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Key Steps To Negotiating With Car Buyers Through Email

In the new digital world, prospective car buyers often don't enter into the car lot at all until they're ready to make a purchase. Instead, car buyers have learned that they can complete many of their negotiations via email. This can be difficult if you're running a sales department, as it means that the clients are harder to engage. Here are a few key steps to negotiating these difficult to please buyers.

Make Sure Clients Aren't Comparing Apples to Oranges

When car buyers come to you with a competing offer, take some time to determine why that offer is lower. The car buyer may not have noticed that your more expensive vehicle has 20,000 miles less on its odometer -- or if they have noticed, they may not realize how important this is. Customers will often come to you with only basic information ("I can get a Kia Sorento 2015 for $1,000 less"), so you may need to ask some follow up questions.

Ask Them to Come in for Financing Options

It's almost impossible to engage and qualify a customer entirely through the Internet. They're having discussions with other dealerships and they will be easily discouraged if the prices are too much for them. A major goal should be to get the customer in the office so that you can better serve them. Asking them to come in to discuss their financing options is the fastest way to complete the transaction, for both you and them.

Don't Get Into a Bidding War

In on-the-lot sales, it's often recommended to snag a sale even if it gets you virtually no profit. This keeps your numbers up and the cars coming in. But getting into a bidding war or negotiating too far down isn't wise through email. There will always be more customers emailing any given car lot; it's not necessary to snag these sales quickly because they're always coming in. Conversely, email sales can be an excellent way to quickly offload vehicles that you simply want to capture some revenue on. 

Email negotiations can actually be beneficial to a dealership if they're performed correctly. They let you connect directly with customers quickly and go through a high volume of potential clients. As long as you're able to provide better service and prices than your competitors, you're very likely to be able to make deals in a high volume, making up for the slightly lower profit margins. Offer amenities like auto dealer credit reports that can help potential buyers.