I hear this question all the time “How Do I Become a Car Salesman”. So many people want to know how to be a car salesman, but they are uninformed about what it takes to sell cars for a living. The key phrase there was “for a living”. Becoming a car salesman is not complicated, but it isn’t mastered overnight.
Anyone Can Learn How To Become a Good Car Salesman
Just about anyone with a pulse can learn how to be a car salesman or car sales woman (just kidding), but sometimes it seems like that is the only requirement. Incidentally you don’t need a college education to sell cars, your most important attribute is your attitude. I have seen so many new sales people go through car salesman training and then hit the sales floor only to have them quit in the first thirty days. The ones that last longer than thirty days rarely make it ninety days. The ones that do last are people that have sold cars before or had some type of sales experience in a closely related field. Don’t get me wrong there is that one newbie every once in a while that catches on and becomes an effective car salesman that never had any sales experience.
Do You Really Want to Be a Car Salesman
It’s true that car salesman jobs are not physically demanding jobs, although some complain about the car salesman hours. If you are asking why become a car salesman it’s because you can earn a six figure car salesman salary and income, dress in nice clothes, talk to different kinds of people and never break a sweat. Sounds like a dream job, right? You may want to know how to become a car salesman, but that is not enough. As I mentioned earlier, almost anyone can become a car salesman. If you are going to make a living selling cars you need to be a successful car salesman that has a goal of being a great car salesman. Want some real life numbers on how much car salesmen make?
Requirements to Become a Good Car Salesman
To become a good car salesman you need to have a mental toughness because selling cars is mentally and emotionally challenging. You need thick skin to deal with the car salesman jokes and the ability to control your thoughts, words and emotions. You need to be able to carefully choose and use your words, expressions and gestures to support the sales process and be able to change and adapt to the different customers and situations.
Do You Still Want to Know How to Become a Good Car Salesman
You will be put together, tested and tried on by customers and sales managers that will at times have you wanting to knock them out, cuss them out, throw them out or walk out yourself. Your ability to control yourself can make a huge difference in you car salesman commission and car salesman income. If you are currently a car salesman you know exactly what I am talking about because you have already had your on the job car salesman education. One of the sayings that I try to remember is: “Don’t get mad, get even by selling them a car”. Then I put on my game face and do my best to sell them a car and make a nice big front end gross. It doesn’t always work, but it does more times than it doesn’t. Sometimes being a car salesman means we just have to suck it up to sell a car.
Where Should I Apply to Become a Car Salesmen
If you still want to become a car salesman you might ask where should I apply to be a car salesmen. Just pick-up the classifieds and look under the help wanted section. Some dealerships will even provide you with their car salesman job description for a better understanding of the duties and responsibilities. Check the automotive section and I am sure you will find a handful of car dealers that are looking for car salesmen. Dealerships rarely require anything more than a high school diploma because you receive a car salesman education from the dealership. The turnover in the car business is quite brisk so I am sure will find some dealers that are looking to add a car salesman or two. If you have the desire and the mental fortitude to become a car salesman then start talking to some car dealers, have an interview and begin your car sales training because you can be a great car salesman and a successful car salesman. More importantly, lets sell more cars.
I think a career in car sales is a great opportunity for those that can cut the mustard and deal with the car salesman hours. Where else can you laugh and have fun doing your job yet still have the potential to make a six figure income. All jobs have their ups and downs, but a car sales can be a great career choice if you have what it takes to become a successful car salesman. Just remember to give it a fair chance, it will take you a while to get used to the business and get through your initial on-the-job car salesman education. Don’t make the mistake of calling it quits before you even get started making the big money being a car salesman. I hope that will briefly answer you about how to be a car salesman, it’s not as hard as you think. Regularly visit this car salesman blog and website for thoughts, advice and tips on being a better car salesman and other automobile sales careers including car sales closing techniques.
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KB · July 30 at 5:57 am
There are so many different variations that range from no training to a week of training. Some are done with in house employees and some use outside trainers. Practically every dealership does it different, but it is tailored for those that never sold cars before.
Good luck, you can do it.
Kate · July 29 at 4:18 pm
How do most sales trainings go?
Chris · April 9 at 8:24 am
I’ve been doing car sales for a few month’s now. As the author stated learn from the guys that have been doing this for years. One of the biggest things that have helped me ASK FOR THE SALE.
