Here's my story: Confessions of a Former Car Salesman
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a question I had gotten one hundred times, only this time it would change my life forever. This story is the confessions of a former car salesman.
Before I tell you this life-changing question I need to tell you what led up to it.
My name is Mike Rumple. I am a Christian, husband, and father of three. I started a business where I teach people the steps experts use to get awesome car deals without stepping foot inside the dealership. Sometimes I have clients who do not have the time or patience to learn so they hire me to do it for them. That’s me.
Linda has no idea how the one question she asked would change my life forever.
Linda was a client while working at a large new and pre-owned dealership selling cars. Linda and I connected right away. She liked my no pressure approach and I could tell she trusted me. Actually, she told me I reminded her of her son who passed away.
So here I am sitting in front of Linda. We have spent three hours so far walking the lot and test driving multiple vehicles and getting to know each other.
We finally found the SUV she loved and wanted to buy.
Truth be told, she really didn’t LOVE it.
She wanted a white one.
The problem was that the white SUV we had in stock was way out of her price range and I needed a sale YESTERDAY. You see it was the end of the month and I needed one more sale to make a pretty substantial bonus.
I couldn’t tell her that the white SUV she wanted was right down the street at another dealership. I had two kids in diapers. I needed the sale like yesterday!
Side note: I tried to talk my wife into cloth diapers but then I realized I do the laundry. Forget about it.
Starting to see the conflict of interest?
Now, here is how Linda's question changed my life.
At this point, Linda and I are sitting at the sales desk and I just passed the quote from management over to her so she could review it.
It was the exact monthly payment she wanted to pay. I knew this because I had already asked her. Never tell a car salesman what you want to pay unless you have done your research. Linda had not done her research. I was the first dealership she stopped at.
True, she looked online and knew what she wanted but if you have shopped online you know it takes a PhD to decipher the true cost of these new vehicles. The many different numbers make it so only seasoned car salesman know.
I worked with salesmen who had no clue how to decipher the numbers; even seasoned guys. I am a numbers guy and it took me over a year before I figured it out.
The truth is the auto industry makes it confusing on purpose.
MSRP, Sale Price, Financing rates, Financing terms, Warranties, Lease rates, Residual values, Different rebates for different people, Call for price advertisements, Ads on mystery vehicles no longer available, Crazy low payment ads with small print no one can read.
Linda did as much research as she could but the deck was stacked against her.
Dealerships use the internet for one thing and that is to get you to where Linda is right now. Sitting in front of me, a guy she trusts having already spent three hours.
Chances are slim that Linda will want to go through this at another dealership and dealerships know this.
So here she is ready to buy a vehicle in a different color than the one she wanted because she liked me, the guy who reminds her of her late son.
Then she asked me the question.
"What do YOU think Michael?
Here I am sitting in front of a woman who just called me “Michael”. My mother, my grandmother and my wife (when she is mad) only call me Michael. Confessions of a Former Car Salesman
Should I tell the truth?
The truth is Linda, your trade in is worth at least $1000 more than what we offered you. I could help you sell it personal owner and probably get you $2500. Not only that, I think you can get a better interest rate. It is the last day of the month and my boss makes a huge bonus if we sell one more. Last but not least, I think you should get the exact color you want. What do I think? Decline the offer Linda!
Oh how I wish I would have had the courage to tell her that.
What would you say if you were in my shoes?
As a car salesman, your loyalty lies with your employer. Not only that, I was paid based off the sale price of the vehicle. The more Linda agreed to pay, the more money I could earn. That’s how the business works.
So what did I tell her?
“Linda, this is exactly what you wanted to pay as far as your monthly payment and the car has everything you want and nothing you do not want so if you like the car, buy it.”
I even said that the stress of buying a car goes away after making a decision. I was in sales mode. She accepted the offer and bought it!
Linda's question was about to change my life. (The true Confessions of a former car salesman.)
After Linda left the dealership my conscience got to me.
There is nothing more important to me than my faith (in Jesus) and I felt like God was trying to tell me something.
Linda’s question got me thinking. I thought to myself.
How can I align my self with my clients?
How can I have only my clients best interest in mind?
How can I tell Linda the whole truth?
I knew a lot of my clients hated the car buying experience.
Could I reduce the amount of time my clients spent at the dealerships?
