People outside the car business think they know what makes a great car salesman, but they are usually wrong. Having the gift of gab, being the life of the party or having the ability to start a conversation with a door knob are not necessarily the traits of a successful car salesman. Those abilities might be helpful, but they certainly aren’t the requirements to be a great salesman.
The good news is that most of the same basic skills, abilities and aspirations to succeed in any profession are the same ones needed to become a great car salesman. Obviously this transformation doesn’t happen over night, but it doesn’t need to take a lifetime either. In fact you can be a better car salesman starting today!
Have you ever wondered why numerous people go through the same car sales training yet very few even become good car salesmen? In fact many of them become mediocre salesmen. Some leave the profession in 30 days, some make it a few months and one or two last a year. However, every once in a while there’s a newbie that comes out of training destined to be a great car salesman. The reasons and the differences for these results are the traits that I will be covering in the sections below.
Basic Foundation of a Great Car Salesman
Attitude: I am sure you have heard more than your fair share of lectures about attitude, but I am going to dig a little deeper into the subject. This is a very important part of this subject that’s about much more than how to be a car salesman. Of all the great car salesmen that I have known and talked to over the years there is one thing that stands out and that’s their attitude. A positive attitude regarding the car business, the dealership where they work and the product that they sell is always present. Face it; how good can you be if you don’t believe in your product, your dealership and your profession.
Most customers have a sixth sense and they can sense things that you can’t hide. A poor attitude comes out in variety of different ways regardless of your words. Not to mention the sales managers that desk your deals and take your turns if you don’t close the sale. A car salesman with a poor attitude is poison to the dealership, the staff and the customer. Sure they can still sell a car because even a blind squirrel will find a nut now and then. But they won’t be a great car salesman at best they will be mediocre and probably poor when it comes to success and income.
A positive attitude will make becoming a great car salesman a reality. Sure there are people that will disagree with me when it comes to attitude and selling cars. However a successful long-term car salesman career requires repeat and referral business, which is very difficult to achieve for someone with a poor attitude. Your attitude is your choice and you can change it any time you choose. Start seeing the big picture and understand that there are more people involved in the process of selling of cars than you. Everyone one employed in the sales department wants to sell more cars and make more money, but it starts with you. If you are determined to hold onto your poor attitude you need to find a different dealership, a different product or change professions.
Desire: Desire is a huge motivating factor when it comes to selling cars for a living. The desire to make money and I mean big money is a major driving force in the car business. Desire to build a customer base that will provide you with years of repeat business down the road. Desire for learning to be a salesman and eventually becoming a great car salesman. Desire to please your customers, your managers and to satisfy your need for a respectable car salesman salary.
If you don’t have desire you will never strive to be a great car salesman. You might be able to sell some cars and make some money, but you will destined to little more than being a fair car salesman. The car business has all the fair salesmen they need but there is always room for those that have the desire required to achieve greatness.
Advanced Traits of a Great Car Salesman
Like I said earlier it takes time to become a great car salesman, but you can greatly reduce the time it takes to become a top salesman if you develop, control and master these traits. Some people may posses some of these traits, but you can develop and improve these qualities if you have the basics of attitude and desire. You might even call these the secrets of a car salesman although many of the best don’t even realize that these are secrets because they will develop them naturally and quickly while they are learning how to be a salesman.
Listening: Sure everyone knows how to listen, but it takes some experience to separate the noise from the solid information you need to sell cars successfully. Customers will tell you all kinds of things with their mouth, but you also need to learn what they are saying with their eyes, body language and the tone of their voice. I have always said that if you listen closely the customer they will tell you how to sell them a car without ever realizing it. A great car salesman knows how to listen very closely to what car buyers are saying with both their words and their body and then using that information to sell them cars.
Confidence and Ego: Confidence can go a long way to helping you achieve your goals and especially when selling cars. A car salesman that speaks and acts confidently will earn the respect of their customers. You need to have confidence in yourself, your sales team and your dealership. You cannot merely think that you being a great salesman you must know that you can be a great car salesman. Knowing and thinking are two different things. You must believe in your ability to learn, grow and achieve your desires. Have confidence in yourself because you will never earn the respect you need to be the best if you don’t have confidence in yourself.
A little bit of car salesman ego can go a long way, but it goes along with confidence. Once you know that you can achieve your goals your ego will grow as direct result. Every great car salesman has an ego, but too much can be a bad thing. Being a little cocky is great, but keep it check and don’t let it get in the way of your career.
Knowledge: There are two kinds of knowledge when it comes to selling cars. One is product knowledge and one is knowledge of how the car business works. Product knowledge takes time and you will do that while learning to be a salesman, but it won’t keep you from selling cars. Obviously the more you know about the product you are selling the easier your job will be a times, but you don’t need to be a walking encyclopedia of automobile specs and details on everything from Audi to Toyota. So make an effort to learn your product inside and out including your competition.
The knowledge of the business of selling cars for a living is even more important than product knowledge because this is how you make a living. When you first start selling cars you will be amazed at times how things work. So learn it, breathe it and live it if you want to be a great car salesman. Objectively listen, watch and learn everything that goes on at the dealership so you gain the knowledge you need to become the best.
Experience: Experience is the best teacher when it comes to selling cars. You may learn many lessons the hard way at first, but that’s often the best way. This is usually the way that you will learn the secrets of a car salesman that will set you apart from the others. You don’t need years and years of experience to become a great car salesman if you make the most of all your experiences. Analyze every experience you have with a customer whether you sold them or not. Reexamine the details; replay them in your head, break them down and learn what works and what doesn’t work and in what situations. This is the type of experience you need to be a great car sales professional.
No Excuses You Can Be a Great Car Salesman
There are plenty of excuses for not becoming a great salesman, but excuses won't pay the bills. You are the one that's responsible for your own success. You can complain about it and you can come up with excuses or you can get to work. If you want to become a great car salesman all you have to do is decide that you can, know that you can and do it!
Later, Fresh Up on the Lot