It may sound obvious to say you should be wary of car salesmen on the phone, just as you should be wary of car salesmen in general. To hammer the point home, though, here are some audio files of Jerry Thibeau training salespeople at car dealerships, in this case a BMW dealership, to schmooze and potentially ensnare customers before they even walk on the lot.

With the Internet stealing large portions of business from car dealerships, there's a real need for dealers to invest in this kind of telephone training. Thibeau answered the call when he started New York-based Phone-Up Ninjas back in late 2009.

Guys like Thibeau charge $2,000 a day plus expenses to visit car dealerships for these training sessions. They can also do the work remotely, dubbing constructive criticism into mystery shopper phone calls to point out where a salesperson's pitch could use some help.

The car salesman on the other end of the line has a job to do: make you buy a car (or how about this nice SUV that's just a little more per month?). Just remember that, next time, you may be talking to a ninja.

Our advice? Hang up. Read the full report at AOL Autos to learn more about how this industry operates.

[Source: AOL Autos | Image: Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 73 Comments
      Jonathan Arena
      • 3 Years Ago
      These trainers seem a bit douchey. The bottom line is, that 90% of selling on the phone is simply being positive, proffessional and responsive. Stupid tricks like telling the customer that they have allready had several calls on the car they are interested in, is dishonest and will eventually backfire.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love how the sales guy doesn't answer the customers questions about the truck and instead just focuses on getting him in the door. Listening to the recording reminded me how I get sick to my stomach every time I have to talk to a sales droid, which is why I work hard not to until I've already located the exact car I want to buy.
      taeles
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just as important, beware news posts on autoblog that 'auto' run themselves on google's chrome browser. Took bout a minute to figure out why my damn computer was talking to me.
      Bassracerx
      • 3 Years Ago
      skip the audio its boring as hell. btw all they say is "great job keep it up"
      Cayenne
      • 3 Years Ago
      Most car people (in sales) have a large amount of distaste for outsourced trainers that will 'fix' everyone's monthly numbers.
      Philip
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like how Jerry Thibeau comments on here about the authors being scum when he's the one teaching people how to pull as much money as possible from unsuspecting car buyers. Way to contribute to society.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Philip
        @Philip, You haven't a clue what you are talking about. I don't teach anyone how to pull money from a customer. I teach them how to talk to them on the phone so they can schedule an appointment. As with any product, companies are in business to make money. Ultimately it's you the consumer who controls just how much profit is given. Now if you're beacon score is that of a household cleaning product (409), then yes I would suspect you were an unsuspecting car buyer and got taken for a ride. I suppose it's the car dealers fault that you have bad credit as well.
          Philip
          • 3 Years Ago
          I have worked at car dealers most of my life and I know exactly what you do. The only reason a dealer would bring you in is if they thought you could get them more money. Have you listened to your own recordings? I like how it started out with you saying you were there to get dealers to give better customer service, but now its about getting customers into the dealer. I also love the cop-out of "they are in business to make money", thats the best way to justify your company right? If you can find a way to make money by talking, good for you, but don't for a second try and say that you are doing this to help consumers. Oh, and as a car buyer, I have to say you are lousy at customer service. Insulting people is a great way to get customers.
      ..
      • 3 Years Ago
      Given the choice between buying a new car, or volunteering as a patient at a med school colonoscopy class, guess which one wins? Half the time I leave a new car showroom I feel the need for a hot shower. There simply is nothing fun about buying a new car or truck.
      B
      • 3 Years Ago
      These "sales trainers" are a joke and any dealership suckered into these are just as much of a joke. The customer is more empowered than they have ever been. The Internet has completely changed the game. KBB, NADA, Edmunds, Manufacturer sites, Review sites (like this one) all give the customer a plethora of information to make an informed decision. The people who get "suckered" are just not smart people in the first place and some dealerships do take advantage of them. There are people in every industry that you need to "beware" of. There are just some of us who love cars and WANT to work in this industry. The libelous stereotypes of the 70s and 80s are getting old fast. I still don't hear anyone turn up their noses when someone says their an accountant or a stock broker (even though some of them caused the worst financial crisis since 1929).
      ben
      • 3 Years Ago
      Funny how she says she removed the personal info from the call, like his name, etc...but then leaves in the part where he gives out his exact home address..."1080 Stark Drive, Alliance, OH 44601"...heh
      NightFlight
      • 3 Years Ago
      .... and this is the exact reason why they never will get my phone number, and if it is 100% required they will get a fake number that I made up that I verified does not work. I am not a sucker, and will never be made one.
        Ron Alex
