When it comes to selling cars for a living there are 10 car salesman skills that you should focus on if you are determined to be a success and make big money as a car salesman. You don’t have to have a college degree or been to trade school to have or develop these abilities. If fact you don’t even need experience in the auto industry to acquire these car selling skills. You wont find these skills listed on a car salesman resume because they are very difficult to quantify and rate.


To some people these skills needed to be a car salesman come easier than others, but not to worry because you can develop these skills with a little focus and determination. These are not the best car sales closes or some kind of special car sales techniques. These are good car salesman techniques and basic skills for relating, communicating and selling people. I should also mention that I have known successful car salespeople that don’t have all these skills, but they do have most of them. Work on developing and fine-tuning these traits and you will begin to sell more cars as you progress through your car salesman career.

10 Basic Car Salesman Skills

Adaptability and the Automobile Salesman

The car salesman must be adaptable because every customer you deal with will be different. You customers will have different opinions, different budgets, different needs and sometimes they may be very different as in strange. You need to be able to relate to and connect with grandma when she wants to buy a car and then be able to switch gears and work with a first time car buyer. You need to be adaptable, very adaptable. You need to be able to relate, bond and build rapport with every single customer if you want to sell more cars. Obviously the car salesman cannot connect with everyone, but the more people you can bond with will determine your quality and number of cars sold.

Adaptability doesn’t end there either because the automotive industry is constantly changing including your dealership. New managers, new sales people, new technologies and whatever else gets thrown your way requires that you are adaptable and that is why this car salesman skill is essential.

Attitude and Car Sales

You have probably heard about a positive attitude more than you care to remember throughout your life, but that’s only because it’s so important. A positive attitude about your dealership, product and yourself will take you a long way when it comes to being successful. You can learn the best car salesman techniques, but if you don’t use them with a positive attitude and enthusiasm they won’t help. If you like to spend your time bitching and moaning about everything under the sun get a government job, but if you are going to be a success as a car salesman you need a positive attitude. I have seen more salespeople succeed with this essential car salesman skill more than all the others. Your attitude can and will make or break you in the car business so you need to make your choice.

Car Salesman’s Product Knowledge

You don’t need to be a walking encyclopedia, but you do need some product knowledge. No one is going to expect you to know all the specifications about a particular car or truck, but you should at least learn all of your models, colors, trim levels and options. You should also know your current incentives and how things are done when buying a car. You will quickly lose the respect of your car buyer when you have to go see the manager for answers to simple questions. Every time you have to go to the desk to get an answer you lose a little more respect. Work through all the objections and questions before you leave your customer while you go to the desk. This is your job, learn the basics now and the rest you will learn over time. Also you better know basic math (because many customers don’t) and how to spell. Stupid mistakes can lose the respect of your customer and quite possibly a deal. Forget about the used car sales techniques until you know what you are doing. You are a professional car salesman so look, sound and act like one.

The Accessible Car Salesman

Some might argue that accessibility is more of a personality trait than a car salesman skill, for some people it needs to be learned and developed. Sales and referrals are lost all the time because a car salesman is not available for a phone call or showroom customer. People are impatient today and if they have to call or email you repeated times before they get an answer or return call there is a good chance you are losing potential sales. Answer your calls; give everyone your phone number and email address. Return calls and emails promptly. Be the car salesman that can be reached when a customer has a question or a concern. That means, before, during and after the sale. Accessibility is a car salesman trait that will be remembered when its time to buy another car or when a customer has a referral for you. Being easy to reach could mean making a deal or losing them to your competitor so develop this habit or skill and it will pay off in the long run.

Car Salesman Skills and Consistency

The consistent car salesman is about being at the top of your game all the time, not just sometimes. Come to work to work and keep your head in the game and you will have steady sales and a larger car salesman income. Everyone gets in a slump now and then, but every other week won’t cut it in the automobile business. I have known salespeople that were incredible at selling cars, but they could not be consistent at their craft. They could sell cars like nobody else, but they couldn’t control themselves. One week their sales rocked and the next week they couldn’t close a door let alone a deal. If they could keep themselves on track they would leave everyone in the dust, but they didn’t have the car salesman skills needed to achieve the success they desired. Consistency also leads to promotion into sales management if you are interested in pursuing that avenue.


