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Tips on How to Be a Successful Car Salesman

Arthur has worked for 16 years in the new and used automobile industry. He's a sales force trainer, sales manager, and closer.

So, you want a job selling cars, but you are not sure if you have what it takes. Depending on your circumstances, selling cars can be very rewarding, or it could turn into one of your life's biggest nightmares. I will try to make it easy for you by providing some tips from my 16 years of experience.

The biggest thing to remember is that selling cars is not about you. It is about your customer. If you keep in mind what your customer wants and needs and do your best to satisfy them, you will do fine.

Steps to Become a Successful Car Salesman

  1. Prepare yourself for the meet and greet.
  2. Qualifying: Find out what your customer requires to purchase a car.
  3. When choosing the vehicle, find out your customer's financial requirements.
  4. When negotiating, use a four square system to negotiate the vehicle's price and payment.

Step 1: Meet and Greet

The first thing you will need to do is to meet a customer on the lot. Try and be there when they pull in as this will keep your competitor salespeople off your op (short for opportunity).

Let them get out of the car by acknowledging the customer with a hello. When they have all exited the vehicle, use a nice greeting such as "Good Afternoon! Welcome to Shady Motors my name is Tom and you are?"

Let everyone introduce themselves and shake their hand, thanking them for coming into your store.

The Meet and Greet might sound simple enough, but it is much more complex than you would believe. Within the first thirty seconds of meeting you, your customer will form an opinion of you in their minds.

Everything counts from your smile to your clothes. Everything about you will be scrutinized. If the customer forms an unfavorable opinion of you immediately, all is not lost but you will have to work harder to close a deal.

Step 2: Qualifying

Once everyone has been welcomed to the dealership, it is time to find out what your customer requires to purchase a car.

When you ask a question be prepared to keep quiet and listen to the answer. Many new salespeople think that they have to keep talking to entertain the customer. This is not true. The customer would much rather talk about themselves for the most part rather than listen to you.

Questions to get them talking:

  • "What brought you into our store today?"
  • "Which vehicle did you come to look at?"
  • "Did you see our advertisement?" Finding out if it was an ad that brought them in is very important. The amount of money a dealership spends on advertising is astronomical. Knowing which ads are working is imperative to a dealership so they can focus on advertising that works.

It is also important to know what your dealers ads are, which vehicles are in the ads, as well as the price in the ads. You will need to know how the ad is structured as well, is there cash down or a trade reflected in a price or payment?

This conversation should not last very long but will give you a few minutes to feel your customer out. If there is more than one, try and figure out which one will be the mouthpiece (the one who will most likely answer your questions), but never ignore anyone in the group as you never know what kind of influence each person has over the buyer.

It is also during this conversation that you should try and find out which part of the group is actually looking to buy a vehicle.

If there is only a single person, try and get to know as much as you can about them. Get them talking for once on a roll, a customer will lay out everything for you that you need to close a deal with them.

Step 3: Choosing a Vehicle

The choice of which vehicle to buy is of course the whole point of the customer coming to your dealership.

If the customer is financing and wants to be at two hundred dollars a month, putting them in a thirty thousand dollar car will be a mistake. It will be easy to get a customer to fall in love with a high priced car but when you get inside, you will be disappointed.

If you have your customers drive a car they cannot afford, it will be much harder to get them to like a cheaper car as much as a high-end car.

If the customer does not know what they want to spend or they will not tell you, start showing them the cheapest cars you have until you find something they like.

If they pick out the vehicle, they cannot blame you for the payment being higher then they wanted to pay.

Step 4: Negotiations

You will probably be using the four square system to negotiate the vehicle's price and payment. The four square is a pretty standard system which psychologically makes it easier to make a profit.

Remember, the salesman's job is not to sell cars, it is to make a profit on the cars sold. The four squares are:

  1. Price: This is the last thing you want to discuss as any movement in the price means less profit for your store.
  2. Payment: This is your main negotiating tool. The higher the payment, the more profit margin you can hold.
  3. Trade: This can be a manipulative tool as any lowering of price will automatically raise the value of the trade without actually giving the customer more for their vehicle.
  4. Cash Down: Another manipulative tool as more cash down will naturally lower the payment.

Your best two tools in the four square system is the cash down and the payment. Both of these boxes can be recalculated without lowering price at all.

As a salesman, your job is to get a commitment from the customer at any price. Your need to get the customer to take mental ownership by telling you,"If the price is right I will buy the car today."

