Quotes From Tim Kintz

“Successful people make a habit of doing what failures don’t like to do.”

“I always say it and I’ll say it again: car sales will be the easiest high-paying job or the hardest low-paying job you’ll ever have. The difference comes down to the choices that you make every day.”

“When negotiating a car deal, too often we tend to drop our numbers in large increments, and that makes it challenge to close the deal and extremely hard to hold gross. If you lower your price in $500 or $1,000 increments, it makes the customer think big numbers also. Whether you’re negotiating price, trade, or payment, always start with smaller numbers, then reduce the amount on each additional drop.”

“Homer Simpson said, “There’s no such thing as stupid questions, just stupid people that ask questions.” Now, I’m not sure about that, but I do know that asking customers what they want to pay or what they’re thinking is an easy way to get a ridiculous answer. Of course, they’ll lowball you—we would do the same thing if we were in their position. Instead of asking open-ended questions, always suggest a number to get their thinking up.”

“Being a great negotiator is more than just having a bunch of scripts and words. It’s about mastering the art of using visuals with your scripts and words simultaneously.”

“Anyone can sell a customer one car, but a true professional focus on turning a one-time customer into a lifetime customer.”

“My dad always told me that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Well, leaving the customer alone for too long can result in many negative outcomes.”

“Customers don’t have patience for amateurs who are just running back and forth to their manager’s office.”

“If they speak up and say they can’t afford the down payment, that’s fine—close them on the higher payment option and assume the sale.

“Goal: Get all you can and take what you can get.”

“Keep in mind that slow kills at this point more than ever—our goal is to have it done in thirty minutes, before the ether wears off.”

“Talking price too early will absolutely kill your deals.”

“We should convey so much confidence in the deal with our tone and body language that it looks like we’re willing to get up and walk away. We’re not begging. We’re negotiating. There should absolutely be a difference.”

“Negotiating is about knowing what you want, going after it, and respecting the customer in the process.”

“Stop being afraid to negotiate. Turn that fear into fun. JFK said it this way: “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but never fear to negotiate.”

“If you’re not going to work on your own wins, you might as well give the customer your ATM card and PIN and let them take money directly out of your bank account.”

“One study said that 79% of car shoppers are looking for value and quality at a fair price, while only 21% are focused on price alone. Amazon isn’t winning because of their prices — they’re winning because of convenience. We must make our negotiation processes convenient, quick, and efficient. We need to set up built – in victories for customers.”

“A common misconception in our industry is that a win/win outcome isn’t possible. We’ve become so worried about not losing deals that we don’t even try to negotiate for gross.”

“Bad habits are formed during good times, and for ten years, we’ve created a whole lot of bad habits that won’t sustain us through the next pullback.”

“When we go into the negotiation scared that we’re going to lose the deal and desperate to make it, it’s like playing preventive defense in football. You’re playing not to lose instead of playing to win and, more times than not, the only thing it prevents is you winning.”

“Bottom line: negotiating works.”

“It’s not negotiating that’s the problem. It’s us. Customers aren’t trying to avoid negotiating — they’re just better at it than we are. They’re coming in with information and details that can help them start the numbers conversation, while we plug away with our old processes, wondering why it’s not working.”

“When we know what’s going through the customer’s mind when they come onto the lot, and we understand why our existing processes are outdated.”

“Most people aren’t willing to put in the effort and practice that it takes to become a great negotiator. Instead, we make excuses that justify why our techniques (or lack of them) don’t work.”

“Silence is strength. Body language sells. Sell it hard.”

“Great closers always assume the objection is smoke and they keep closing.”

“Be confident. Be conversational. Have no fear.”

“Overselling or talking too much is a closer’s biggest enemy.”

“It’s important to remember to start every close with a positive statement to lower their defenses.”

“A good closing question isn’t asking the customer if they want the vehicle or would they like to get it. A good closing question asks them how they want to own it.”

“Communication is 7% words, 38% tone and inflection, and 55% body language. But if you don’t have the right words to say, your body language is going to feel as lost as last year’s Easter egg. If you haven’t practiced the words, your tone and inflection will suck and will take away from whatever body language you might pull together.”

“If the buyer walks off the lot, our chances of getting them back into the dealership are slim to none — and slim left town.”

“Motion creates emotion. Keep them moving — reading, doing, following, choosing — and their emotions and engagement levels will stay high as well.”

“If you lost the keys to your house and found them in the first place you looked, would you keep looking? Of course not. Congratulations! I’ve found the keys to your new car right here. You both going to be on the title or just one of you? It sounds a little corny, but if we earn the right and say it confidently, it gets us past the reflexive hesitation and drives us toward an actual objection that can be overcome.”

“Objections are not a fault in the process — they’re just a condition of the business and, once we’re confident in our abilities to handle them, they’re what we want.”