Listening is a Car Salesman Skill

Do you hear that? I said that you must have the ability to be a good listener to be a top car salesman. You need to listen very closely to your customer because they will tell you how to sell them a car, but if you don’t listen closely you will simply create another Be-Back. I have closed many deals behind car salesmen that were not listening closely to their customers. Once I listened to what they were saying the rest was easy. Listen closely because these sales tips for selling cars is powerful once it’s mastered.  Listening is more than hearing your customer it also includes watching their reactions and body language as they speak and negotiate. Gestures and tones often mean more than words so fine tune this car salesman skill and become a better listener.

A Top Salesperson is Observant

This means that you should be aware of what is going on around you at all times. What cars are being sold, what new cars are coming in and what trades are being taken in on a daily basis. What is going on in the showroom? Are there fresh ups not being greeted? Are there customers wandering the lot looking for help? Are opportunities to sell more cars slipping through your fingers? If you don’t know what is going on right here at your dealership you are probably missing opportunities and deals. These car sales skills are about more than the customer that is setting in front of you, you also need to be aware of switch cars, changes and opportunities when they are presented to you. You should also be keeping an eye on the other successful car salesmen at your dealership because you might be able to learn a few things. Be observant and this car sales skill will help you make more sales.

The Organized Car Salesman

I have known a few successful car salesmen that weren’t organized, but I have known many more that were. Keeping track of referrals, follow-ups, appointments, phone calls, be-backs, fresh ups and closing ratios will help you get more sales. Forgetting to do things is one of the quickest ways to piss off a customer and that’s the last thing you need when you sell cars for a living. You need every customer you can get and being organized will help so you don’t lose any opportunities. This might not be the most important car salesman skills required for success, but it definitely helps keep the bills paid.

Personable Auto Salesperson

When I say personable I am not saying you need to be Mr. or Miss social. You don’t need to be the life of the party or that you need a line of crap a mile long. All you need to be able to do is talk and connect with people on a one to one basis when you are with a potential car buyer. Even the shyest and most bashful person can connect with people one on one when all of the questions are about the customer and their needs. When all the focus is on the buyer even the quietest and unsocial people can be successful at selling cars. Talk to customers like you are talking to a friend and you will connect and build rapport, but don’t forget about the car sales skill of being adaptable. (see above, skill #1)

Sales and Self-Confidence

I know it is hard to be self-confident when you start selling cars, but that is short-lived. Once you get over the newness it’s time to be self-confident. I am not saying that you need to act like you know everything and think that you are the best deal closer of the floor. I am talking about true self-confidence, the kind of confidence in your self that you are confident in your skills and abilities to learn the car business and become successful. When you are with customers you make them feel that they are with a professional and that you are here to serve them. Your car sales confidence will build over time, but until then you must have confidence in yourself and fake it until you make it when you are with a customer. That’s right, I said fake it until you make it when you are with a customer. You will be surprised how far this car salesman advice will take you in the car business. Customers don’t know you or how long you have been selling or even how successful you are at your trade, you start fresh with each customer so be the car salesman you want to become and eventually become that car salesman.

The above car salesman skills can also be considered personality traits or habits, but once you have mastered and adjusted them for the business of selling cars your sales and commissions will increase exponentially. These skills are not listed in any particular order because I believe they are all important. You can use these car salesman skills for resume preparation as buzzwords to get attention, but don’t overdo them. Develop and fine tune these traits in yourself and you will be on your way to a six-figure car salesman income. These traits may be exactly what you need to get to the next level in your career, so take these car sales tips that work to heart and lets move some metal and make some big money.

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot


1 Comment

willie williams · August 26 at 8:51 am

good msg

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