My name is Phil Kelton. I’m the owner and publisher of Requisite Press. I’m also the author of a new book, Power Shift, about using your buying power effectively when you buy a new car.
I spent 28 years working for Fortune 500 companies, developing cutting-edge technologies, developing and winning business opportunities, and managing programs. Negotiating contracts was part of the job, and I enjoyed the process.
In 2010, I bought a new car. As I contemplated my purchase, I wasn’t looking forward to the negotiation step. In my business, I understood the value of the goods and services being negotiated, but in a new-car negotiation, I knew I was at a disadvantage. I might have the negotiating skills, but I knew I didn’t have enough information to be sure I was getting a great deal.
I vainly searched for ways to obtain the information that would make a fair playing field, but my only options seemed to be limited to going into negotiations on just the right day, at the right time, wearing the right clothes, and saying the right things, or to hire some broker or buying service to find the best deal they could. In the end, I knew neither option would get me my best deal.
Since I had worked within major corporations and was quite familiar with the contracting process, I was aware of the sealed bid concept. Requirements are clear and complete, multiple bidders are expected, and selection is based on price. Then bidders must reduce their profit as much as possible while still meeting their business objectives. Bidders can’t see each other’s bids, and the winner is selected without negotiation.
I wondered if I could apply the sealed-bid concept to new-car buying, thus eliminating the need for negotiation in the successful search for a great deal.
- Requirements clear and complete: I could do that. I’d just describe a new car like the manufacturer does.
- Multiple bidders: check. I could easily e-mail multiple dealers within a reasonable distance. They’d all have the ability to sell me the exact car I wanted (even if they’d have to get it from another dealer).
- Selection based on price: of course! The method wouldn’t work the way I wanted it to unless I got a great deal.
So I proceeded to develop a no-negotiation new-car buying method. I made myself ready to immediately buy my new car and e-mailed a non-negotiable request to nine dealers within a reasonable driving distance. I wound up with one excellent deal and two very good ones—no negotiation required. Two dealers didn’t respond at all—unlikely these days, in light of the recent dealer focus on servicing the Internet customer.
What I didn’t expect was just how good the dealership experience would be. It really is quite amazing how well you’re treated when the sales team knows you have other options. I was pretty sure I could get a great deal using my method, but I didn’t anticipate the shift in the typical dealer visit experience.
A year or so later as I considered my future career path, I thought back to my successful car-buying experience. I was still amazed at how a small chunk of information (the sealed bid) had transformed a usually distasteful and often too costly experience. I recognize that this was true of many experiences in life—experts often possess that bit of information that can transform an outcome for the rest of us. What if I started a publishing company that would locate such useful information and publish books and other media for the general public?
Of course, there would be no question about the subject of my first book!
So in 2012 I left the corporate world to start my own publishing company and begin writing my first book. The result? Power Shift: The New No-Stress, No-Hassle Way to Get Your Best New-Car Deal—Every Time! published by Requisite Press.
That’s what this book is all about—how to transform your new-car buying experience using the right knowledge. It really is possible. And now we’ll all know how.