KB · March 26 at 5:29 pm
You have sold cars before so you should have a pretty good idea what it takes to succeed in the car business. So in or out, which will it be?
daniel · March 23 at 8:02 am
I was in the business a little over 10 yrs ago and worked in it at one dealer for about a year. At that time, I had minimium success but did the last year. I don’t think I sold over six cars a month however am older now and am looking to get back into the business. Do you think it is a good idea or should I just leave it? My manager at the time told me that either you get it or don’t get it in this business,
KB · January 26 at 5:47 pm
Sounds like a great opportunity.
jason · January 25 at 10:42 am
I recently interviewed for a sales manager position and have a lot of experience in management and sells. I met with several different people. The operating director wants me with his company and says I have everything he has been trying to get at his dealership but not are where he wants me. He says I will make a lot of money at his dealership,by the way he owns 5 in this town. He wants me to learn how things operate and work in this business and says to come on as a sales person to learn for a few months and fast track me to management. He starts his sales people on a draw of 350 and said to to insure me that he doesn’t want me to stay there he is offering me 700 draw a week and would do 800 if that is what it takes to get me on board. Does this seem like a good opportunity or should I be cautious . I have never worked in the new car business before but have experience in in house financing,collecting ,writing and structuring deals but much smaller priced used vehicles.I think he wants me there in management but not sure in finance or as sale manager plus he said possibly other opportunities making more than I probably ever will he would just like me to get some exposure, anyways any advise would be great thanks.
KB · April 11 at 6:22 am
Matt · April 8 at 5:01 pm
I worked at my first dealership for nearly 6 years at a Chevy dealer in Indiana. I recently moved to Florida and have worked at 6 dealerships in a years time trying to find the right fit (Honda, Chevy, Nissan, Chrysler, Hyundai, and Nissan again). I know that sounds terrible, but it’s hard to accept being at a “so so” dealership once you’ve worked for an awesome one. Pay plans, hours, management, etc vary greatly! If you find a place you like stay there and build up your repeat and referral business. That’s how you make the $100K+.
KB · February 26 at 6:27 pm
A Mercedes benz car salesman can make good money just like almost any other brand.
However I know many people that left their position at Mercedes and went to work for a more common brand.
Just because a car sells for big money it doesn’t mean that the salesman will make big money.
Remember, car sales pays commission which is based on a percentage of profit.
Sometimes the best place to sell cars is the one that has more traffic and and sells vehicles to a larger percent of the population.
I know people that do very well with Mercedes and as I said earlier i know some that had more success with brands such as Toyota, ford and Chevy.
There are a lot of variables to consider like pay plan, floor traffic, lead count, number of sales people on the floor etc.
hassan · February 18 at 2:10 pm
Does a mercedes car salesman make good money, and do you have to graduate out of college to work there ?
KB · February 10 at 12:12 pm
No experience need.
Want to learn the business, hand in your application and lets go. There is only one way to really learn this business…DO IT!
KB · February 10 at 12:09 pm
Nicholas · January 31 at 4:40 pm
This website is awesome, really great work here. The more I read here the more I want to jump into this business. I’ve been told that I’m easy to trust and I’d be a good salesman but there is one thing keeping me from driving to the dealership and applying right now; I don’t know much at all about cars and my experience is limited to the service industry so I’d like to know what you think:
How do I start educating myself? What are the basics I should be learning to make me hireable or do you think I’m paralyzing myself by letting this keep me from handing them my application?
ronnie · January 31 at 11:23 am
Thought this article was funny because when I was 15 my father bought a lot and I began washing cars until I was 18 and my dad brought me into sales. I had never sold before and didn’t for the first two months, making my money in F&I doing the paperwork. Sold my first car after about 3 months and after that have been in the business ever since. I had no experience and no training and am still in the business. I’m no 6 figure salesman yet, but as the article says you can be a natural but you still need training.
Just thought that was funny
KB · January 30 at 1:28 pm
You sound like you have great potential, but honestly I am surprised you were allowed to sell since you are not eighteen.
I don’t know of any dealerships that allow someone under 18 to sell cars.
Get through school and come back after you turn eighteen. You will probably be one the tops sales people in no time at all.
Sorry, But Don’t Give Up
KB · January 30 at 1:24 pm
I wish you great success. Since you have come from the Real Estate industry you know the importance of self-promotion. Like you mentioned, the parents of your kids friends is good a place to start. Also any activities that your children they may be a part of will help you meet people. Today social media is a great place to start building a presence. Set up a page of Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and Pinterest. Post some pics of your happy customers, cars for sale and connect with local groups on Facebook. Craigslist and Backpage are fine if you are selling one particular vehicle, but they won’t help much for promoting yourself.
