Whether you are just starting out in the car business or if you have been around since the good old days. These are the 10 things a car salesman should know. Things have been changing in the car business very rapidly over the past few years. However, these remain to hold true and probably will as long as we are selling cars for a living. You could call them commandments or the basic rules of being a car salesman. Regardless of what you call them you must not forget these golden rules for car sales success.

10 things car salesman

Things a Car Salesman Should Know to Succeed

1. Two People Meet and One Gets Sold.

When it comes to people and selling cars this is one thing that is always true. Somebody gets sold. Whether you sell your customer on why they should buy a car from you today or the customer sells you on why they are not buying a car today. What is it going to be? Are you going to sell your customer an automobile or are they going to sell you one of their reasons for not buying now?

This is one thing to ask yourself every time you are with a customer and probably one of the most important things a car salesman should know. Who is getting sold you or them? Sometimes they will try to turn it around on you, but remember that you are the salesman.

2. They’re All Just Looking.

Of course, they are all at the dealership to look at cars and nothing will happen until they meet a salesman, but not just any car salesman it must be a professional car salesman. They won’t tell you that they are here to buy a car they will tell you that they are just looking,  And buying in the future, however, if you are a true salesman or saleswoman you can sell them a car today. If not today, then in the near future. Just looking is the car buyer’s first line of defense against the car salesman.  You can accept it or you can sell them a car, you decide. Top car salespeople understand that of the 10 things a car salesman should know this is the one that is often forgotten by newbies.

3. Bad-Mouthing Your Competitors Will Hurt More Than Help.

Don’t let yourself get caught in the trap of bad-mouthing the competing car dealer because it will do more harm than good. You don’t know what they are thinking and you might even be insulting them without knowing it. Show them why you, your vehicle, and your dealership are the best places to buy a car.

I have seen many deals lost after a salesman talks trash about another dealership or brand. Your customer might be a regular customer at the dealer. If you are running them into the ground for the ground you may lose them. Stay positive and show them what you have to offer and let them decide or you might be chasing them back to the other dealer.

4. The Dumber the Better.

Use the selling system that you were trained to use to sell cars and don’t start thinking that you know a better way. This is the quickest way to see your sales drop. When you start leaving things out and short-cutting the system you could be shooting yourself in the foot.

Car sales training systems were designed to work throughout the dealership and be consistent. One step is made to work with the next and the one before. I will guarantee that you will lose deals when you start thinking you know better or start short cutting the system. This is one of the things a car salesman should know but often forgets. Dummy up, get back to basics and you will sell more cars.

5. There is Always More and F&I Will Prove It.

We have all had customers that wouldn’t bump another dollar, but after they got done in F&I their payment went up 20, 30, or 40 dollars. The things a car salesman should know include knowing that there is always more room. When you believe that they won’t go another dollar think again. Maybe you didn’t show them a reason to spend more or provide enough value in the vehicle or the dealership. Think about how bumping them another $100 will equal 20, 30, or 40 dollars towards your car salesman’s salary. If you don’t get it the F&I Department will.

Things a car salesman should know about selling cars

6. Price Isn’t Everything

Stop thinking that price is the only thing that will close the deal because that is not the case. Almost everyone is willing to pay more when they see the value in something. Quit working at the desk and start working with the customer and provide more value. Many salespeople work the desk harder than they work the customer. When you show them “What’s in it for them” you provide more value and ultimately make more commission. The things a car salesman should know and never forget is that whether they are a newbie or a veteran is that it’s not always about price. It doesn’t matter if you are selling used cars or BMW’s, is not always the price.

7. True Car Salesmen Know “Be Backs” Won’t Be Back

You may have heard this one a few hundred times, but that’s because it is usually true so I will say it again: Be Backs won’t be back. They say they will, but what they are really saying is that my car salesman didn’t sell me on why I should buy a car from them and their dealership. Then they will think there is more to be had somewhere else because you didn’t make them feel otherwise.

7A Be Backs Can Comeback

They sound so sincere and they have many reasons, but that is their way of giving you the bad news. Granted they may visit another dealer and feel the same way about them, but if they meet a real car salesman they will buy a car and all the follow-up in the world won’t help. 

Once they tell you that they will “Be Back” your only chance is that they visit another dealership and tell them the same thing and then you have a remote chance with follow-up if you have something more to offer. Can you believe that people ask why car salesmen lie when they are the ones that are avoiding the truth?

8. Things a Car Salesman Should Know About Enthusiasm and Selling Cars

Even the grumpy old fart that buys a car is excited about buying a new car, but they certainly aren’t going to tell or show you that. Car buyers don’t want the salesman to think they are excited about the prospect of driving home in a new ride, but they are and enthusiasm will heighten that excitement and engage more of their emotions. Being positive and enthusiastic about them having a new vehicle will only help you sell more cars and increase your commission.

When people use their emotions to purchase a vehicle you are the one that comes out on top. Enthusiasm is an emotion and your ticket to sales and logic is the quickest way to a short deal. The things a car salesman should know include enthusiasm because enthusiasm sells cars. Be enthusiastic, include positive things about cars, and be upbeat with your customers and you will sell more cars and make more money.

9. The Sales Manager Wants to Sell a Car as Badly as You Do

You might think otherwise, but it really is true. The sales manager gets paid based on sales and gross and they really do want you to sell cars. When the desk or sales manager won’t accept your deal it is because they feel there is more room. They believe the customer can be bumped, or the next person will pay more for the same car. It’s not personal it’s business and they really do want to sell cars just like you do and one more of those things a car salesman should know.

10 things car-salesman-should-know

10. Buyers are Liars

I left this one for number ten because too many salespeople like to use this as an excuse when they don’t make a deal, but it is true in many cases. Talk to enough car buyers both on and off the car lot and you will find out that the average consumer thinks that lying to the car salesman is an acceptable practice. Even that person that never tells a lie thinks that it’s not a lie, and sometimes they use it as a how-to tell salesman no, but it’s all part of the car buying process.

10A. Liars are Buyers

Cars dealers don’t want their car salesmen to lie, yet customers do so repeatedly. Again this is one of the few things that the customer uses as a defense because they don’t want to be taken advantage of by a car salesman. Things a car salesman should know include being wise about how the customer thinks. The salesman must understand that they need to break down this customer barrier. Then change the way the customer thinks.

This is also where body language, tone, and facial expressions are important when selling cars professionally. Most people are honest unless they are buying a car so they will usually give themselves away with their facial expressions and eye movement. Accept these car salesman facts, but don’t use them as an excuse for not selling a car.

The Basic Things a Car Salesman Should Know is a Foundation

These 10 things a car salesman should know are basic, but these car salesman facts are true nonetheless. They are many other things that you should know when you have a car salesman career. Hopefully, these will get you started or remind those of you that may have forgotten some of them. You can move on to other car salesman tips, but you need to build a foundation first. If you have some things that car salesmen should know please add them in the comment section below and I will publish them when appropriate.

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot


P.S. More Things a Car Salesman Should Know

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