover parts of their body. These can include the neck, head, throat, chest or abdomen. They don't consciously choose, its a natural reaction to lying. It's a primal kind of reaction when something is not quite right.
- They Stare at You: This signal is more common for the person that is more comfortable with lying. These are the car buyers that are often a little outspoken or think they deserve huge discounts and are often sometimes hard to read. When these types of customers are lying to the car salesperson they will stare at you and often without blinking. These people are trying to control the situation by intimidation by staring directly at you a bit longer than normal. This is the opposite of looking away or down when lying because of their experience and or character.
- Shuffling Their Feet: Either when standing and sitting the sudden shuffling of the feet can be a sign of lying. This goes back to a primal instinct of leaving when something becomes uncomfortable. So if they start telling lies they will become uncomfortable and nervous. They are resisting the instinct to leave and so they shuffle their feet and you can tell that they are uncomfortable. From there you can either change the subject to try to find out why without offending them.
- They Cover Their Mouth: When a person covers their mouth or lips it usually means they don't want to answer the question or deal with the situation. They know they will be lying to the car salesperson if they say what they are thinking of saying. Even if they do answer it is usually comes out muffled because they didn't want to lie. Just a quick sales tip here: don't confuse this with embarrassment. People that are embarrassed to say something will often do the same thing. If you spent enough time with your customer you know whether they are lying or simply embarrassed.
These signals are not cast in stone. Everybody is a bit different and if you spent a reasonable amount of time with your customer you will know how they act. Then when they suddenly exhibit some of these signs you will know that they are lying to the car salesperson. This doesn't mean that you should use these signals to call them out. However, they will help you discover parts of the deal that you need to change, adjust or overcome. Hopefully, you will be able to discover the truths you need to uncover and sell them a car.
Later, Fresh Up on the Lot
reference: Dr. Lillian Glass