Best of Luck to You
Kevin · January 28 at 5:15 am
I was recently hired in the sales department at Camelback Ford in Phoenix, AZ. Shortly after training began, I was laid off because of my age, or lack of it. It is to my understanding that approximately 200 candidacutes were interviewed and it resulted in about 30 hires. Despite my age, I was able to prove myself among many other individuals. Throughout the process, I was consistently honest about my age. I even spent time beyond my scheduled shift to talk to my trainer to clarify my age, and was told that it would okay. He emphasized that he believed I carried a great amount of potential and appreciated my honesty. A few days later, I was pulled aside into my trainers office and informed that corporate was not supportive in allowing my employment to move forward. After proving myself among many people of all backgrounds, ages and experience, I felt like I deserved to at least be giving an opportunity.
Anyways, my question is if you think I should apply at other dealerships or not even try because I’m just going to be fired because of my age again? I was 16 at the time I got hired and turned 17 a couple weeks after I was laid off. I am 17 years old at the moment, and i will appreciate it greatly for any advice you give me! Thanks!
Sam · January 27 at 1:51 pm
I was a real estate broker for about 14 years in California. Recently, I quit my realty career and moved to State of Washington for a personal reason. The housing market is still depressed here, so I changed my career and got hired as a car salesman at the Cherovlet Dealership. I had no prior experience of selling cars. I figure my real estate sales experience should help a lot. I don’t want to get a 9 to 5 job because I want unlimited income potential. I know selling car is another way to get it. I googled search and found your site. I started reading all the comments and they are very helpful. My orientation will start this Friday (1st day of my new career), I just want to get as much info as I can to help me sell a lot of cars. Could you suggest books I should read or tips I should have to get more customers? Since I am only here in WA for about 6 months, I don’t know that many people around. However, my two young children going to two different schools and activities may have their schoolmates’ parents I can tell, or soical media I can use such as facebook, twitter, linkedin, Pinterest, etc. that I can use. Or, Craigslist and Backpage I can advertise for free. Thank you very much!
KB · January 23 at 7:39 am
Any kind of education is good, but your positive attitude and being passionate about your work will bring you loads of success as a car sales professional. There are many avenues to pursue if you want to advance your career beyond salesperson. You might want to consider management and financing if you want to further your formal education.
Robert Archer · January 14 at 2:03 pm
Hi KB just was reading over your article and it was very helpful, I appreciate that others I came across were not as clear on details sadly.
Anyhow I am 28 with a great attitude, positive outlook on things, and highly motivated to make something of myself and make a career out of the work I do. I’m very driven at what I set my mind too and become passionate about, I’m fairly knowledgeable about Subaru’s in particular, in either case I was wondering if you could suggest any form of education that would be helpful to get a small leg up on applying for a cars sales position? I presently have an associate degree in Culinary Arts and Business Management and from what others tell me I am a very motivated seller and customer friendly.
In either case any advice you could offer on any education to get before pursuing such a career would be helpful thanks!
KB · December 16 at 6:32 am
You better wait until after graduation. So you can put in the time you need to learn the business and succeed.
Andrew · December 15 at 9:50 pm
I am 18, and half way through my senior year. I work retail at a hardware store. I love working with people and helping people. My question is do I have a realistic shot at being a car salesman before I grad? Or should I just wait till after high school? And what is a normal minimum ?
KB · November 14 at 6:40 pm
You sound quite bitter. Sorry you feel that way.
Sure there are negatives, but I think you might need to change dealerships.
You can’t be doing very good when you feel the way you do about selling cars.
You need to make a change and in a hurry.
You must have made good money and enjoyed the job at some time because you are still doing it 10 years later.
KB · October 31 at 5:41 am
You got your foot in the door.
Carlos · October 30 at 5:10 pm
I just got a job at a Dodge Dealership. I start in a couple days but I have no sales experience. I am 18 years old and they interviewed me for 45 minutes and decided that they thought I’d be a good car salesman because I had a good positive attitude and was good with people. My dad was a car salesman and he had what it took, so I’m hoping I do too.
KB · October 9 at 6:32 pm
It really depends on the dealership.
Some have some strict rules about tickets and others are not as concerned.
