To most people, buying cars isn’t the happy and exciting experience they would rather it was. It’s usually anxiety-provoking. The reason is that is that they know that they have to deal with car salesmen any time they walk into a dealership to test drive a car. People hate the pressure that buying new cars lands them in. The salesman is always completely tuned into one channel – trying to get you to commit right now. You are on a completely different channel – you want to just collect information and try to decide at your own pace. The problem is, that you are in their turf at the dealership. You aren’t the one who’s trying to dream up new ways to trap them into doing anything. They are the ones who are trying to trap you.
No matter what you say, salesmen just keep coming back trying to discuss prices with you. Any time to do that, all you need to do is to politely and firmly say to them that you don’t wish to waste their time, that you are considering other cars as well, and that you will not look at any numbers or discuss prices. You just want a test drive, and buying new cars isn’t on your menu this day. The fact that you are unwilling to waste their time will certainly gain you a little grudging respect from them. At the end of the test drive, they’re going to make you feel like you owe them the courtesy of sitting down to discuss the prices. But you know what to say to them.
Make sure that you never call up ahead to book a test run. That’s a move that’s too much like trying to be their friend. They aren’t your friend just because they smile at you and shake your hand, are they? During the test drive, it is the job of the salesman to really pump you up. They’ll turn the stereo up and try to show you how great everything is. In short, they’re trying to get you feel celebratory. You’re here for a test drive though, and are trying to size everything up. You’re in the middle of a serious job and the salesman is trying to distract you. Ask pointed and deep questions about how to work everything, turn down the music and try to listen for any strange noises. No matter what you see that really excites you, don’t show any excitement. Pretend like you are quite unimpressed with what you are seeing.
You get the picture, don’t you? You’re not to budge no matter how much they try their mind games on you. At the end of the test drive, tell them you understand that having customers buying new cars is what they’re interested in, but you have to take your time to make the right decision. Take their business card and leave with dignity. You’ll feel better about yourself for having done this.