THE WAY DEALERS WORK (from Chapter 6: Dealing With Dealers)

    In dealing with a dealer, it helps to understand the way most dealerships work. As a whole, the dealership's main objective is to buy your trade-in for as little as possible while selling you their car, and extras, for as much as possible. The means of accomplishing this is through a simple hierarchy of staff.

    Starting from the top, there's the sales manager who will oversee and give the okay to each sale. Next are the closers or finance managers. Their job is to make you forget about all those promises the salesman made, sell you some extras, and finalize the deal. Then there are the salesmen themselves. On most dealership lots they are the ones outside greeting the consumer, going on test drives, finding out if you're a "today" buyer and, if you're not, promising whatever it takes to lure you into the sales office and turn you into a "today" buyer.

    Should you get lured into the salesman's office, all those carrots he dangled out on the lot will be neatly eliminated one by one. If you are easy, the salesman will usually work on you right up until the contract and paperwork needs signing. Then the closer comes in and tries to sell you some last-minute extras as he gradually goes over the paper work.

    If you turn out to be a tough customer, the salesman will hand you over to another salesman, manager, or closer early in the game. The next person will come in with a fresh set of negotiation tactics and will want to start from scratch, ignoring any ground you gained with the first salesman. It's a great way to wear you down. There's a whole army of salesmen, but there's only one of you.
    That, in a nutshell, is the dealership story. Some of the smaller ones may combine the salesman's and closer's duties, but they always have a sales manager (boss) to clear things with.