Nick · September 29 at 10:14 am
Hey KB, i want to become a car salesman cause i believe that being able to control my own income and have my pay for once reflect the amount of work i put in is the path to financial freedom and a better life for myself and my daughters. But im concerned, i have 2 moving violations in the past 3 years and im worried that it may prevent me from starting a career in sales. Any insight you can provide into this dilemma im having would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
KB · September 26 at 2:41 pm
It sounds like you have already made up your mind. Ask about pay plan, bonuses and what top sales people are making.
shawn · September 24 at 1:06 pm
Hello, there is a sales position open at my local Chevrolet dealership its for new and used the ad says 15 dollars an hour minimum plus bonus I have always wanted to do sales and I know commission only is better but I’m thinking due to having a mortgage and really no savings this might be the best bet I have been in other sales which is Kirby vacuums for the past 12 years I’ve been a electronics technician this field is going downhill I want to change now, any advice on this pay structure and what questions I should ask? I am very money motivated I cannot live of 15 dollars an hour, but I know I could do good at this job I am worried about this economy though I use to make 60,000 plus a year now. I’m in the mid thirty’s doing the exact same job I am ready for a change and I want to call them today and schedule an interview I would appreciate any advice. Thanks
KB · September 19 at 12:43 pm
Market yourself in anyway you can think of and then find more ways. Social media that you mentioned is great. Use everything to get your name out there.
Pay plan sounds workable, but it still depends on units sold, plus what kind of bonuses.
Jake · September 11 at 4:48 pm
during the first 3 weeks where i am going through training how do i get paid? or would i even get paid?
TS · September 6 at 7:01 am
I have been selling cars for over ten long years now. My advice to you is….RUN. Run hard and far.
From the time of the interview you are being lied to…”Oh yeah! We sell 100 a month here.” You will find out they sell 50 with 15 sales people.
“You can make a ton of money!” With the advent of the internet, you make minimum more times than not. Manufacturers put invoice online. People research and expect to pay that. Won’t give it, fine there is a dealership around the corner that will.
You are only as good as your last sale, other than that you are a POS. On top of that do not expect to have a life. You can’t be there to deliver your car? Fine, the person who does will take half your commission. Thats the way it works.
It is a cut throat business amoungst sales people. Someone will take your customer, or a customer will claim they don’t recall your name and work with the first salesman who approached them.
If I could I would leave this dirtbag business today. It is weighing on me and my performance has been affected. I practically cry everyday on the way to work. I hate talking to customers, it is very rare you will have a decent one. I hate and have no faith in management. Thats another thing, management will talk a great game, then they will tell you how you blew the sale, even though they talked to the customers themselves.
Best I can say is either take my advice and save yourself alot of aggravation. Or take the job and find out yourself. Again I will tell you…RUN, and run hard and fast away from this dirtbag business. One last thing..The car business is owned and ran by scumbags.
KB · September 5 at 6:14 pm
You should walk into the dealership and simply ask, but you should talk to the General Sales Manager.
The fact that you are willing to walk in ask says something about. Be confident and ask for a job selling cars.
Jake · September 4 at 2:11 am
I want to sell cars. There are a few dealerships around where I live, but I have no idea how to apply for a job as a salesman there.
I would just go in and ask, but I am not the guy to go do something blind when I go in I want to know how to act and who to talk to?
Broox · August 19 at 11:52 am
I just got hired at a family owned Ford dealership in a highly populated area in Northern Virginia. I have worked in the restaurant business since I was 14, I am now 25. I also worked as an inside sales rep for a software company and tripled my quota within 3 months of employment but left after four months due to poor management and bad communication. I have always had people tell me I would have a great career in sales. I am nervous about the new job but optimistic due to the high income potential.
My question is how should I market myself (social media/internet) in order to get those high sales and be the top gun at my dealership. I am motivated by money but I know it also takes strong product knowledge. The dealership pay structure is a draw on 20% commission on gross + bonuses + 6% on back end extras (extended warranty, etc). Is that a good deal?
Slippery Pete · July 9 at 4:55 pm
Well, I had my interview today at a place that has a few different dealerships under one roof. I was interviewed by the Buick mgr, the Mazda mgr, and the dealership GM. They are going to send me one of those “personality” tests online and if I pass that I’ll have a final interview. Looks a lot more promising than the Kia dealership. I’ll keep you posted.
KB · July 8 at 7:47 am
Sorry to hear that, but you might be better off.
It will work out!
KB · July 8 at 7:45 am
I am not a fan of the Up System.
