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Top Auto Dealership Sales Training Company Tells Consumers How to Better Interact with Car Salespersons & Dealerships

Experts at Applied Concepts give insight to consumers on how to best shop for a car

Experts at Applied Concepts give insight to consumers on how to best shop for a car

The way cars are bought and sold has changed tremendously during the past decade and it has created an opportunity for consumers and dealerships to better work together.”
— Brett Kelly, executive vice president of Applied Concepts
NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, November 29, 2021 / -- For almost 40 years, Applied Concepts, the largest auto dealership sales and performance training company in the country, has been training sales teams at thousands of auto dealerships across the country on how to best interact with consumers. For the first time, the company is now providing insight for consumers on how to deal more effectively with auto salespersons when purchasing a vehicle.

“Many consumers buy into the stereotype of the car salesperson, and this creates an instantly adversarial and combative situation before the customer even walks into the dealership,” said Brett Kelly, executive vice president of Applied Concepts. “The way cars are bought and sold has changed tremendously during the past decade and it has created an opportunity for consumers and dealerships to better work together to yield an outcome that is a win for everyone.”

Applied Concepts offers the following tips for consumers to consider when purchasing a vehicle:

- Don’t jump to conclusions about what is online. Oftentimes, we will see an advertisement online for a particular car that is offered at a special price or comes with a special rebate or interest rate. It’s important to remember that incentives for a new car can vary tremendously by make, model, and trim. Deals can also vary by region of the country. We might see a specific car online from a dealership in Texas that is being offered with certain incentives; those incentives are not necessarily available in your part of the country. This is not in the dealer’s control but rather dictated by the manufacturer. Don’t compare apples to oranges while doing your research to avoid walking into your local dealership with unrealistic expectations.

- It is a common misperception that dealers make huge profits when selling a new car. The reality is that the average profit margin from invoice cost to MSRP is about 8%. That said, it is unrealistic to believe you can purchase a $40,000 car for $30,000, unless there is some sort of enormous factory incentive available. Also, don’t assume the dealership is getting “secret money,” or incentive payments from the manufacturer. While dealerships do receive incentive payments from manufacturers from time to time on certain vehicles, this is not true all the time for all vehicles. If you want to see if the manufacturer is currently offering any incentive payments to the dealership on the vehicle you are considering, this information is available online at several consumer sites.

- Right now, there is a worldwide inventory shortage and while many cars are selling for above MSRP, remember that dealerships are selling far fewer vehicles. To meet the cost of doing business, dealerships have their hands tied to a certain extent when it comes to pricing. If shopping for a new vehicle that is selling for a premium price, discuss other options with the dealership. Perhaps there is another make or model that would be a more reasonable choice. While the cost of new vehicles has gone up, so has what dealerships will offer for used cars. Inquire about the value of the trade-in and that may increase the available budget for a new car. Also, dealerships offer several good options for keeping your existing car until the inventory shortage is over, such as repair and maintenance plans, extended service contracts, and other ways to buy yourself some more time.

- "Remember the Golden Rule… do unto others as you would have them do unto you. There has always been a level of distrust for car dealers and while some of this was justly earned, much of it has been propagated from generation to generation and not based on anything other than a stereotype. Modern car dealers are now working harder than ever to be customer-centric and transparent. When shopping for a car, don’t think you need to defend yourself, or protect your interests, by being untruthful to the dealership about your budget, timeframe for purchase, or trade-in. Some consumers are so concerned about not being taken advantage of that they inadvertently sabotage the process and end up not getting what they want."

- The most impactful thing we can do is be realistic. It’s fine to be a tough negotiator, but don’t throw out low-ball offers that are beyond the realm of reason. "You and the dealership both want the same thing – a fair deal. You are not going to get the world’s cheapest deal and the dealership is not going to make a crazy profit from your purchase. Far better to put down the sword, take away the unnecessary hostility, and work toward the common goal of making the deal happen."

- Remember that a car dealership is a business, and they need to make a profit to stay in business. When making a purchase at a supermarket or retail store, those businesses have profit margins too – which are usually significantly higher than that of an auto dealership – and you don’t question it. Try not to treat a car salesperson as a villain because he or she is trying to make a living and earn money for their dealership.

Consumers now have more information available to them than ever before and should be able to go through the process of purchasing a car with confidence. Hostility and defensiveness do not in any way contribute toward getting a better deal and, in fact, are usually obstacles toward that end. Thanks to modern technology and the widespread availability of information, there is no reason why consumers and auto dealers should be in an adversarial relationship.

Applied Concepts provides sales and performance training and coaching for employees of auto dealerships to improve the way they connect and communicate with customers. The company has partnerships with more than 3,000 dealerships across the country and has conducted more than 2 million training and coaching sessions.

More information is available online at and on social media @acworksforyou.

Steve Honig
The Honig Company, LLC
+1 818-986-4300