Many times during a car deal, your salesman will say he needs to get his manager. What he is doing is called a “T-O” or a Turnover. What this is saying is that you are too tough of a customer for him to close himself, and he needs to get a fresh face in front of you to make you buy a car.
Usually, before he goes and gets his manager, he has to ask his manager a few times about your pricing requests, and your negotiating. He is pairing himself up with you, like you guys are actually on the same team. Your goal as a “team” is to get the best deal from the evil manager! Or so you think.
The evil manager wants to sell a car. The salesman wants to sell a car. Your salesman will bounce back and forth a few times and use lame buzz phrases, but we’ll get to that in a few minutes.
Lets say for an example you offer $10,000 for a car that costs, $12500 MSRP (MOST STUPID RIDICULOUS PRICING) , he will need to go ask his manager. The manager will then take the piece of paper you guys are negotiating on and write something stupid like $12,250 and draw a happy face on it, and a place for you to sign.
A happy face? Are you kidding me? $250 token discount and you draw a smiley face?
Well your salesman will walk back up, all smiles. Sit down (hiding the paper) and say he has “great news” the great news is that his manager said he would sell you the car for $12250. And he will also say he “can’t believe” the manager would give you so much off of a car thats so “in demand”.
Somewhere around this point you should think to yourself that this isn’t right. And you shouldn’t have to buy a car this way. Though I wish I could advise you to stand up immediately, and ask them what price they will sell you the @(*&$# car for, I cannot. Because they will just use the back and forth tactic until you either cave and buy the car, or walk.
Ways to combat the “T-O”
1. Clearly state that you want to deal with your salesman and ONLY your salesman. He will get the picture, if you paint it with the right brush.
2. As soon as the manager is mentioned refuse to speak with them. Tell them that if he comes over here I’m walking. Because the manager IS going to make sense. And 9/10 times the manager will sell you a car for too much. They’re THAT good.
3. Always, always, ALWAYS, have your info together. Research the car, know what others are paying via the TMV feature at Edmunds
4. If you do find yourself in front of a manger, focus on your salesperson, ask him questions, try to get him involved in the conversation. Reason? Because the salesman is instructed not to speak under any circumstances when the manager is there, unless he is spoken to. This tactic will throw the manager well off course and will help you stand firm at your price.
5. If you have to, walk. I promise most car dealerships won’t let you walk on a reasonable deal. Remember, these guys do need to make some money off of their car, just not that much.
I wrote this article in response to a phone call from my uncles who read the site. They were suggesting topics and the let me get my manager topic seemed appropriate.
Next time we will be giving you an inside look into the sales process dealerships train their salesmen on. Its usually an 8-13 step sales process that is very scripted, and very effective. If you know it, they’ll blow it.
Love and Regards