5 Ways to Handle Phone Negotiators

We’ve all run into the ‘Phone Negotiator’. The serious buyer that’s ready to buy. Sounds easy enough, but what’s the catch. Oh yeah, it’s the biggest one of them all for these people. The price shoppers, good deal hunters, the over-researched cheap asses. They’re so serious they can’t drive 10 minutes to your showroom.

You answer the call and go through your phone sales process. They cut you off and get right to it:

Customer: I’ve already test driven the car, I have prices from other dealers. I’m ready to buy. What’s your best price? 

I imagine you have an advertised price that’s lower than MSRP. A price that’s competitive in your market but of course with hidden fees and discounts most don’t qualify for. Usually they’ve got your special price beaten. I imagine if you sell Ferraris it’s okay to respond a little something like this.

Ferrari Salesman: Sure, no problem my best price is…

Most of us aren’t top notch enough to sell supercars, so this is for all of you non supercar, non high end luxury salesmen.
5 Ways to Handle Phone Negotiators


“Mr.Customer, it’s policy we don’t negotiate price over the phone, text or email. If you want anything lower than our advertised price you have to actually come in and see us. We sell cars here, not waste people’s time.”

Customers find it hard to argue with policy, at least they don’t hold you personally accountable for it…most of the time.

  • [At this point you can go in for the appointment or try misdirection and leading the convo somewhere else]
  • APPOINTMENT:  “We’re open until 9pm tonight. How does 5:30pm sound or would you rather do 7:30pm?”
  • MISDIRECTION: “I didn’t see it in my notes here but were you going to be trading a car in?”

Those may or may not work, customer might say I’m not coming in or overcome your misdirection and they insist on your BEST PRICE because they are SERIOUS BUYERS. Perfect, that’s when you say this:


“You definitely sound like a serious buyer and I really appreciate that. Like I said though, we only negotiate when the customer is in the showroom OR if we have money on the car you’re wanting to buy. It’s a FULLY REFUNDABLE deposit of only $100 that shows the customer is really serious and makes us get towork on getting the best price. If that’s fine with you I just need your credit card info…”. 

You can ask for whatever amount for the deposit  but I like to keep it low enough where it won’t be an issue. Or you can ask for such a high amount they’d rather come in than fork over the high amount. Use your discretion.

They’ll respond one of two ways:

  • “I’m not doing that. I am a serious buyer. I don’t have time for these games. Blah, blah, BULLSHIT.”
  • “Well, okay. It’s gonna be a VISA and my credit card number is…”

The second may take a little more convincing but it lets you know that you’re dealing with a serious buyer. 

  • Now you’re thinking great, I have a serious buyer but now he’s gonna know my special price is plus a bunch of additional fees and accessories. He won’t buy from me now.
  • WRONG! Cash is king, baby. You now have the customers money and yeah it’s 100% fully refundable but they have to come in to the store to get the refund and give you a real shot at closing them as well as him saying wow you’re REAL best price is not the lowest. I have a lower price which is $X amount and gives you a price point of reference.

3. PRICE BEAT GUARANTEE – This has been around since before the chicken OR the egg. It’s a great thing but everyone does it so what’s so special about you doing it? Nothing, that’s what. There is a way you can make it more enticing than everyone else. As with most things there is a catch, which is to bring in a quote, and by quote we mean a buyers order(AN ACTUAL FUCKING CONTRACT). Hahaha.

So instead of telling them:

  • “All we need is for you to bring the quote.”


  • “We don’t even need you to bring in the quote. Unless you want to.*fake laugh*

Every dealer has told them to bring the quote in so they can beat it. The customers know their quote is some bullshit email or text the store that sent it to them won’t even honor. They said,“Wow, they don’t even need my bullshit proof. Perfect, I’ll just tell the salesman I have a price lower than I really have!”

This way sets you apart and gives the customer more reason to pay your store a visit.

4. LIE, NO REALLY – That’s right, lie your ass off. Most of your Internet prices are straight up bullshit anyway. Did I say lie? Well I mean lowball. We never lie to our customers. Only do this if you know how to handle them when they get to your store.


5. WORK THE DEAL OVER THE PHONE – This is by all means last ditch effort if there is no other option possible but some people just won’t come in no matter what. Yes it probably won’t be a money maker but most phone/email shoppers aren’t. Like The Great One, I mean Michael Scott said himself:

Well that’s it folks. Five ways to start getting that phone/email price shopper into your showroom. 

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