You know what I’m talking about. Your customers love to try on the car salesman and especially when it comes to price. This isn’t something new; customers have been trying on automobile salespeople for decades. You know what I mean, this other dealer had a lower price or some dealer gave me a lower quote. Of course they did and that’s why you are here, right? You came out to my dealership just to tell me that some other dealer has a lower price than mine. That might be what you want to say to them, but you can’t, at least not yet (just a basic car sales tip).

Why Try On The Car Salesman

Car buyers want to try on the salesperson because they want a better deal; they want to save some money. You can’t blame them, I am sure you want to make sure you are getting a good deal when you make a major purchase, I know I do. However our job as a car sales professional is to overcome this objection to in order to sell them a car. When they try us on where price is concerned we have several ways to go. 1. We can tell them they are out of their mind and send them on their way. 2. We can argue with them, piss them off and they will leave on their own. 3. We can drop our drawers, take it in the shorts and take them on their word to sell a unit 4. We can listen closely, ask questions, examine their quotes and try to discover why they are really here when they can buy a car cheaper somewhere else.

Try On the Car SalesmanThe only real option here is number 4. As much as we would love to throw them out, there’s a reason they came to your dealership. They are serious buyers and they’re going to buy a car. Customers that try on the car salesman sometimes have different reasons for their behavior and it’s not always price.

Types Customers That Try On The Car Salesman

  1. Mooch: Try on the car salesman for price is the most common practice among most buyers, but there is a special breed I call the MOOCH. The Mooch will drive practically any distance and say anything that they think will save them a dollar. They will bold face lie, drive 4 hours for a special advertised price and then start their negotiations. Regardless of what you say, regardless of what they know they just keep looking for more. Floor mats, oil changes, coupons, you name it. If they can get it for free they want it and they will do almost anything to get it. The worst of the worst. Sometimes you will sell them a car and sometimes you wont’, but if you do you can bet it will be a Mini and a true loser for the dealership.
  2. The Locals: I call these people the locals because they usually live in the area and may even be a regular service customer and bought cars from your dealership in the past. They are usually good people that just want to get a good deal. More than likely they have done some Internet shopping and got figures that you may need to match when comes right down to the nitty-gritty. The locals may try on the car salesman for floor mats, oil changes and the like, but won’t walk away if you don’t throw them in the deal. These people can often be switch to a different car, color or trim level. A good car salesman will sell them a car, maybe steal a little on trade and might even pick-up some accessory sales.
  3. Hot Shot: The Hot Shot falls somewhere in-between the Mooch and the Locals. They could be a local and a past customer, but not necessarily. This customer will travel a short to medium distance for a deal, but not like the Mooch. They will try on the car salesman from step one. They are called the Hot Shot because they think they know about the car business, they think they are a Hot Shot. This customer has probably already visited his local dealer and got a price. He thinks he can do better now that he has information and pricing from his local dealer. He doesn’t want a price match, he wants you to beat his price and not by $50, he wants several hundred. Sometimes this customer is at your dealership because his local one didn’t have the color or trim level he wanted, but very little chance he is going to tell you.  You need to work him, question him, grill him and be a detective to discover his real motivation. Sometimes this Hot Shot is just trying to impress whoever accompanied him.


Everybody loves to try on the car salesman from the Mooch to Grandma when she buys a car. You job and car sales career is not to make your point, but to sell them a car. Open them up, dig deep and discover their motivations because they often go deeper than price. Our job is to overcome objections not to challenge them, one of the basic car sales skills.

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot


You Can Sell-More-Cars – Read 100 Car $alesman Tip$

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KB · September 11 at 11:58 am

Thanks Joe

Joe O · September 4 at 3:57 pm

Another grammatical flaw:

Last sentence under THE LOCALS, the word ‘switch’ needs to be changed to something else..

Not too much proof reading on this one 🙁


Rusty · July 24 at 8:52 pm


It is kind of humorous, but in your note to KB about his spelling, you spelled though as “tho”. I am not sure that tho is a correct spelling 🙂

KB · July 10 at 6:14 pm

Hi AdamG,

Thanks for both the grammar and the heads up on the email.

As you can tell I am much better at selling cars than writing.

Thank You

AdamG · July 10 at 4:54 pm

KB, I sent you an email but it bounced back saying your email box is full…

Love the blog. Keep up the good work!

On this one I noticed a couple of typos that you should correct tho.

In the Mooch section should be “loser” not “looser” and in the Hot Shot section should read “…he wants you to *beat* his price.

In my line of work (writing) the message can be great but if poorly executed (typos) then the reader can completely lose faith in the validity of the advice.

Thanks again for sharing this great info. Hope the book is doing well.


Adam G.
Seattle, WA

John O'Neill · July 10 at 4:38 pm

Yep I get quite a few mooches! one amusing one recently wanted to buy a car which was a best seller, but below our cost. There was a dealer out of town who was advertising them: they were plated 2012 and almost 12 months old. And then he said he wanted a free towbar with it! We were selling ours easily at full price, and they were 2013 built and compliant. Yet this fellow kept calling in and waving the ad under our nose. In the meantime we sold 4 more of those units at full price. In the end he went and bought it out of town at the silly price: and soon discovered why else it was so cheap. Towbar was second hand, not even wired up properly, and he has had it in two us twice for repairs not covered by warranty.

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