Once you receive a commitment, either you or a manager will come in and close the deal. When you first start out, a manager called a T.O. will come in. His job is to bump the customer. The bump is getting more money from the customer.

  • Try to ask questions which elicit a positive response. Some examples: Do you like the car? Could you see yourself driving this car? Would you buy the car today? Nod your head yes as you ask these questions.
  • Make eye contact when talking to your customer. Do not stare but make sure that eye contact is made.
  • Mirror your customers actions. If they cross their arms you cross your arms. If they rub their chin you rub your chin. This will get you psychologically closer to your customer.
  • When you are at the desk, do not discuss any numbers if the customer is sitting there with their arms crossed. This is a defensive posture and is not conducive to closing deals.
  • Talk about anything other then the car until the arms become natural. Then go in for the close.

Questions for Me?

If I can answer any questions about selling or buying used cars or trucks feel free to send me a message.

I would be happy to help with any aspect of car sales. Good luck and good selling!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Donald on August 26, 2020:

Am aspiring to be a good car sales person. What step should I take when a customer has a lower budget than the price of the car itself?

steven on July 13, 2020:

love your article,,concise, logical and very intuitive.thankyou

Michael on September 07, 2019:

LMAO kmckzzz

kmckzzz on July 09, 2019:

Do not wait for the customer outside the dealership for christ sakes

BTD on March 27, 2019:

Good article. Just don't be over-eager and too pushy with the customers. Be helpful by asking the right questions to figure out their needs. Make the car buying experience fun for the consumer. Smile, smile, smile!

Sherwood on February 22, 2019:

99% of this is great stuff. Attempting to greet a customer before they even step out of their car is why people hate car salesmen. It's 2019, let them walk inside.

Hosam on February 21, 2019:

How long does the courses take to get license and be a saler? How much money do you need to open a store ? Is it important to good credit?

Rigney Hood on January 27, 2019:

This was knowlegeable and vey accurate. I took a course years ago and this is exactly what the teacher taught. I just started selling cars on Thursday January 24 , 2019 . It was not hard for me to learn how my dealership operatates...

Jeremy on January 16, 2019:

My question is, can you sell cars with minimum knowledge of them?

Edrick Ramesh on January 10, 2019:

Hi im been car sales man about 7 years, i selling Nissan cars, since last year car market getting very slow.. but never give up.. still push to get more sell...

Sandra speck on October 02, 2018:

I plan on being very successful thank you for the great tips,

bucko1948 on August 02, 2018:

if you have to make friends with your prospect for them to buy a car from you, something is wrong.

Rhae on June 17, 2018:

How do you build up a client base for appointments?

Robert on May 21, 2018:

I have a question about the customers trade. When the used car manager gives a number for the trade- in (example $5000.00) the salesperson holds back $1000.00 does that amount $1000.00 go towards the gross profit of the deal Yes or No.

This question is something I believe every salesperson should know. If the pay plan of the dealership is 25% every dollar is important. I would like to hear your opinion on this question.

Thank you


KandiceM on April 26, 2018:

I’ve been in the automotive industry for about four years now, being raised by a mechanic and doing all my own car work, I’ve only worked in service as an advisor at BMW and Toyota, and I’ve recently changed careers and I am now going to start as a sales person. Are there any tips or tricks that i may already have from working service and knowing the mechanical side that will come in handy? Or any suggestions on how i can turn from selling maintenance and repair jobs... to the very different side of selling cars? I’d love to hear any suggestions. I’m a mid-twenty’s female. Anything would help!!


Mike hudak on April 07, 2018:

I’ve been in the car business for three more months now, I sold 9 cars last month and I was only here for 21 days. My bosses keep telling me that I need to slow down. They said I’m burning through “ups” I feel like I’ve been doing good but also going a little too fast and kind of skipping steps. With that being said, I feel like a lot of this is me just trying to build my pipeline. What piece of advice could you give me when it comes to slowing down and increasing my closing rate?

