Do you fear negotiating? Do you dread entering into negotiations? Do you worry about giving up too much or not enough? Are you afraid the customer will say ‘no’ and you are going to ruin the relationship you have spent so much time building?

If you are like most salespeople you answer ‘yes’ to one or all of these questions and that is ok, that means you have not learned the art of win-win negotiations. In this, article we will introduce you to the win-win approach to negotiating in which the goal is that all parties leave with the feeling of being a winner.

So, What is Win-Win Negotiation Exactly?

A win-win negotiation is an understanding of the current stance and goals of your dealership and those your customer. This is in order to find a mutually acceptable outcome that allows both parties to achieve as much of their goals as possible. Then if both parties walk away happy with the outcome of the deal, then you have a WIN-WIN!

In a perfect world scenario, your customer is prepared to purchase your vehicle at your terms, and you are prepared to sell it to them. This perfect world scenario is set-up early in the sales process by actively listening to your customer and guiding them through selecting the right vehicle, providing them with a value-based presentation and demonstration. However, sometimes that is not the case and then one of you must give some ground. It is, however, fair to negotiate some compensation for doing so. This enables both parties to feel good about the transaction.


You and your customer’s goals are typically much more aligned than you may think. You should always enter negotiations with the mindset that your customer is there to solve a problem or better their current situation and you have that solution for them. Your goals a very aligned naturally to being with.

4 Stages of WIN-WIN Negotiations

  1. Establish an Emotional and Logical Desire to Purchase: This, once again is done in your early sales process. You must take the time to UNDERSTAND your customer. Understand, their wants/needs, likes/dislikes, must haves/can’t stands and the problem the customer is looking to solve, otherwise known as HOT BUTTONS. You must then select a vehicle that fit as many of these as possible. You will need to build value in you, your dealership, and your product based solely upon the customer’s HOT BUTTONS during your Presentation/Demonstration. Skipping any part of this sales process put a barrier between you and your customer at time of negotiations.
  2. Remove the People from the Negotiations: First of all, you can’t take negotiations personally. They are not about you, and the customer is not rejecting you, they are rejecting the offer on the table. You must view your customer as an ally and not an adversary. To do this you must remain calm during negotiations, you can never get upset or raise your voice.
  3. Be Solution Orientated: During negotiations it is very easy to begin to hold your ground and focus on your position being right. Instead, if you focus on things from both side of the equation, focus on arriving at solutions for both parties this will help to bring both parties together. You want to always be moving towards a solution.
  4. Be Creative to Find the WIN-WIN: By now you should have a strong understanding of the customer’s position and your own. You need to know that there will always be more than one way to find the solution that is win-win. You must remain opened minded, listen to the customer and find the right path to the solution. Unfortunately, most salespeople lock themselves into just one path, and when that doesn’t work, they are not prepared with any other options and the negotiations fail. You should brainstorm with your customer to find a solution that works. You must be open and receptive to all ideas or suggestions and then develop the one with the most potential to work.

If you enter into negotiations with an attitude and a position of only working for a solution that benefits you, then you will most likely “lose” the sale. However, if you enter negotiations with the mindset of finding that win-win solution for everyone, you will most likely earn the sale. Always remember, you have to put your customer into a position where they can feel like that have “won.” Then you will have your sale!

Joe Caruso

Joe Caruso

Joe may not have been born to sell cars, however when other kids were talking about being a firefighter or an astronaut, all he talked about was being a car salesperson. His commitment was so strong that he managed to sell his first car when he was nine years old. Fast forward to the age of seventeen and his full time career as an automotive sales professional began. Over the next 30 years he went on to hold every position in a sales department, including spending the last twelve as a General Manager, building some of the most successful teams in the area. In 2017, he left the retail side of the industry and founded DO IT TODAY Learning Network in an effort to share his knowledge with the entire automotive sales world.



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