Could I help those clients who didn’t feel comfortable negotiating with dealerships?
I didn’t think it was fair that expert car buyers paid thousands less than the average car buyer.
I knew that I could help a lot of people but how would I be able to make a living doing it?
The only way for me to truly accomplish what I had been thinking about was to have my clients compensate me outside of the car deal.
There are tons of so-called “FREE” car buying services that work for dealerships. I knew that these sites were nothing more than lead generation sites for dealerships. Can you believe these sites get paid up to $399 to sell your contact information to the dealerships in their network?
They really bring no value to the consumer. The deals they offer are fair deals and not great deals.
I knew I could do so much better for people than these so-called ‘no hassle sites’.
I knew that the only way to get an exceptional deal was to contact multiple dealerships and to truly make them compete.
Would people be willing to pay me instead of going to these free sites?
I told a few close confidants about my idea but considered me crazy to quit my job.
They knew I had built a nice customer base and earning and providing greatly for my growing family.
I found myself consumed by fear.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of continuing in a career with a conflict of interest.
Then, one Sunday my two children were sick and I stayed home with them while my wife went to serve in our church.
There I am sitting on the couch watching a sermon on TV (and wiping runny noses) and I felt God saying:
FAITH is greater than FEAR, Mike.
Haven’t I always PROVIDED for you?
I have something GREATER.
When my wife came home I told her what I wanted and felt led to do.
It’s awesome that I have a wife who encourages and believes in me! So that’s what I did.CI started a business where I coach people on how to negotiate an awesome car deal without stepping foot inside a dealership. Everyone should know how to secure themselves a good deal.
And for the individual who doesn’t have the time or patience to contact and negotiate with multiple dealerships, they trust me to do it for them with a personal car buying service. I save them time and my clients rest easy knowing there’s no chance of getting ripped off.
So that’s how Linda and her question changed my life forever. One. simple. question.
"What do you think Michael?"
Find out more about how you can save on the hassle, the haggle, and the stress!
Confessions of a Former Car Salesman
This Post Has 17 Comments
see above: Hey Mike !
Liked your story ! I am trying to buy my first “State to State” internet truck; My corporate domicile is in WY. and the truck I want is in CA. My driver license is California, because I travel alot and that was my start state, but Wyoming is my corporate state. I can save 8.9% on the sale but I was told to walk through the process with a knowledgeable coach first. Can You Help ?
Keith A. Freitas, CEO Sea Pine Ventures, Inc.
Hi Kieth, call or set up a call with me and we can discuss.
And thank you for reading my story!
Have 2017 Chevy traverse lease that ends mar.2 , 2020. Over on miles by 3000.i can pay for those. Looking for loaded up 2020 blazer including safety convenience package, back up camera, lane assist , blind spot notify , heated front seats , heated steering wheel. Most important 24 mo. Lease but need 15,000 per year. Can I get any help with last payment due?
Hi Dan, sorry for the delayed response. In regard to the last payment I’m not sure I would have to look into it. Chances are Chevy would allow you to pull ahead early. If your lease is up March 2, I’m assuming that’s when you have to make your last payment. If that’s the case then you wouldn’t have to turn in until April. Typically, you make your last payment then can drive for a whole other month. I would check on that. If you’d like to set up a strategy call with me, you can here
Thanks for sharing your story. I just went through this scenario 4 days ago – almost exactly like your story of selling to Linda, play by play. What’s weird here? My name is Linda and the salesman’s name was Mike. Like you, I also have a deep faith in Jesus.
Fast forward, every time I said no, I don’t like the numbers, I want to think about it, I want to steward well what God has provided, they sent in someone else and applied crushing, high pressure tactics. The salesman had already had the plate removed from my car and put it on the one I test drove. After 6 hours I caved, I still don’t know what the actual sale price is that I paid (one price only so they say – baloney!) and I’m in a vehicle that’s not what I wanted. They clearly cared more about the sale than having a happy customer. They do not like the word NO.
I’m telling my story in hopes that you will post it as another buyer beware. I intend to address my disappointment in their tactics but am taking time to formulate my words. Right now I feel like it was an assault.
If you have advice for the future, I’ll be watching for it. Thank you for your informative website. It will be awhile before I buy another vehicle but I will never buy again without having an advocate on my side! How I wish I knew first that you and others are out there!
