So you want to be a car salesman

I see a lot of Facebook posts from people who are new to selling cars and it’s can be tough to watch the emotional roller coaster ride that many of them are on. Below, I’ve outlined (and paraphrased) much of what I have been seeing lately but I’ve also shared a way to stop this rollercoaster so you can take control of your sales career.

Week 1 posts: Hey everybody I’m at ABC motors so tell your friends I’ll take good care of them and give them the best deals. Manager pats you on the back because you’re letting everyone know that you work there.

Week 2 posts: check out the pictures of this car! It’s a great deal at only $XXXX so come get it!

Week 3 posts: Hmmmm….

Week 4 posts: Really? After all that work they came in on my one day off and I don’t even get half? #SHM

Any of this sound familiar?

Selling cars can be one of the most rewarding and lucrative professions in the world but there are a few things we have to do if we want to be wildly successful so here are a few tips to help you get started on the right foot.

Tips for being successful selling cars

Start with the right expectations

The biggest downfall of most sales people who start selling cars is that they think they’re going to sell 30 cars per month right away and that usually isn’t the case. Make no mistake, it is possible but not without a lot of hard work and sometimes a fair amount of financial investment. Ask during your interview how what the lowest paid salesperson made last year and the highest paid person so you can get an idea of the range. Ask how long they think it will take before you’re at the average of those two numbers. Realistically expect that it will take 3-6 months of long hard hours before really starting to see great results mostly because you will need time to properly prospect.

Take sales training seriously

Another area that causes failure for many new sales people is their lack of proper training. Many dealerships are signed up for a training program but do not encourage a serious focus on it let alone enforce accountability for that sales training process. Ask about the training that you’ll receive before you take the job! If you’re new to auto sales and you don’t get great training you will almost certainly struggle.

Don’t compromise your integrity

Most car sales people are great individuals with great morals and good integrity but let’s face it, there are bad apples in every profession. You may hear someone at the dealership say or do something that is absolutely out of line. You may have a ‘veteran’ tell you that you have to do this or do that if you want to be successful and the things they’re referring to may be out of line. Don’t compromise your integrity and don’t waste time trying to convince that person to change. People of low integrity likely aren’t selling much but they’re always quick to hand out bad advice. Be honest. Be straight forward. Be respectful to every customer. You always know right from wrong and there is never a situation where being dishonest is ever going to be worth it.

Remember that your job is to serve the customer

Sales people get mad when a customer doesn’t buy but usually the anger is ill placed. If a customer doesn’t buy from you it isn’t their fault, it’s yours. Your job is to serve their wants and needs. You won’t alway be able to give them what they want for their trade or get them to the payment they’re asking for but at the end of the day you can always be an honest, straight forward servant to the customer. Listen well, do your best to get them into the vehicle that fits their wants needs and desires and if they want it, they’ll usually find a way to make the money work.

Want more tips?

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Who is the best sales training company for car dealers?

After more than two decades in the auto industry there are a few things that seem to be consistent. One of those things is turnover. When I say turnover, I’m not just referring to salesperson turnover. In this article, I’m referring to sales training turnover.

When I started in sales I had no training, just a stack of brochures, a phone book and a lecture about not letting people leave the dealership without a T.O. (turnover for those that are unfamiliar with the acronym). The second store I worked at made me watch ASTN (American Sales Television Network) all day for the first two weeks. I searched Google to see if they still exist but if you want to see this old school fun, check out this link or click the image below.

None of the so called training I got in the first two stores helped me at all but thankfully the third store turned me on to quality info with Grant Cardone back in 1995 and that’s where it all finally clicked.

Key things to consider

Today there are quite a few quality companies to choose from and let’s face it, the sales process is pretty much the same as it has been forever: Greet them, find out wants and needs and build rapport, demo the product, write them up, present figures, handle any objections or concerns, close the deal, follow up.

When it comes to finding the right sales training company for your dealership it really will boil down to a couple simple things:

  • Are you looking to create training based on a process you already have in place?
  • Are you looking to implement a proven process from someone else?

If you already have processes but don’t have them formally laid out on paper or don’t have someone who can present the training to your team, you’ll need to find a company that can help make that happen. Expect the cost to be higher as they will be doing a lot of custom work to frame your content in, plus they have to learn your processes if they’re going present it like they know it inside and out.

If you’re looking for ready made content that is proven and time tested you may want to consider the companies below. Whether you prefer in person training or virtual training there are a lot of variables to choose from so your job as a leader is to spend time asking all the questions so that you can find out which one is right for you, your team, and your customers.

People forget that ultimately the training is for the consumer.

Buy Training for the Consumer

When you’re choosing an automotive sales training company, consider the way that they are dealing with you. How are they negotiating with you? Are they dropping price to get the deal? Do they feel natural or rehearsed? Are they pushy? Do they seem sincere? Whatever feelings they are creating in you will be relayed to your sales team and ultimately to your customers. If your trainer comes off pushy, that’s what your sales team will be absorbing and it will reflect to the people who come in to buy from you.

Choose the flavor you prefer and stick with it

Once you pick the right training company, commit to being on the program for at least a year. Many dealerships “try” training, they don’t see an overnight success so they drop it in 2-3 months. Training is designed to serve consumer which means it is designed to keep them coming back. Obviously they won’t be back in 2-3 months so if you really like the trainer and the process, plan to stick with it for a year or more so you can really have your entire team embrace it. As an added note, sales people are used to the on again off again training so every time you change, it’s damaging their confidence in your decision making.

Here are the automotive training companies we’d recommend you check out

Click on the links below to learn more about each company and what they do.

Cardone Training

The Kintz Group

Automax Training and Recruiting

Ross Hispanic

More than one great training company

At the end of the day there are many great sales training companies and most will share very similar information. It all comes back to who has the style that will best serve your customers and your team so that everyone will have a better experience.

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