The open floor is the only way to go.
KB · July 8 at 7:44 am
You definitely have a shot at being a success in the car business.
As far as the draw is concerned, just focus on selling cars and rest will take care of its self.
KB · July 8 at 7:42 am
I have heard of dealerships that have part timers, but it is very rare.
Slippery Pete · July 7 at 11:49 am
Well, the Kia dealership with whom I interviewed never called back, but I have an interview with a “mall” dealership on Monday (Buick,GMC,Jag). I’ll let you know how it works out.
richardt · July 5 at 8:07 am
Is it common to see someone work part time at car dealerships? I want to start part time and eventually jump into it full time. Maybe a 10hour Saturday shift.. Is that possible? Do any car dealerships offer that opportunity? My goal is to make about 1,500 a month…
Jeff · July 2 at 8:26 am
I have just recently landed a job at a VW dealership. This will be my first sale representative job and I don’t really have that much sales experience. I am a recent college graduate and military veteran. I enjoy talking to people and am a good problem solver. Do I have a shot at the car business. I was a little bit worried about the concept of a draw. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Andres · June 30 at 5:09 pm
Hi, I want to become a saleman. So I wanted to know what system is better? a “up” system or a “open floor”?
KB · June 20 at 8:43 am
I hope it works out for you, let us know.
KB · June 20 at 8:42 am
Sounds like you are doing good, but taking the Used Car Manager position is a call that is completely up to you.
Every dealership does things a little differently and the only that can make that call is you. Sorry I couldn’t be more help, but at some stores it is a great job and others it is terrible.
If you really enjoy the selling side then you might not like this management position.
KB · June 20 at 8:33 am
You are now a member of the car business and the sky is the limit.
Read the post and articles here on the website. Then listen closely and watch everything to learn what goes on at the dealership.
Keep a positive attitude and don’t judge the business or the process until you have given 100% for at least 90 days.
Best of Luck
KB · June 20 at 8:10 am
Being an athlete means you have a competitive side and sociology can always help. The rest is up to you. Most people that are making big money today started with no sales experience whatsoever so you will be in good company.
Evans · June 19 at 10:07 pm
I have an interview for a internet sales position in the morning. What are some key points I can use to wow my interviewer. I been a athlete all my life, and have no work experience. I’m a former college athlete and majored in sociology, how do you feel that can help me in this field.
Cory · June 18 at 10:39 pm
I have been in the car business for about a year and a half now. I have been averging about 13 a month now (The 1st year is the toughest) and been getting a lot easier now. A good friend of mine got me in the business (has been for years). My question is this:there has been talk that they want to put me in the used car manager position. Do you think a manager is the way to go. The pay scale is OK, but seems like a lot of headache and have been doing this a short time though…any advice???
Slippery Pete · June 18 at 2:43 pm
After some time debating whether I want to truly commit to selling cars, I am moving forward. I have an interview with a local Kia dealer in the morning. I will be leaning heavily on info I have gleaned from this site. Thanks.
Matt · June 14 at 9:23 pm
I recently got offered a job at a car dealership, they tell me I am young, professional, and have the personality and ability to learn the car business. I like the offer so I took it, any advice for me? What should I know for my first day? Thanks!
KB · June 10 at 1:04 pm
Welcome to the sales side of the car business. Toyota is great place to learn the ropes and it has plenty of opportunity.
Selling the Toyota line will not only help you start your sales career, but it is also a line that you can stay with for the long haul.
Read over the posts and articles right here on the site to get yourself familiar with the high paying side of selling cars for a living.
ray vrba · June 9 at 7:20 am
I am starting at a local toyota dealership next week …I have over 20 years in sales and customer service, but this will be the first time selling cars…any advice?
KB · June 7 at 7:15 am
I can understand your dilemma, but based on what you are saying about your past selling experience it sounds like you would be a natural.
However, if you are going to make the change you should make sure you have some savings set aside for the first few months.
I have always said that the first few months are the toughest. Your technical background can be asset and give you an edge when it comes to selling cars.
But ultimately this something you need to decide and if you do decide to make the change be sure you give 100% and the time it takes to be successful.