Luke on February 25, 2018:

I have been selling cars for about 3 years here on the West coast, and truly love my profession. My best advice to a new-comer to this industry would simply be, be genuine and set yourself apart from the rest. You do this by taking a true interest in your customer and having true passion for your product and what you do. Passion is contagious. I remember when I first applied and went in to take my drug test for pre-hiring process. The lab tech asks you to empty your pockets, an I handed him my car keys. He saw the Nissan logo, and he said that after screening thousands of car salesmen for pre-employment I was the first he had ever seen that actually owned a car from the company I was applying for. In other words if you dont have to fake it , it comes a lot more naturally. I have owned nothing but Nissans all my life. So when I tell my customers that these are well built reliable vehicles, I am not just blowing smoke, I am sharing my passion for Nissan cars to everyone I talk to. I am excited about the company's new offerings and different features and trim packages, so learning the product isnt like a homework assignment to me, it's a hobby. To be truly successful in this business you have to set yourself apart. Car salesmen already have a negative stigma, so if you simply do the opposite of what most car salesmen do you already have an advantage. I am glad there are so many lazy, shortsighted, greedy car salesmen out there, because when i get a chance to sit down with people, it gives me an opportunity to make a great impression on them by being polite and professional and straightforward and defying and exceeding their expectations. You really are selling yourself. Most of my sales are from word of mouth referrals because I focus on delivering a truly enjoyable experience for the customer day in and day out, and they tell their friends and family "go buy a car from Luke, he's not like the other guys." I don't spend a lot of time cold calling or trying to build my customer base through facebook. I do it face to face, and still very much enjoy talking to people who come into the lot. Even with all the fancy technology and research and internet sales today, most cars are still sold the way they always have been. Through personal interaction, face to face meetings and handshakes. It's so easy to become formulaic and look at everyone as a number, but if you truly take an interest in people's needs and don't fake it, you will do well. People understand that you have to earn a living, and if they like you and and you show a genuine effort, they will want to reward you for your efforts and good personality and this will make the negotiation a breeze. If they like you enough, people will actually feel bad about getting too good of a deal because they care about your interests, that is, if you have a genuine concern for their interests. You never want to get "commission breath." People can smell it when you are simply trying to make a sale and chase the dollar. This is human nature and most car salesmen will try to take the shortest path to the dollar. I cant tell you how many times I hear other sales guys on my team walk up to someone and within 2 minutes ask them "are you serious about buying today?" This is like walking up to an attractive woman at a bar and saying "Are you serious about going home with me tonight?" You have to enjoy the dance, enjoy the process of 'courting' your customer. Most guys just want the easy sale. What they dont realize is that they can actually sell more cars at a higher price if they truly go to bat for the customer and give them genuine effort. Lazy greedy car salesmen still make sales, because people need cars, but this makes people bitter and regretful, and they certainly wont be saying anything good about the salesman to their friends or family. If you set yourself apart and truly enjoy the process of helping someone and delivering for their needs instead of focusing on your commission and volume numbers, you will actually sell more in the longrun. You can fake it and still make money but if you dont have a true passion for helping others, you will burn out quicker and coming into work will be a chore instead of a treat. Dan Hyandai who commented below is exactly right. Always look at it from the customers perspective. You are helping someone to buy, not selling them, and theres a big difference. You want to be an expert in helping to make someones decision to buy a car smooth, easy and enjoyable. I call it 'golden rule selling.' Treat the customer how you would want to be treated if you were shopping for a car. It's really not a difficult concept, but you would be surprised how few car salesmen still use this approach. Car sales arent for everyone. It's long hours, and you will be spending a lot of your weekends at the dealerships, as Saturday is always the biggest day at any dealership in the country. But you can have balance in this job, and have some time off as long as you don't mind answering your cell. Again this is where the passion comes in. If you love what you are selling, talking to someone about it on the phone isnt like work, it's sharing what you love with others. If you are passionate about what you are selling and you focus on the customer first and your commission last, you will set yourself apart from the pack and you will be successful in this industry.

arron on February 16, 2018:


Gloria on February 09, 2018:

I have sold cars for a long time and it seems that things are getting harder by the day. Customers that you do get in front of you. They are smarter, most have already done their homework and no one lately wants to pay for anything. My past customers are wore out from my calls. Just want to know how can I get more customers and in myy face.

Thanks you


Mark on February 07, 2018:

Hi i also just started in car sales

But what confuses me is the taxes

Like to down payments on a lease or finance get taxed

Do down payments get taxed

Taxes are my weakest chain

Pasha on January 06, 2018:

Do I have to know a lot about how the car itself works?

Terry Walters on December 19, 2017:

Came from a plumbing buyers/salesmen background, but I have owned 1971 Fomula 350 Firebird, 72 Camaro, and now own a 2015 Camaro. New to the game but a Cherolet/Cadillac dealer wants to hire me. Any Advice for a newbie!