“We’ve all heard that 80% of sales are closed after the fifth attempt. I don’t know if that’s true, but what I do know is that “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.””

“Really, luck is just what happens when opportunity meets preparation.”

“Your belief and your attitude will determine your success. You might be good now, but good is great’s biggest enemy. Relax, get into a great mindset, and the rest will follow.”

“Embrace change or become extinct, right? If I could adapt after twenty – plus years of doing it the old way, anyone can learn to do it better.”

“The only question is whether we’re willing to learn something new. We’ve got to overcome our own objections to selling, being direct, and closing the customer if we want to have a career in sales.”

“Price should be the last thing that we talk about, not the first.”

“Bypassing keeps closing and negotiating separate, and it’s a practice that starts in the very beginning of the interaction. Every time they want to drop into logic and numbers, respond to their concerns, reassure them that you will get them all the information they need and you have their best interests in mind, and then redirect them to the stage of the sales process that you’re in.”

“Remember, no matter what the actual numbers say about the deal, it’s the entire experience that the customer will remember.”

“No one is ever 100% logical or 100% emotional, but the levels will always be affected by the process and will affect the process.”

“Closing is emotional and negotiating is logical.”

“A good deal for the customer is one that feels good. When we make sure our process follows their natural path toward trust, and when we work with their emotional and logical inclinations, we could make $5,000 on the deal and they’ll still feel like they won. Value always wins over price, which means a great sale is about creating a great experience while getting them in their ideal vehicle.”

“Professional negotiators, which anyone can become, are creative. They’re working toward a win/win scenario that sets a foundation for every other car deal that will happen with that customer.”

“Amateurs let the customer drive the negotiation.”

“Historically, we have been told that speed kills on the lot. I believe that is outdated. Ultimately, slow kills with today’s buyer.”

“Closing is not a single step, but a process—and a high-stress one at that.”

“The objective of a close is to either get a commitment on the car or flush out an objection.”

“One of the Golden Rules of Negotiation is that “whoever appears to care least about a deal, wins.”

“Start with the least expensive vehicle in the inventory that closest fits their wants, needs, and hot buttons. You can always go up, but if you start high and must drop down, negotiation is going to be tough.”

“Our lives are in our cars, and as you walk around your customer’s car, you’ll get clues about who they are. Their bumper stickers, bike racks, and tow hitches tell you who they are and give you common ground for conversation.”

“If you ask open-ended questions, it not only gives you more information, but it empowers them as well. They become the salesperson, telling you everything you need to know to sell them a car.”

“Any and every successful person has a repeatable process for everything that they do.”

“Today, time is everyone’s most valuable commodity.”

“The sales process isn’t something that we do to a customer. The sales process is what we do for them.”

“We’re living in the most educated and most distracted society that has ever existed. We must work that much harder to set the phone down, tune out the world, and do the unrewarding work in between customers.”

“Knowledge doesn’t become a skill until it’s just what you do without thinking about it.”

“Champions aren’t made on the field or during the fight. They’re great because of what they do in between. It’s the same for salespeople.”

“We can’t just send template emails or a string of surveys and then go radio silent until we need another sale in a few years. We must maintain the relationship that we built during the purchase. We need to stay in touch and remain focused on their needs. Only then can we earn the right to ask for another sale when it’s time to trade or end a lease.”

“If you don’t connect with them, if they don’t trust you, if they’re not engaged, then you’re dead in the water.”

“The way you treat your buyers will stick with them.”

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking that signing on the dotted line ends the relationship. We want our buyer’s journey to keep going after their dealership visit.”

“Too many salespeople get caught up in a beggar’s mindset, trying to do whatever they can to “earn your business.”

“We must keep our own emotions in check, especially the more negative feelings like needing the deal.”

“Whether they are the spontaneous Amazon shopper or the studious researcher, they are right. Even if they picked the wrong vehicle, validate them.”

“Price is 100% logical.”

“Our job is to get their emotion levels — excitement, anticipation, enjoyment — as high as possible, and hold them there.”

“Every single customer, no matter what they’re looking for, how they’re looking for it, or whether they buy that day, uses both emotion and logic to make their decision.”

“Every purchase comes with its own motivation and reasoning, leading us to the Amazon – style convenience choice or the thrifty price hunt. Some people will look through fifty websites to save forty cents, while others don’t think their time is worth the savings. There isn’t a right or wrong type of buyer — but we need to understand what’s really happening.”

“Trust isn’t just given. It’s earned.”

“Objections aren’t a sign that they aren’t buying — they’re a sign of fear, and that’s okay.”

“The only way to lower a customer’s guard is to get to know them.”

“The only assumptions that we can make are: Everyone who shows up on the lot has some intention to buy. Every buyer has a similar pathway toward trust that we must guide them through.”