Joseph · May 28 at 6:19 pm
Just wanting some advice. I have a wife and 4 kids and used to be a service technician at the dealership I am at and now I am writing service for the same place. I hustle all day and work a ton of hours now but my income is not what I think it should be. One of our young porters made the transition to sales and last month made more than me in service. People in general like me and I have no issues with customers like other advisors. I am thinking about trying to transition to sales as I see how lazy a majority of them are but am just nervous about making a bad move if I do fall flat on my face. I have alot of financial responsibilities and am the sole breadwinner so hopefully you can see my dilemma. Did sell cars for a bad credit used car lot for a year and did alright before I got married. Never at a new car dealership like I work at now though. Thanks in advance.
KB · May 20 at 6:07 pm
Yes, I think a shy single mom could be a successful car salesperson.
You can do it, may others have and you can too!
marie · May 20 at 8:23 am
I am shy, but I know what I want it what it takes to be a great salesperson. I have no problem learning about every vehicle in the lot and doing my homework. I enjoy cars. I also enjoy helping others out. I hate how aggressive most car salesmen(ladies) can be. I visited a dealer last year and found the most perfect approach….the laid back approach. The lady came to us, greeted us, and gave us her card. She said if we have any questions feel free to ask, and that she will be right inside. If I was looking to by a car, I definetly would of sought for her help. It obviously made a big impact…her approach that is…since I remember it to date. I see a local dealership is trying to hire between 6-8 people with no experience. Do think that a shy single mom, can handle this? I am overly trusting, get feelings hurt, but have no problem once engaged in conversation and sales.
KB · May 16 at 9:04 am
You sound like you will do well, especially since you have had a taste of a six figure income.
Age has nothing to do with it, and having a friend that is a GM certainly will be an asset.
There are some similarities to the mortgage business, but it is more about the mindset and you probably already have that based on your previous experience.
So lets move some metal and have some fun!
KB · May 16 at 9:00 am
Spend some time reading the posts on this website and pay close attention to everything that is going on around you. Listen closely to your customers and keep a positive attitude.
You can do, others have and you can too!
KB · May 16 at 8:56 am
Absolutely, you might be even better in the Internet Department.
Goog luck on the interview.
joe · May 16 at 8:04 am
I have an interview with a car dealership and I have no experience in car sales. I am 23 and got my first job as soon as I turned 18 and have been working there every since. I have been promoted a few times making double than what i started with. I have electronic retail sales experience but is that enough to land the job?
KB · May 15 at 7:56 pm
If a six figure car salesman income sounds good to you, the car business is the place.
It may take you a few months to get the hang of it all, but after that the opportunity is here.
Samer H. · May 15 at 2:17 am
I worked as a sales person before in tourism and now I am working in new country ( Qatar-Doha) in sales too, but in a huge company for rental Vehicles. i want to know how to really be good in this field and what is your advise for me about that as how to start and how to reach the top points.
Robb · May 11 at 1:40 pm
Ok so just like everyone else who has posted…I’m very confused. I was recently shopping around for a new car and got approached by one of the managers about a position he ha opened, I’m currently a retail store manager making a salary I know I’ll have every paycheck. And it’s a pretty nice penny. He told me that he knew I could do it and that he doesn’t say that to everyone…not sure if that was sales pitch to get me to join the team. It’s a career change that I would be willing to take! I guess my question is just starting out how easy it to make good money, is the car industry a lot like retail where the new guy gets pushed aside? Thanks!
Matt · May 10 at 5:51 pm
I am thinking of making a move into car sales with a very successful dealerhip group. I will be shooting to be fast tracked to the Internet Sales side if everything works out. I have been in sales for the better part of 20 years. Most of my career has been in the mortgage industry. I must admit I have always had an aversion to car salesman. That being said, the GM I will be working for has been a personal friedn of mine for 20 years and I have seen his success from finance into the GM position. I am in my 40’s and I want to get back to making six figures again, have flexiblity and I am willing to give up my weekends. Have you seen a successful transition from mortgages to sales and also what advice would give for a guy in his 40’s with an open mind. Thanks!
KB · May 10 at 7:23 am
Sounds like you are ready to make the move.
The big difference between floor sales and Internet sales is that you will only sell to customers that you brought in through the Internet.
Get in there now because that is the direction it is headed.
Dealerships that operate a good Internet Department get more than half their business via the Internet.
Time to step up, move some metal and make some real money.
KB · May 9 at 7:18 am
You should be able to work less hours and make more money selling cars for a living.
Twelve hour days (known as bell to bell) are not uncommon in the car business, but not all week. Usually 2 or 3 bell to bell days at most.
KB · May 9 at 7:11 am
The quickest way to get respect and move into management is to sell lots of cars consistently month after month.