D on November 23, 2017:

Hi, i have been in car sales for 5yrs and i enjoy my work big time. I had a awesome year last year but i think I'm underpaid basic salary. I have degree in marketing meaning I'm in a relevant industry. Any advice on how to negotiate basic salary in car sales?

jane on November 18, 2017:

Hi, I just started working at a dealership a month ago and I feel like I suck. I cannot close, people ask for too low, they want too much of a discount, and I am new and don't know much. Also don't want help from others because they will take half my deal (already happened) plus my company use this "in the bucket" thing and I'm afraid after my trial period is over, I will not sell over my bucket and therefore, owe the company money. I hate it here and I don't know how to sell. or negotiate or anything

Mark on November 06, 2017:

Hello my name is Mark, i have been self employed since high school doing landscaping. I am 46 now and want a change. I am thinking of car sales but nerves to change careers. Any advise ? I can be reached at msd3520@gmail.com thanks

sharon ego on November 02, 2017:

i would like to be the smart sells lady in kenya.plz advice.my email:sharonjebi@gmail.com

Justen Lucero on September 23, 2017:

Hey guys for anyone looking to get in the car business I would highly recommend it. You definitely can not be lazy and you need to know how to be productive during the slow days/hours. I got into the business right when I turned 18 and now I am 20 selling 20 cars a month making around 10k a month. But you have to answer the phones, have great follow up and not afraid to take ups. I am just honest with customers and if they are looking at a car that I know doesn't suit them I advise them to switch cars even if the gross is smaller on the other vehicle. Also, always ask for reviews on google mentioning your name. I am by all means no vet and learn something everyday. But personally love the business!

Jack on September 20, 2017:

Uber guy came in the other day looking for a second hand car. Then one of my manager pointed out one car and told him you should get that car because its in a books. What is that mean, "the car is in the books"?

Larry on September 18, 2017:

Can you please give me some pointers? My managerial staff are hard to work with and send leads to sales personal that have been here for a longer time! I need to make a living also

Alyssa on August 14, 2017:

What do you do for the customers with bad credit?

RODGE on July 05, 2017:

What do you do with bad credit customer's

Rob Ray on June 21, 2017:

So many of you ask, "how or where do I get a customer base"? First guys and gals, call all your friends, sister, brother, momma, out of state, next door, coffee shop, EZMart, etc. Tell everyone including God that you sell the best cars , trucks , vans on the planet. Make a list of everyone you know and call them, email, or pop in on them. That will start the first week.

Angel on June 08, 2017:

What can I do to start building a client base and get my name out there besides Facebook and other social media sites, making contact with seevice clients and so on. could you please advise me with additional ways to build a client base?


Joe on May 21, 2017:

I am reading all of these comments and there is just one thing missing. I am currently in the car business and I make over 6 figures a year. Here is the one thing that is missing, you have to build the value in the brand that you are selling, which means that you have to focus on what is important to the customer when it come to their next vehicle. It is really just that simple. I focus on how that vehicle will change their life and provide them with everything that they had hoped for in their next vehicle. And they get a well crafted presentation and demonstration all of the time!!! From their you get your good gross deals and your repeats and your referrals!!! People don't mind paying a little more for something especially if they think that the sales person did a great job! Focus on value and what the customer perceives as value!

jamesgrayfdord on April 25, 2017:

im 13 and readin this asa project

cliford on January 27, 2017:

hi i would like to know the requirments needed to become a car salesman?

Dan Hyundai on January 18, 2017:

I have been in car sales for a little over a year. I am just giving advice from my experience. I am no super hero saying I make six figures a year or sell 30 cars a month. Most people who start selling cars, hear about the money and that's why they start. It will be tough for a little bit until you create a customer base. You will not make it in this business if you are not organized, afraid to make calls and talk to people in business settings, work long hours, or unable to constantly learn new things daily. YES WE ARE ALL HERE LOOKING TO SELL CARS. But that's like 10% of our job. 90% of the battle is making friends with your customer, building trust in you and your dealership, introducing them and making them feel comfortable with your service and parts department (meaning take them on a tour!), and making yourself differ from every sales person in the business. Sure you can sell a car and have a great closing ratio and make good money this year; but if you are a dirt bag and your customer never wants to speak to you again and doesn't want to ever come back to see you or your dealership again, and you don't follow up every 6-months; and fail your surveys. You Suck! You lose deals that way in the near future!!!! Creating friends and building trust, creates REPEATS and REFERRALS! Differ yourself from the guy sitting at the desk next to you!!!!! EXAMPLE: When taking in a trade, look at there programmed stations on there radio. So when putting them into the new vehicle you can say "here let me preset your favorite radio stations for you and show you how it's done!" Bet you your customers mouth will drop because you knew what they liked. Always carry a not pad or sticky notes, business cards, and 2 PENS!!!! Always carry phone cords in your pocket! Pair them to the vehicle before they even buy the car to create mental ownership. When going on test drives, ALWAYS go with them!!!! These little things will make it soooo much easier when you sit down and hand them a $500 payment and say sign here! And have a personality and a little bit of a since of humor because you are trying to relieve customers wall they put up and calm them down! We are not here to sell cars; we are here to help people buy cars. There's a big difference!

