The Five Kinds of Car Shoppers

ID-10036550One of the biggest stereotypes of car dealerships is the pushy salesperson. This is a stereotype that persists, and unfortunately, there are plenty of car salespeople who fit the profile and give it some truth. To make a better, more successful dealership, salespeople need to learn the line between guiding a sale and pushing a customer so hard that they walk right out the door.

The first step is to better understand the kinds of people walking into the dealership and whether they are predisposed to add-on products and warranties. According to WardsAuto contributor Steve Finlay, customers can be broken down into five categories. The first category is people who want the full package. They want extended warranties, add-ons, the optional features, and anything else that can come with the vehicle. The second category is people who will refuse any add-ons. No matter what you say, they will give you the cold shoulder and will likely walk out without buying a car if they feel pressured. The third category is people who need more information before they will commit to F&I products. Unfortunately, this category is easily confused with the fourth category of people who pretend they are interested but ultimately won’t buy. They will ask all kinds of questions and use up your valuable time, but they never had any intention of buying. The fifth and last category is people who honestly have questions, but they want to buy.

Finlay estimates that forty percent of customers fall into the fifth category, which is good news. The bad news is that salespeople usually encounter people who fall in the fifth category after dealing with people who fall into the second and fourth category. The salesperson gets done working with a customer who is belligerent or wasting their time, and they carry the baggage of that customer into their dealings with the next customer.

How can you avoid this problem? The most important thing to remember is to listen. Listen to the customer, and in your head, try to qualify what category they fall in. Do not assume right off the bat that this person wants to waste your time or is not actually interested in buying. These kinds of assumptions and the actions and attitudes it breeds will make you lose out on future sales. People will pick up on that attitude and will not respond well to it.

If you are looking to move more inventory and boost foot traffic in your dealership, Special Finance Group is ready to assist you with their Complete Special Finance Solution. To learn more about what Special Finance Group can do for you, go to, and connect with Special Finance Group on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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