Then once your sales are consistent let upper management know your intentions.
Gil · May 7 at 3:01 pm
I’m looking into cars sales and have a couple of questions. I keep hearing about long hours …. what are long hours? I work 12 hours a day now 7-7. I’m a retail store manager and the company I have worked for the last 10 years have been slowly changing. More micro managing and bounses are harder to hit. I make 48 base. Can I have a life and make the same in the car business.
Clint · May 4 at 4:01 am
I am just about to complete a 3 day training seminar with National Auto Academy and starting with a dealership Monday. I have 18 years of selling/management experience in a completely different industry. However my experience has taught me how to sell in every situation possible. I LOVE cars and currently have a great job. Actually I know more about the cars that I am about to sell; than the current salesmen know. Ok here is my question – I am not concerned about selling the cars – what types of things can get me fast tracked into more of the management position?
James · May 3 at 3:44 pm
I have worked at a car dealership for the better part of 4 years. I do back-of-house accounting, sales commissions and recently became the facebook administrator. However, I was just offered a position as internet salesman and am currently thinking it over. What are the main differences between floor selling and internet selling? I was capped at a certain income level working the office and am really looking forward to having a “sky’s the limit” income.
KB · May 1 at 7:11 pm
So I didn’t get to your question sooner.
How did it go?
KB · May 1 at 7:09 pm
Maybe you should jump in and give it a try over the summer.
KB · April 29 at 5:50 am
You are young and that would be a great time to check out the car business.
You won’t find a better time to do it and you might love the job and make some great money.
You might be surprised how many people started out like you and today they have a great career with a nice income.
KB · April 29 at 5:46 am
I actually do not know anyone that went from being a police officer to car salesman.
There is certainly a lot of money to be made in the car business, but the benefits are different at every dealership.
A far as there being a norm or average pay for the sales person, there is no such thing because skill, experience, drive and determination are the things that will determine your success.
Arturo G. · April 28 at 4:17 pm
Read this info as i’m getting closer to graduate and am thinking of career possiblities. I love cars and know alot of cars for my age. At least I like to think so. I am very good with people and can mask the emotions when needed with the thick skin. I am looking into car sales because although college is important, I don’t feel it is for me. I also speak english and spanish. Is there any other information that can be given to me besides any training?
chance · April 25 at 11:26 pm
I am a 20 year old sales associate at a gas station recently a car salesman came into my store he saw how good of a salesman i am and told me to put in an application at the dealership he works at some of my regulars was in there and said i should do it … i’m just nervous i have sold a lot of things but never life changing like a car….. i’m confused
Joe · April 25 at 5:23 pm
Hello. I have a couple questions about being a Car Salesman. I am now a Police Officer working nights, every weekend, every holiday, etc.. for the last 10 yrs. I have four kids and right now with O.T I make a little over 40,000. I deal with all kinds of People all of the time and feel that,I can read people very well. I am thinking about a career change into the field of selling cars. I want to get into something making a lot more money and spending more time with my family. Do you know any other P/O’s who have left their job to become a successful car salesmen? Right now my income and benefits are set. What’s the typical benefits a salesman gets with his family? I know every dealership is different, but is there a norm or close to a norm.
Michael · April 25 at 10:14 am
Hello I’m actually in a waiting room waiting to be interviewed for a sale position at lexis. I am a 29 year old black male with restaurant management and hospitality background. I am also a hospitality major in school. My question to you is does my background in hospitality serv as an asset for interviews in the future. And secondly what should I build on to be a more appealing candidate.
KB · April 24 at 7:45 am
I hope you do well. Age is not a factor when hiring sales people and in fact it can be an asset.
Show Them How It’s Done
KB · April 24 at 7:42 am
You don’t need to be pushy, rude and aggressive to make it big in car sales.
Stop thinking about the car salesperson in the stereotypical way that most of the public does and start thinking about being a professional salesperson.
Things have changed in the car business and that is what this website is all about.
I hope you get the job and discover that selling cars for a living is a career to be proud of and not one of shame.
Best of Luck
Colleen · April 23 at 6:24 pm
I have an interview tomorrow at a dealership. I have never sold cars before, and it is something that I thought I’d never attempt. I am quite excited at the prospect of it, and I definitely think it’ll be a good learning experience for me, but I am nervous. While I no doubt will stand up for myself and can be assertive, I am no shark and I’m not an aggressive person. I am very empathetic (much like Miss Nice Guy in the comment above), but I am less trusting of people than I used to be. I really enjoy working with people and answering questions that they have and trying to help them, but I’m just wondering how successful I will be in this particular endeavor. I hate pushy salespeople, and I am about to attempt to become the epitome of that very thing.