Jamie (Middlesbrough) on January 15, 2017:

Hi. I currently work in retail and have done for the past 5years. I enjoy the whole meeting people and making customers smile etc..I have a great interest in cars also backed up with some knowledge due to lots of personal car problems lol ...I don't want to switch jobs and then lose it within a year..so im asking anyone with experience if you could just give me some key tips on what to learn BEFORE i start applying around? would much appreciate any help. Email me: jamiebute@yahoo.com

Daniel on January 10, 2017:

WHEN you have a customer with a trade in vehicle, have them follow you out as you do the appraisal, grab the info, Vin, licenceplate, milage etc, make sure the AC works, ask about fluids, when was the last time you changed your oil, Check everything that moves, windows, windshieldwipers etc. Walk arround the vehicle ask the customer if you se a dent or scratch " soo what happened here" etc., so later when you head inside the customer will realize that maybe the car is not worth as much as he thinks.

Ive made good money on that because it counts towards your gross. so if the car is valued at 8k USD. hit im at lieke 6-7k and mention the issues that both of you guys saw. = PROFIT

Nanette on January 07, 2017:

I am a woman and want to start to sell cars sell cars.

Anything Else that will help me??

Yolandi on January 06, 2017:

What can I do to start building a client base and get my name out there besides Facebook and other social media sites, making contact with seevice clients and so on. could you please advise me with additional ways to build a client base? eviviers4@gmail.com

Ryan Gambino on January 06, 2017:

Hello again I wrote a post using this name. However my real name is Lawrence gamble I did this because I did not want my name on the internet. If you can answer my question my email is lawrenceagamble@icloud.com. Thank you for keeping my name confidential

Ryan Gambino on January 06, 2017:

Hey I tried the email but it did not work. My question is when parents or anyone for that matter come in shopping for there son/daughter or whoever. What is the best way to approach this situation? What is your main goal for this situation seeing that they are not going to buy the car until the person they are "shopping" for is also there in person. Thank you for your time and help.

Matt on December 13, 2016:

So I'm gonna be starting soon at a autonation that my wife's friend from high school works at and would love some tips on how to overcome my age I'm 23 and look alot younger so. I've never done anything like this I've worked customer service my whole life and I know this is a whole different ball game... How do I get people to get past this kid looks like he's 18. Why do I wanna buy a car from him. Am I over thinking this? I've done nothing but think about ways to get people to like me enough to buy a car. Like you said they will form an opinion in the first 30 sec of a meet and greet so it will be in that time they determine if they want to buy from you... Any extra tips about body language to read as well as what I project would be awesome!! Thank you for you're time I'd love for a response on this!!


Tony on December 13, 2016:

The key is to follow-up with leads, customers, and sold customers to get new business. Try this app called Always Be In Contact to help with follow-up. I been using it everyday and it helps if you use an iPhone.

Rex on December 13, 2016:

Patience and persistence is the name of the game. This article is pretty spot on. Understand that the average salesman has about a 12-15% closing ratio. That means you talk to 100 people, about 12-15 are going to buy. Rookies should expect an 8-10% for a few months. This includes walk-ins, phone-ops, internet leads etc. When you get good you can expect about 15-18% closing ratio. If you keep this in mind, you can have a better reality of the world you are in. So just talk to as many people as you can and follow up with them until they tell you to screw off or they die. Seriously. I called and emailed this one guy everyday for 3 months before he finally answered me back. He's just that busy of a guy. You never know. He ended up being one of my biggest deals this year.

Just remember that it is a numbers game. the salesman who talks to the most people usually ends up selling the most. Talk to your friends, family, cashier at mcdonalds, bank teller, everyone. You are a salesman 24/7. Not just 9am-6pm at your dealer. Everyone should have your business card.

dlw12@yahoo.com on November 17, 2016:

I work as BDC and a delivery specialist. My BDC is not well put together so it is very hard for me to even GET people in.. I've been thinking about working in Sales for awhile now.. I am 20, I am a female and I really want to take the next step as working in sales but very indecisive because I don't know if it will work out for me. I love people, I love talking to people and I do love selling but I feel like when it comes to cars I'm not so sure if ill do good. SO basically my negotiations skills is not good whatsoever. Any tips? dlw12@yahoo.com

My email for a response!

