What to Do When a Buyer Shows Up

car buyers header 300x211 What to Do When a Buyer Shows UpWhen someone comes to look at your car, you want to be at your best. You are the one showing your car. Sure, the car should also be looking its best but a good salesperson can sell just about anything. You need to be the salesperson.

Here are some tips and things to remember when buyers come to look at your vehicle.

Welcome Them and Be Hospitable

You may choose to meet at a mall, park or maybe at your home. Either way, greet people with a smile and a handshake. Tell them your name and ask them their names. Look them in the eye and be happy to see them… after all, they’re giving up part of their day to come look at your vehicle.

Give Them a Summary of the Vehicle

If you have a sheet printed out, that’s good. Give that to them. Also talk about the car and give them a nice summary of the history. The more you have on this sheet, the better it will look. You’ll look prepared and it will look like you have a good amount of knowledge about the vehicle you’re selling.

Selling Points

Have a number of selling points ready. These are highlights of the vehicle that they should know about. Here are some examples that someone might give:

  • The car has only had one owner.
  • We had the oil changed every 5,000 miles.
  • We just had these things done to the car…
  • Most of the miles are highway miles.
  • We had the car detailed and waxed twice a year.
  • The car gets great gas mileage.

Only say things that are true, of course, but those are some ideas. Be sure to explain what you like best about the car and why.

Be a Used Car Salesman

Ok, don’t be obnoxious, but be nice and courteous. Point out the features of “their new car” – that’s right tell them it’s theirs from the start. State that it’s new because it’ll be new to them. Buying a car is very emotional, so do your best to work that angle. It’s just being nice and courteous and making the experience the best it can be for the buyer since they’re making a big purchase. Treat them how you would like to be treated.

Watch and Listen

Pay attention to what they like most about the car and then emphasize those details. Don’t move on. Feed their interest by talking more about what they like. If something you pointed out seemed important, then talk more about that. Give more details. Remember these things at the end, too, when you’re negotiating.

For example, if you mentioned highway miles and that seemed important, then mention more and explain that route you take. Ask them if they’re familiar with that route.

Be Funny

It doesn’t help to throw in a little humor. Make sure it’s clean, not offensive. Buying a car is a bit emotional, so if you can make them chuckle a little, that only works in your favor. You’re making them feel more comfortable with you and the car.

Recognize the Trust Factor / Honesty

Part of what a buyer is thinking is if they can trust you. They don’t know you. If you’re honest, you’ll give quick answers that make sense. If you’re lying, your answers won’t come as quickly and you may end up contradicting yourself – so be honest… for sure!

If people sense something you’re saying isn’t right, they’ll probably leave right then and not waste any more of their time. Things will go smoother if you be honest.

Ask for the Purchase

Don’t forget your “call to action” and make sure you ask them if they want to buy it. Don’t wait for them to finally bring it up. Don’t ask too soon but a good way to ask is, “Is there anything else I can answer for you or are you ready to take the car home?” or something like that. This gives them two options… either ask more questions or buy it.

When it Comes Time to Haggling

Of course, it’s always better to wait for the other person to list a price but you already have a price for the car listed in your ad, so this is already done. You should always assume that the price listed there is the current price. Don’t come down in price right away until they say something first.

One show on TV I like is “Pawn Stars.” I really like the haggling they do when they buy something from someone. If you get a chance, watch that show and pay attention to how they haggle. They have a bottom line price in mind and usually won’t go beyond that price. That’s a good strategy. Don’t be afraid to let a buyer go – another one will be by soon. Have patience and you’ll make more money.

Have some vehicle estimate sheets printed out from KBB.com, Edmunds and NADAGuides.com. It’s good to have the one with the highest price listed (usually NADA) because if the buyer happened to do their homework and shows you the lowest one, you can whip out the highest one, which can help you negotiate in your favor.


When you go to a store or buy something from someone, you like to be treated well, right? That’s why you should treat people well when they come to see your vehicle. It’s not hard to do. Smile and be friendly to them. Answer their questions. If you don’t know something, maybe offer to find out and get back to them. Be honest with them. Don’t dodge questions but answer the question they’re asking without changing the subject. Make a joke or two. Tell a good, short story about a good time you had with the car. You have an advantage over a salesperson at a local car lot – unlike them, you’ve had firsthand experience with the car you’re selling. Use that to your advantage!

I’ve tried to pack a lot of good information and advice into this article. If I missed something, please leave a comment below. Don’t forget to share this post with people you know.

One thought on “What to Do When a Buyer Shows Up

  1. Thank you for talking about the importance of being honest when selling a car. It makes sense that taking this to the heart can help you make good business with people that are interested in buying your car. Personally, I would want to buy a car from someone that provides honest answers to my questions and who does not push me too much to buy their vehicle.

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