“Every person who walks onto the lot is different, and that’s exactly why we must treat them all the same. By that, I mean we can’t prequalify who can handle shortcuts in the sales process and who needs special handling.”

“Sometimes, the best way to understand your customer is to remember the last time you were a customer yourself.”

“Every buyer is going to be compelled by something different. Every buyer will have their own level of research and inspiration. Every buyer will have their doubts about whether they’re making the right decision, and a whole lot of concerns about how difficult the process is going to be.”

“Buyers are there because they want to buy. Validate their excitement and show them how perfect that vehicle is for them. Convince them that they made the right choice to show up to your lot that day.”

“It’s the buyer’s dilemma — the customer’s burden. They come to the dealership with every intention to spend the money, but they’re nervous about spending the money. It’s like having buyer’s remorse in advance.”

“Buyers know more than we do these days. They don’t need us to overwhelm them with more information than they already have — they need us to validate their emotional instincts and help them seal the deal.”

“While we’re taught to memorize specs and rattle them off during the presentation and demonstration, most of our buyers show up with that information already.”

“The timeline before they make it to the lot will vary, and it doesn’t really matter — the important thing to remember is that everyone has a compelling reason to be there. Even if it’s not a reason that compels you, their reason for getting out and stepping onto your lot is compelling to them.”

“Listen to two people sing the United States national anthem. Do they sound the same? Not at all. We recognize it by the lyrics but reading the words by themselves would sound kind of ridiculous. Everyone puts their own spin on how it sounds, and that’s how we appreciate the meaning of the song.”

“Right now, most car sales still happen belly – to – belly, face – to – face, person – to – person. The only way the computers win in the future is if we give up on good skills right here in the present.”

“Stop trying to be the one-stop-shop and start leveraging their emotions and logic to help them get what they really want and deserve.”

“Stop asking for numbers and promising to make them work.”

“Closing and negotiating are two sides of the same coin — closing relies on emotion and seeing the value that exists outside of numbers, and negotiation relies on logic. The art of this process is in leveraging emotion to justify the logic. It’s painting the vehicle into the customer’s life, solving problems, getting the customer licking the paint off the car, and then fitting it into their budget.”

“If we look at a car deal the same way we look at real estate, it becomes clear that we’re doing things backwards. We try to get people to financially purchase the car before they’ve taken mental ownership.”

“I often say that we can boil a negotiation down to four simple rules: hold gross, hold gross, hold gross, and if you can’t hold gross, sell the car.”

“Sustainable car sales aren’t just about grabbing every customer that comes through, but about maximizing those opportunities for both parties. It’s a creative effort, not a reactive one. If we win and they lose, we might make a lot of money right then, but they’ll hate our guts and never come back for more. If they steal the car and we don’t make any money, a lose/win deal, they might still be frustrated with the experience if they had to grind it out, and we’ll be left with a loss. A win/win outcome — where we make money and they are happy with the whole experience — is not only possible, but it should be our goal.”

“If you want to guarantee a future success in sales, getting your closing and negotiating skills down is your very first step. Give customers an exceptional experience that they can enjoy, that makes them feel like they’ve won and makes them want to come back for more. Build a relationship on trust — one where you both value your role because of the way you serve the customer.”

“The difference between persistence and pressure is technique. It’s not always what you say but how you say it.”

“The thing is people want to negotiate. If there’s just one price to work with and no other variables to give and take, they’re going to walk away feeling like they left money on the table. Even if it was a great deal, they want to know they worked for it a little bit and earned a better deal. It’s the drive to haggle that we’ve had if humans have been trading with each other.”

“They’ll tell you that it wasn’t about you. They’ll probably blame their spouse for liking another car better. But one thing’s for sure: they’re not going to buy from you next time. If you’re too scared to close or negotiate, you’re not going to be in business long.”

“When we focus on what the customer cares about — not what we care about — we can better figure out the best way to get them into a new vehicle. We can find something that meets their needs, wants, and budget.”

“Make it all about the customer. Find out about them and their car first — not just for trade value, but what they like and don’t like about it, what’s important for their next car, and why they’re out there looking in the first place. Avoid the data – dump presentations, because they’ve already done the research and know why they want it.”

“Buying a car isn’t just transactional — it’s an emotional experience.”

“Imagine your customers really trusting you and valuing your role because you’ve been there when they’ve needed you, so they negotiate from a place of openness rather than distrust.”

“Few dealerships have earned the trust and confidence of their customers, from the difficult sales process to the lack of follow – through afterward.”

“When you shop at Amazon, you’re not getting the best deal every time, and it doesn’t matter. It’s the convenience that creates value.”

“Price seems like an obvious answer, but it’s only one factor. It just seems cheaper and more convenient because people associate us with cost and a hassle. The perception and experience are what matters, not the actual numbers.”