Peruzzi on November 16, 2016:

I'm very interested what u said but I have a question, Also in the luxury and sports cars like Maserati Ferrari Bentley Bugatti can i use the same steps? thank u

Brian on October 13, 2016:

Good day. Im new in car sales and am working tirelessly trying to drum up ops. How do I break the cycle of the house mouse getting all the ops? She has no special talent or skill set, just giving all the ops, 3-4 to 1. Not a complainer, but getting old watching this. I get there an hour before anyone, only one to walk the lot every morning, only one doing online training daily, one of the few using dirty 30 sheets, but yet getting only a handful of ops in first 2 weeks. Should I confront management or continue the way I am to show my work ethic? Thanks

mac on October 04, 2016:

I just started at a Honda dealership that is kinda slower then the other dealerships in town. How can I get my name out quickly and advertise better? macgarhart@yahoo.com

Michael on September 26, 2016:

Just started at a local Toyota dealership (I'll be one week in on Thursday). What can I do to start building a client base and get my name out there besides Facebook. Seeing that I just started my business cards will not be in for a few weeks. Besides writing my name and cell phone number on the back of my sales managers cards and using Facebook, could you please help advise me with additional ways to build a client base?

Thank you for your help

My Personal email is michaelscott.toyota@gmail.com

George holloway on September 17, 2016:

Hi there,

I am a 19 years of age and have been offered a trial shift in a car dealership, I have been in sales for the last year and a half within telecommunications, selling phones. The obvious outlier is the fact that selling cars is completely different. I'd like to think I have a good sales technique and a natural thirst for it, however when it comes to car sales I'm a little jubious as I feel my young age might reflect in a different manner? To elaborate I mean simply that the older generation may feel they wouldn't want to buy a car off me because I'm young. Anything you could suggest or advise me? However I am a strong believer in if you can sell in the correct way with formality and confidence, age should not be a factor. Please let me know what you think, email is as follows:


Kind regards,


Daniel on September 14, 2016:

I just started selling cars retail, prior to that I sold cars wholesale. What can I do to start building a client base and get my name out there besides Facebook. Seeing that I just started my business cards will not be in for a few weeks. Besides writing my name and cell phone number on the back of my sales managers cards and using Facebook, could you please help advise me with additional ways to build a client base?

Thank you for your help

My Personal email is drbelmonte1004@gmail.com

Robert on August 25, 2016:

Hello, I've been doing sales for about 2.5 months. I transitioned from the Internet Sales (BDC). The biggest thing I have issues with are objections from the customer. We utilize the closer system. Once I get a commitment I'm good. But those couple of times I encounter a tough customer who have objection after objection, I have difficulty. Any tips? Robert.westerman@yahoo.com

Eddie on August 25, 2016:

Hello , I started for a dealership about a month ago . I believe I will succeed at this and become good at it . One problem is I'm having is some of the customers I can't get in the building ? As its a requirement here. If I feel they will walk I'm to get a manager . By the time I get a manager an go through the hassle of them if they come out the customer may have left or has little interest at this point. At that point I'm being reminded I will be fired f customers walk off the lot without talking to a manager ? Suggestions ?

Charles on August 24, 2016:

Hello, love the advice and everything but I work at a dealership where we have very little walk ins. I have a small list of contacts and they were all called. What can I do to get some footsteps through the door or have customers come in and see me?

Ivan on August 05, 2016:

What can I do when there's little to no walk ins. I'm new to the business and I have few contacts and called all that I can call

Devin Bowman on June 07, 2016:

Hi i just started a job at a car dealership. I've got no experience whatsoever and i really need this job. kindly email me tips on how to understand cars better and how to negotiate salary with my boss. PLS HELP!!


Margret Kalekye on May 23, 2016:

Hi i just started a job at a car dealership. I've got no experience whatsoever and i really need this job.kindly email me tips on how to understand cars better and how to negotiate salary with my boss kalekye7713@gmail.com

Sarah on May 15, 2016:

I just started three days ago and I am not too sure about any vehicles whatsoever. In order to work in the sales business you have to know your product. Is there any easy way you could explain to me about learning about vehicles?

