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Larry Bruce

Larry Bruce Founder / President / CEO

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Coffee’s for Closers…Negotiation AINT the close

I love reading Jim Ziegler’s articles there is a lot of hard core truth in what he writes, most of all you can bet he is passionate and believes and lives every word. While reading this latest article “Coffee’s for Closers” it floored me that we still see this connection between the “PRICE” and the close. What’s even more ironic is that is that what actually “CLOSES” a car sale is as old school as it gets and hasn’t changed in the last 50 years.

You all know what I am talking about…To put in James Carville terms “It’s about the relationship…stupid”

Now I am certainly not going to say that price isn’t a concern, you will address, it but I will say… IT AINT THE CLOSE and I will go even further and say… IT NEVER HAS BEEN.     

Back in march of last year after South By Southwest I wrote a post called “The Currency of Trust” in this post I shared my ideas on how trust was built in a car sale before the introduction of the internet and social media and how the internet and social media is redefining the building of trust today, and therein lies the CHANGE in the sales pr


It’s not a change in human behavior for the last 30 years people have been shopping for a car salesperson not a car. It’s a change in how long we now have to engage with customers a change in the channels we engage with those customers in and the way in which customers are starting to use the internet to formulate their opinions of how trustworthy your dealership really is.

This is a part of the “Old School” sales training I received from a set of Clint McGee Auto Sales Training tapes back in 1984 when I first started selling cars…yes I am that old.

New Sales Model

The premise of this graphic was that if you took the time with the customer to get to know them, answer their questions, sell yourself, the dealership and the benefits of that car for their needs the “Close” would be relatively short and you would make more gross profit.

You had 3 days to do this over the phone and most of it was accomplished on the lot.

The “New School” and the fool here is the one that ignores this:

New Sales Model

The customers process starts earlier because they have access to more information and with that access most feel very uncomfortable if they don’t at least do some research before they buy.

Make no mistake the customer shops for the car first and the dealership a distant second, but now the process of shopping for a dealership can involve multiple channels and there is a lot more opportunity for a lot more “Second Basemen” to be involved in that dealership shopping process.

Ease of access to information about your dealership and the ability to engage remotely has stretched the time a customer is willing to take to shop for a dealership & what used to take place in 3 days can now take as much as 90 days.


Because the customer CAN…

So what do you do about it?

You do what GOOD salespeople have done for over 50 years.

Listen and help the customer with THEIR needs

Be responsive to information on the customer’s timeline

Be transparent with the information you provide

Be authentic and genuine in your desire to get the customer the best buying experience for them

This again hasn’t changed in 50 years.

So… “Excuse Me” but “One Price”… “No Haggle” these are just tactics they are not sales skills and for that matter neither is “negotiation”.  You wanna be a good salesperson be good at the above, be prepared to a talk about your price what the customer gets and why they should want to pay that amount and buy from you. In many ways you have to be a better salesperson if you are a “One Price” store.

That’s my $0.02 cents…what say you?



Eric Miltsch
Larry, I'll take your bait as well... Good salespeople must do the items on your list regardless of the dealership model - traditional or one-price. We stress top-notch sales skills while putting just as much emphasis on the relationship and creating the best possible buying experience. (online, in-store, service & post-sale) I agree with your closing point; our low, one-price may help bring people in, but it doesn't close the sale. Trust, relationship building and skilled salespeople do. Nice charts too, hadn't seen them before...
Larry Bruce
Thanks, the charts are mine modified for the Currency of Trust post. Not exactly sure what you mean my "Take the bait", perhaps you could elaborate?
Eric Miltsch
I was just referring to a previous comment I left for Zieglar in his original article. Often times, when people reference one-price stores, they're making a passive reference to us in some way... Your post came so quickly after Jim replayed hs article, just wanted to add my .02 as well)
Larry Bruce
Ohhh I see... one price is a choice and tactic and has nothing to do with your negociation or sales skill. Good one price dealer can make more money and have happier customers than the bad negotiation dealer and its a lot easier to be a bad negotiation dealer. I think you have just inspried next weeks automarketing tweetchat.
Eric Miltsch
Not sure how you're making that assumption Larry; see my original comment above where I specifically mention how important sales skills are with regards to closing. One price is a tactic. And negotiation has nothing to do with a one price store - when done correctly. But sales skill still reigns supreme. In fact, the one-price model introduces an additional element to the sales process: Sticking to the process.

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