“Price seems like an obvious answer, but it’s only one factor. It just seems cheaper and more convenient because people associate us with cost and a hassle. The perception and experience are what matters, not the actual numbers.”

“Technology doesn’t take buyers from us and technology doesn’t sell cars. People sell cars. And sometimes, people who have the skills will use technology to sell those cars.”

“Running away from technology isn’t going to be the answer, but neither is leaning on it too heavily.”

“It’s not a bad thing for customers to be more informed, unless we don’t adapt our sales process to match.”

“I think we’ve just forgotten where we truly came from — not from sleazy salesmen and underhanded tricks, but the true art of the negotiation that humans have been practicing since the dawn of time. The kind that lets everyone walk away feeling like they’ve won. The kind that comes from inspiration to make a deal that works rather than desperation to not lose another deal.”

“Closing has been forgotten and negotiating has become a dirty word.”

“Let’s clear this up right away: the good old days weren’t all that good. They’re just old.”

“When you’re confident, you’re enthusiastic, and enthusiasm sells cars.”

“What I tell every class I’ve trained is that when you think, you stink — it needs to become your instinct.”

“Knowledge doesn’t make sales.”

“Knowledge alone is dangerous in the car business. It makes you think you can do things when you can’t.”

“Everyone wants to be great, but only the truly great are willing to pay the price for that greatness.”

“Everybody wants to be great at closing and negotiating, but all too often we just want to pick up a book full of tips and skim it until we find a magic pill. We don’t want to do the work.”

“If we want to make this industry work for us, we must get to work on ourselves, even when it feels like unspectacular practice.”

“Practicing selling scripts doesn’t come with any result or reward until it’s been mastered.”

“The problem is customers don’t think of us as the experts anymore. They’ve dealt with too many amateurs to believe otherwise.”

“Relevant, belly-to-belly sales training has never been more important, and it’s just as hard to get as ever.”

“Some people say that great salespeople are born. Some people believe they’re made. I guess the actual answer is that it’s both.”

“You are the deciding factor, and the way you approach closing and negotiating is a critical key to your success — or failure.”

Manage by Facts, Not Feelings

Listen to understand — Not to Respond

If you Think You Stink, Skills need to be Instinct

Selling cars can be the easiest high paying job you ever had or the hardest low paying job you ever had. It’s up to you!

Volume is your job. Gross determines how well you do it

Champions are made during practice, not in the game

“Regardless of your education level or choices you made in the past, I believe anyone with drive, desire, and discipline can make more money than they ever imagined if they make the right choices.”

Good Habits are formed during bad times and Bad Habits are formed during good times

“If you’re good, if you bust your ass, if you develop the needed skills, if you have the intestinal fortitude to survive, if you care about customers … Then yes, you will make great money and have a fantastic career.”

“Closing and negotiating are two sides of the same coin — closing relies on emotion and seeing the value that exists outside of numbers, and negotiation relies on logic. The art of this process is in leveraging emotion to justify the logic. It’s painting the vehicle into the customer’s life, solving problems, getting the customer licking the paint off the car, and then fitting it into their budget.”

“The difference between persistence and pressure is technique. It’s not always what you say but how you say it.”

“The thing is people want to negotiate. If there’s just one price to work with and no other variables to give and take, they’re going to walk away feeling like they left money on the table. Even if it was a great deal, they want to know they worked for it a little bit and earned a better deal. It’s the drive to haggle that we’ve had if humans have been trading with each other.”

“Getting into the car business is kind of like going to Denny’s: you never plan to go there; you just end up there at one in the morning.”

“If you decide to be 100 percent committed to becoming a professional, you can have the life you deserve.”

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In Frictionless, Tim shares strategies and techniques you can use to create a win-win negotiation, deliver an exceptional experience while holding gross, and set up future deals. By shifting your mindset toward becoming a relational salesperson–rather than a transactional one–you’ll go from simply surviving to succeeding in car sales. You’ll make more money, enjoy a higher quality of life, have happier customers, and go from having a job to a full-blown career.

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We all want those magic bullets that will make our jobs easier. In these 2 new programs “Closing for Commitment: The Way and Words for Becoming a Great Closer” and “Negotiating for Gross: The Art of Negotiating Deals in The Car Business,” Frictionless author Tim Kintz challenges the modern day saleperson to become even better than they already are.

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NADA Academy Graduate and former dealership general manager, Tim Kintz has been working in and on the car business for over two decades.

In that time, he’s dedicated his life to studying the automotive marketplace; the buyers, sellers, manufacturers, and service providers, and how to bring them all together to move more metal.

Tim’s real-world, relevant approach injects fun and competition back into the dealership while simultaneously driving measurable results. These results, coupled with the new, lively atmosphere are why dealers and managers across all of North America call Tim Kintz their, “competitive advantage.”

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