Sue on April 13, 2016:

Hi, my name is Sue & I'm thinking about transition into car sales. I've been selling vacation ownership sales for 3 years and it's getting a bit much for me and want a fresh start at doing something else. I enjoy sales and the flexibility that comes with it. So I was thinking why not car sales? I am a woman & I have heard some unsettling stories so I was wondering what kind of advice you could offer up? I don't really know what I'll be getting myself into. If you could please email me suhtetnadi@gmail.com

LB on March 26, 2016:

I'm new to car sales i was just hired at a BMW dealership and I'm diving in. I want to be the best salesmen i could possibly be, but this is my first time in car sales, and I'm a bit worried that I'm too honest.

taylor bradshaw on February 04, 2016:

I just became employed as a car sales lady for AutoNation. I have no experience selling cars; therefor, I do not have a name for myself in the business. I am in the process of having my own business cards made. I also posts things on social media to let my friends know I am there for them and I make sure to inform anyone I meet. I would love to make personal business calls but not sure which random people to call. I am trying to think of other creative ways to bring in my own personal prospects. if you have any helpful advice at all I would appreciate it very much.

thank you

Leonard on January 09, 2016:

So ive been considering becoming a car salesman and i dont know exactly what im getting myself in to. If you could email me, i have a few questions lmorrison446@yahoo.com thank you

Marcos on November 28, 2015:

What is the defiance between a Bespoke and Entune? And what do they have in common?

I'm a new car salesman, and the people I work with can not answer some of the questions I have, I'm hoping you can, Thank you!

Jay on October 15, 2015:

I'm new I car sales and my dealership has a great program for Internet leads. Could you provide information on how to get these prospects out from hiding behind their computer to calling me or setting appointment to come to the lot?

Thank you

Rob on September 29, 2015:

I'm finishing my 2nd week at my 1st job on a car lot right now. I've learned that you can't be someone that gets discouraged easily, people will lie and they don't really like you. Other salespeople especially as a "Green" Don't like you. This is a job you have to be motivated and driven to succeed in. I welcome the challenge.

Nathan on June 03, 2015:

When you apply at a dealership,do they provide the training for the job?

My email is nathaneidenschink@gmail.com

Sam on December 09, 2014:

Hi my name is Sam my ? Is what's the hardest thing about car sales I'm not talking about customer service please e-mail me husseycheaib@hotmail.com

Derek on September 25, 2014:

hi,i have zero kowledge on cars,Can i sell them and how?thanks derekdeva@yahoo.com

jimmyp on September 20, 2014:

I have had a career in the golf industry for over 30 years (i'm 60 yrs old) but feel the need for a career change. I have been offered a sales job with a large local and well respected dealership. I'm fascinated about car sales and the lucrative potential. I have researched and read almost everything. Any tips/suggestions for my newest journey?...Thanks


dave on July 24, 2014:

I'm new to the sales business. I don't have a problem talking to people, but don't know how to get my name out there or marketing myself and my dealership. I moved closer to Phoenix, AZ and work for Chrysler Jeep. I've made flyers and posted them on vehicles and only got one call. What can I do to start gaining a client base and get my name and dealership out to draw more business? Any catchy emails or ways for a flyer would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you.

Skarlet from California on May 06, 2014:

Great article. I am reading that the hours are long but I thought that many car sales people were part time. Is this not true?

Adam on April 06, 2014:

Hi I have never sold cars before and got a job at a car dealership selling used cars. They taught me a lot but I don't know anything about cars and trucks. How do I lean more about them and what is in our inventory

Jasmine on March 12, 2014:

@alpha girl and Susan I have been in the industry for about a year now and I know from my experience that dealerships are kind to women and actually look forward to hiring women.

I was on this site and read previous posts on National Auto Academy I took the course with National Auto Academy in NY with a trainer Chi Li and but since was working in OH I had to make the choice of moving to OH. I like the academy because they helped me find a job once I moved and it helps being part of the alumni services. Now, I would suggest this if you are trying to get into the industry but if you are still questioning the industry know that the hours are long but the earning potential is great ie the more cars you sell the more money you make. you write your own paycheck. I love the industry because I was in jobs where my effort put in did not result in a bigger paycheck... Good Luck with your decision

MISekabooks from Phoenix, Arizona on February 15, 2014:

It's rather simple....you just need to have a professional attitude, enthusiasm, and good product knowledge. In my book "Becoming an Automotive Sales Professional" I try to teach this with all it's nuances of working in the career of a professional sales advisor.

