I've already made every imaginable mistake so that you don't have to.
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Car Shopping > First Pencil > End >
From the perspective of an automotive salesperson, the first pencil is somewhat like asking out the captain of the football team or the captain of the cheerleading team. No guarantee that the customer will say yes, but oooooohhh wouldn't it be wonderful for the salesperson if the answer were in fact yes!! I did say merely somewhat like because there are some important differences between the first pencil and asking out the captain of either the football or cheerleading teams:
With enough times at bat some customers will actually say yes to the first pencil!
Even if a customer says no to the first pencil, the salesperson may get to try again with an offer that actually might be competitive.
Maybe the customer gets passed to a closer whose job is to convince the customer that the first pencil is a good offer.
Free car wash with every service!!!
Spoiler Alert: Oral representations such as a free car wash may or may not actually be honored after the sale, and even if they are, their value is quite small relative to the price of even a car that is not merely used but is very used.
Whether the customer chooses to respond with:
A simple direct no,
"I'd love to but we have the big game with state that day" or
"Wish I could but I have a hair appointment that day"
... it is not merely OK to say no to the first pencil, but barring some very impressive offer, it may in fact be expected.