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        Fact, most people almost 70% (NADA) will not buy the car they came in expecting to purchase. So if you are playing the numbers you are going to go with the masses, and market to them. Not to the guy who thinks he is so brilliant, you are not worth the brain damage. Ask any car salesperson, which customers are happy the ones you treated right and sold the car for a good price, or the ones that you gave such a deal to that the store lost 2k in the deal. All of them will tell you the guy you lost money to will complain the most that he got a raw deal, and want free everything after that. I just wont deal with the idiots who want to grind on you for hours over $100 dollars. If I know I have the best price for the mileage and you call in and wont give me you number to call you back or give a fake one, your loss, not mine...BTW if you called a Toll Free Number, you cannot hide your number from those and even if the salespersons phone doesn't have caller ID the manager can look up the number that called them. Its toll free, they paid for the call they have the right to know what number called them that they are paying for.
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        Looks like a lot of salesmen are reading through the comments. Cry all you want, downvote all you want, SOME of you are scumbags.
      bullitt08
      • 3 Years Ago
      This article is pure BS!!! I am a car salesman and if a customer does not wish to talk face to face and preferred talking the phone how else am I supposed to deal with them?! I'm sorry I have a family that I have to support, but it my job to sale cars and make a living! Just so y'all know car sales don’t get paid huge amounts of money! If I sale a new car at invoice I get paid $120 If it’s a new Truck its $100. So yes my job it to add value of a vehicle to a customer the more value I can and the better my paycheck. Oh and by the way for me to make $1000 on a Truck I have to gross $3600 over invoice.
        Frisky_Dingo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bullitt08
        Amen, brother. I sell cars, too, and I find it hilarious the **** people think they know about buying a car. All because they read or watched some stupid piece like this on MSN, Yahoo, etc, etc. People come onto the lot w/ the invoice of the vehicle they want printed out, and rolled up under their arm. It's a joke. Here's some REAL advice for those of you who want to buy a car- - Set your budget. Know how much you can afford, both in price and payment. - Know what you want and need in a vehicle, and come to a realistic compromise on the two. It is then the salesman's duty to help you chose the right car based on those criteria. - Be honest and upfront w/ your salesman. Lying and hiding info does nothing to help either party. - Be polite and respectful to your salesman. It puts them at ease and encourages them to do the same. How a salesman treats you will be primarily dictated by how you treat them. Look, we've seen the tough guy act before. If you're a complete dick, I'll still do my job, but believe me, I'm not putting on sales demonstration of the year. My last customer was prolly as much of a jerk, or more, than your last salesman. - Expect them to try and make money on you. Is that so bad?? Is anyone in business to not make money?? Do you think car dealerships are non-profit organiztions? - Put value in the relationship w/ your salesman and the dealership. If you aren't putting any value in me as an individual or my dealership as a business establishment, do you think I honestly want your business?? Because you're the kind of person I'm going to have to grind it out w/ anyway, and my minimum commission on the deal likely isn't worth me trying to earn your business. People buying a car is a really simple process. Do a little research and then go find a car you like, In either order, really. Find a salesman you like, who gives a good demo and is easy to get along w/. Have a realistic expectation of what it takes to purchase your desired car. Then buy it. That easy. Anyone w/ an ounce of negotiating knowledge will get a good deal, and their salesman/dealership will still make a little money, too. You're happy, they're happy, it's a win-win. You'll be treated like a friend/family member from that point on, and any future deals/service become easy. Of course there's those of us who are tools. But don't let those ruin your perception of us as a whole, and decrease the likelihood of you getting a good deal on the right car. It doesn't have to be a painful process. Buying a car should be fun. If you're doing it right, it is. And it's fun for us, too. Like I said, easy.
          PlaidWare
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Frisky_Dingo
          Wow, how sturdy is that soap box.
          bullitt08
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Frisky_Dingo
          Thanks! I'm glad you took the time to go over the selling process.
      KernSter
      • 3 Years Ago
      These calls seem like pretty basic sales techniques... Not sure why someone would have to "BEWARE" if they are calling in and inquiring about the vehicle to potentially purchase. It just seems like a guide for sales people to follow to have all the clear information to make the process go as smoothly as possible when the customer comes in for their appointment. There are no 'fiddles' involved here and I see no harm in these calls. It's not like these guys are cold calling the customer. However, I do sell cars and can't see paying $2000 per day just to learn these "scripts" and have someone record and critique every call. There are many ways to get around to the same information and end result. If the call is too scripted, it will sound that way - No matter how good you are. My rant - Not all car sales people are sleazeballs. In fact, most of us are great sales professionals, just like anyone else, trying to make a living. We have families, a mortgage/rent, bills, a life outside of the lot... Why does a large percentage of the national not want us to make a decent living? Why is it that when a customer hits us with a ridiculously low-ball number, they look at us like we are the "bad guys" when we say that we HONESTLY own the vehicle for more than that? We don't get rich off of one car. In fact, for many, especially now, getting rich is a dream! Do us professionals a favor. The next time you are on a car lot, give the salesman a break. He may actually end up to be a nice guy. - end of rant :P
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