Susan on January 10, 2014:

Hi I recently dropped off a resume at a Toyota dealership, for a position of sales Associate, do you think they would consider hiring a women?

Arthur Fontes (author) from Fall River,MA on January 17, 2013:

LeeAnn, if the store uses the four square system.


Learn it well, if you can build a rapport with customers, with the system you will be fine.

LeeAnn on January 15, 2013:

Hi, I was just offered a job at a dealership and I start in a few days. I am so nervous and have no clue what I am doing. I have almost 10 years in customer service but as for sales I do not have any experience. I believe the main reason I got the job is because of my personality and the fact that I can start a conversation with anyone. Is there anything you would suggest to me being new to this? can you email me some information? leeann_abshire@yahoo.com

Arthur Fontes (author) from Fall River,MA on December 16, 2012:

Tim, great comment. you are 100% correct. If you concentrate on what the customer really needs in a vehicle, and you supply them with a lot of the things they want, but do not necessarily need, they will perceive value and will follow through with a purchase.

Tim on December 14, 2012:

well im 23 and have been selling cars for the past 3 years and proud to say ive been very successful making over a 100k each year. I love this business and still learn something new every day. Just thought id share a tip or two for anyone just starting out. The key to my success is pretty simple 1. Be aggressive take every up possible your income reflects it. 2. Never stop learning no matter how good you think you are or how well your doing theres always room for improvement. 3. Most importantly selling a car requires a couple critical steps most importantly BE YOURSELF, SELL YOURSELF, MAKE A FRIEND,DO A GREAT WALK AROUND and remember they buy the car because they feel you did a good job demonstrating the features and benefits of the car and BECAUSE THEY LIKE,TRUST,AND RESPECT YOU!!!!! plain and simple if they like you and the car they will pay more than they were planning on and closing them on payments become a lot easier. don't forget about your first day remind yourself of it everyday remember how nervous you were going for your interview well that's how the customer feels coming into a dealership and being swooped on as if they are prey, your job is to try to break through that guard and make them feel comfortable with you. and although you may have sold 300 cars this year don't forget its a big deal to them whether its a 1999 honda civic or 2013 KIA optima(and yes i work for KIA lol) don't treat it as just another sale, sell it as if you were going to look at your dream car and you'll be very successful.

Mae Williams from USA on October 18, 2012:

Your tips are very helpful. What would you suggest to a woman applying who wants to tell cars?

Kristin on August 01, 2012:

Fantastic. Thanks for the info!

steve827 on July 31, 2012:

I've been selling cars now for a little over three years. I honestly believe I owe it all to National Auto Academy. I took a class with them when I first started and it is still helping me to this day. Unfortunately most managers don't have much time to teach you, so I see most of the new guys just being thrown on the floor with barely any training. A bunch of us went through the academy and we're still making money years later. Just a thought, but you might want to look them up and take a class. This is a tough business to learn on your own.

Kristin on July 24, 2012:

I am about to start training for car sales. I am currently their internet sales assistant and feel I'm ready to take the plunge. I'll be on the floor rather than in internet so one of my big concerns is creating a client base. I dont want to be one of the guys that stares out the window waiting for an up. What are some ways to be pro-active about networking and finding leads without stepping on the internet dept's toes? Also it may be helpful to know that my brand (subaru) is somewhat of a targeted market...at least here in the Southeast US. kristinhuston@ymail.com

Britt on May 15, 2012:

Hi my name is britt I start my new job tomorrow on a car lot and I am very nerves.... Should I be? It's my first time ever..... Can you help me out.. You can email me at bandjbatchelor23@gmail.com

Arthur Fontes (author) from Fall River,MA on September 17, 2011:

I raised three children through selling cars. I truly enjoy the used car business. I currently manage two stores. It is an exciting and rewarding career for those that take it serious.

jencooper on August 08, 2011:

You have a lot of good content in this hub, very informative. I am wondering if you like selling cars? Have you had a lot of success? Is it worth the hours? Can you support a family with this job?

Jake on July 29, 2011:

I'm in the car selling business and just trying to know the features and how to do a walk around.....having trouble in general

Vincent Huiskamp on July 24, 2010:

Hi i am very happy to read what you have to say about car salesmen i just had my first day at a car lot (KIA)

i am from the netherlands and live in america for 2 years now and don't know very many people i don't know how to

get my name out there and make potential prospects i feel scared that i won't make it what can i do i did my best and learned almost the whole inventory on the lot and it's highlights can you please send me more info becausse i feel uncomfortable not knowing that much no experience thank you very much my personal email is


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