Sorry to hear that Linda.
There are many benefits to working with me, one of them is that you will never get pressured to buy. I have actually tried to talk people out of buying in certain circumstances.
You may want to leverage a google and Facebook review along with the manufacturer survey to get what you want. The sooner you do the review the better as someone from management may contact you to try to rectify the situation. It’s the only leverage you have after the sale is done. It works more than you would expect. Especially the manufacturer survey. They hate to get bad surveys! Threatening a bad survey may bring you some leverage.
I feel sorry for a car salesman who feels the need to pressure people to buy. They would actually make more sales and more money if they took a consultative approach but many of them have a lot of pressure from management. In the end they are in a sticky situation because they only make money when you say yes so they do everything they can to get you to say that yes. I don’t blame them but the question is, who IS to blame. I’m not sure. I do work with honest and transparent sales professionals all the time; so there is hope.
Call me next time. 330 978 5935
I would love to help make your next car buying experience easy, stress free and provide you with all the information you need to make a good financial decision! – Mike
Thanks for the feedback! I’ll definitely be in touch with you for my next purchase, which will not be for a while since I’ve only had this one for four days. But wondering if I might be able to ask one more question and that is should I talk to the dealership first or go ahead and post the reviews so that they don’t have a heads up? I don’t intend to be mean in anyway shape or form with my words but I do intend to be very clear about how incredibly unhappy I am with the sales tactics and that I don’t even know what the purchase price of my vehicle was. I bought a 2019 Equinox with 42k miles, CPO. It’s just not the right vehicle for me but they hammered me so hard I was psychologically assaulted. Hopefully I’ll get a survey from the manufacturer.
Thanks again – Linda
Hi Mike. We are mere hours since the purchase you negotiated for me, and I am so pleased with the experience and your service. Please share my name and number if you ever need a reference. Thank you!!!
I’m looking to buy a new F-150 King Ranch
I’ve looked up invoices for several trucks from different dealers, all trucks have the same invoice pricing and delivery with different options.
My goal was to offer the dealer $3000 over invoice and want the 0% interest on balance after I put 20,000 down with using my 2014 Nissan Maxima SV loaded with 66,000 miles car is 8 out of 10 needing tires and requiring them to give me 15000 for the trade in.
Not sure what to make of all invoices being the same with different vin #s and different dealers
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I earned the respect of my daughter when she bought her first car. She let me know she had found a car she liked and I agreed to make the down payment and cover the insurance, she would make the car payment. Three things I brought to the dealership, a red felt tipped pen, my 12-c financial calculator and pre-approval from our Bank. She was in awe when I put BIG RED X’s in the salesperson’s four square box. I got the payment reduced by over $100. When we got home she said “Dad, you sure busted up that salesman”, I responded “no worse then the young boys you date”.
Good story Bob!
That’s what Dads are for, right?! 🙂
Hi Mike, In a few short months my husband and I are looking into financing a Jeep Wrangler but we’ve never had luck negotiating with a Jeep dealership. We went in last December to finance a Jeep and walked out with a lease. When you talk about not bringing up a monthly payment to the salesman, How do we avoid it and what should we say?
Hi Brandy, sorry for the delay! Good question. I just tell them the truth. I don’t care about payment, I want to know the bottom line. How much does the vehicle cost. If you go inside to “talk numbers” you will likely be there ALL day. I avoid negotiating at the dealership entirely. I suggest you find a vehicle that you like in your price range. You need to do that homework first. There are a lot of variables besides a payment price. Then, make an appointment and take a test drive and tell them you’ll give them a call if you want to purchase it or make an offer. I recommend reaching out to 4-5 dealerships with the same vehicle, equipped the same and ask for the pricing. You can then negotiate. Start with my ebook on my site.
Then set up a call with me if you want to talk more in depth. To answer your question, just tell them you’re just deciding if you like the vehicle enough to buy it and don’t have a payment goal, and leave. You have the money, you’re in control 🙂
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Mike actually called us when we were just asking questions about the details about his service. We haven’t even signed up or anything . He literally spent 30 mins (no exaggeration; I can even snapshot the call log) gave us a TON of honest advice and tips. Right away my husband and I could tell he was trustworthy. I even asked for his Venmo info to give him a small amount of $, but he declined it. I would recommend him to anyone and EVERYONE.