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Having put off changing our cars for a long time, we decided yesterday to do it; as our second car was getting a bit old. So having done all the research – www.Usedcarexpert.com etc – we went to look at the cars. Sally and I are both visual and kinaethstetic people so we like to look and feel the cars live. A book or a website is not good enough.

We checked out 5 cars and 5 garages, very interesting differing sales tactics. One totally over the top, one totally disinterested, one where we were approached immediately and then given the cold shoulder as they didn’t think we were serious. First impressions!!! Perhaps they sussed us as we weren’t interested in that make. Perception is projection as the NLPers say.

Having written many articles on the sales and negotiating process with car dealers we entered our chosen car dealer in Guildford for the second time in two days, and felt the energy of the building. It’s funny it had a buzz that the others didn’t seem to have. I found out why later and it is down to brand manager Neil Lines.

Now we are both impatient people – I am a type A and Sally is a type B. However she can turn to a Type A at a moments notice and as we were kept waiting for 20 minutes, having been promised two minutes; she was more impatient than me. In fact the dealership had done everything wrong, at the beginning. They had said that Simon would see us in two minutes and after 10 minutes Simon came up and met another client. The receptionist was so apologetic and it was obvious she liked her job and was genuine. She said that she was getting Neil and he would be with us in a few minutes. More free black coffee arrives (reciprocity in influencing jargon – more later). I am quietly amused, watching the buzz and the people, this car dealership is doing well. The other four dealerships looked like a warehouse waiting for the official receiver.

So we meet Neil, who turns out to be quite important according to Daniella the receptionist as he is her boss. He is not a desperate salesman or a disinterested order taker. He listens, builds rapport and empathises. If he techniquing us, it doesn’t show as he comes across as congruent. The car we want is a Volkswagen Up, great economy, amazing for parking, no road tax and 5 star rating from WhatCar. According to the internet they have one we want.

I am not going to talk here about some of the obvious things that go on in selling, if you are a salesperson, an influencer or a psychologist. I am gong to tell you what Neil did to the both of us, which I couldn’t tell consciously was happening. Remember we wanted to buy this car if we could get an OK deal.

The psychological skills used –

1 – Congruent rapport

2 – Talked to both of us – not just to me

3 – The car we were after had just been sold – that morning (don’t know if I believed that but it didnt matter)

4 – We were advised not to buy the higher spec’d model – as it was more than we needed and didnt represent good value. Built trust.

5 – On the test drive my interests were discovered. I can’t remember the questions Neil asked, but they were asked as I did difficult manoeuvres in an unfamiliar car (clever). So with me in a positive state, the positive state was anchored to the car. (CLEVER)

6 – At the return to the showroom I was asked as I drove in to park, how did I find the car. My conscious mind was on the parking, so the question and answer was from my unconscious mind. Although he already knew the answer.

7 – While Neil checked over our trade in car, he was letting me into some trade secrets and stories. (clever)

8 – They under promised and over delivered on finding a similar car and getting it for us on our time deadline.

9 – He had no need to move on price as I was sold and I didnt have the time to go out and go through the process again. I told him I would; but even I didn’t believe what I said, so what chance did I have

10 – However I got two years free servicing for signing up to a finance deal which had very favourable terms. VERY.

I hate being processed through the car showroom processing pant, but this was an enjoyable experience – even though I was out manoeuvred, out negotiated and out played.

I did get agreement from Neil for an interview for my clients on how to buy a car from the inside man. Of course Neil turned out to be the boss, the brand manager and only stepped in because everybody else was busy. If you want something done give it to a busy person