What am I thinking??
If nothing else, at least the interview will be a good experience.
Do nice guys ever make it?
karen · April 23 at 5:56 am
I am going for an interview today, I am 52 yrs old have been in sales for over 25yrs. Do they hire older people all I see up here are very young. I have never sold cars but would like to try thanks for all your advice.
KB · April 15 at 9:49 am
That is decision you have to make.
Being bilingual should give you a definite advantage when it comes to selling cars.
It sounds like you would be a good candidate for a car salesman based on you side activities.
juan · April 11 at 10:08 am
I am 23 years old I am fluent in Spanish and English and I’ve been thinking about joining the businesses right now I have a office job that pays 35k but I love selling things I buy and sale cars motorcycles boats or whatever I can make a few extra $$$$$ should I quit my job to be a salesman is it worth the money
KB · April 10 at 4:46 pm
Relax, everyone is nervous at first even if they don’t show it.
Learn all you can and lighten up. You can do it, others have and you can too!
ceaira · April 10 at 6:50 am
I start training for honda soon and I am nervous this is my first car sales job. I am a college student.
KB · April 3 at 6:11 pm
It is a great opportunity for you to get a taste of the car business. CarMax usually operates differently than most dealerships, but at least you will get the idea.
Brittany · April 2 at 3:04 pm
I recently got a call from Carmax and landed an interview. I am looking for summer work (I’ll be home from the end of April to the beginning of September). I know a little about cars, but love talking to people and can be very persuasive. Do you think this is a good opportunity for me?
KB · April 1 at 5:41 am
College is always a good thing and can help in many aspects of selling and relating to people. The more education you have the better off you will be in many aspects of your life and it could open more opportunities to you in the car business beyond selling. However it is not required to make a six figure income as a car salesman.
Lucas · March 29 at 6:18 pm
Hello I am a student at a collegiate high school (For the “nerds”)
And I have always been a petrol head wanting to work with cars, but not put in the hard labor. I am very persuasive and I am a master at masking emotions as well as getting answers. I read in your text that I do not need any college but im wondering if a AA degree will help my situation as well as will it help with my teachings of how to sell cars and make the big payout If you could help i would much appreciate it thanks.
KB · March 25 at 11:55 am
Thanks for writing JJ,
You sound like you are a natural. If you are looking for a college that understands the business Northwoods in Michigan is fantastic. http://www.northwood.edu/mi/academics/automotivemarketingmanagementbba/. Keep stopping by for more in being a car salesman and careers in the car business. I will be putting more focus on internet sales this year.
JJ Daniel · March 23 at 9:02 am
I am wanting to pursue a career in this type of field. I am a very intellegent person, have great persuasive skills, and I love interacting with people. I am a student at Griffin High School, but about to graduate. I have always been told I should go into marketing or being a lawyer, but law is not me. So if you could give me a few pointers for college choices and jobs, please email me and it would help deeply.
KB · March 14 at 7:24 am
Hi Miss Nice Guy,
It should start to get a little easier after 3 months. Sure you could call it quits, but how much will you earn selling Teddy Bears or anything else for that matter.
The car business is about taking the good with the bad. It is a numbers game. Look at the big picture.
If they can’t buy, move on and get the next customer. It is about your month, not your customer.
You have to learn to shrug it off and get the next one. Even the top car salesmen and car saleswomen get the time wasters.
Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. People with bad credit know they have bad credit. Get them to open up and talk.
Ask them questions and listen to their answers, they will usually reveal their problems with credit.
It will get easier!!!
Keep on working on it and observe some of the top salespeople for clues.
You can do it!
Miss Nice Guy · March 8 at 9:32 pm
Hey everyone. I am on my 3rd month of car sales… let me say it has been a rollercoaster ride. I am 25 yr old blonde female who is also a spokesperson for my dealership – meaning I do the TV and radio commercials. I have years of experience with appliance sales. I am enthusiastic, energetic, fun, & outgoing…however, I am probably one of the most empathetic people you will ever meet. I am unsure if I will be able to continue selling cars if I become so emotionally attached to people and believe every word they say. It is hard for me to not believe them since I am very gullible. My GM thinks I am great and he loves the idea of how I am the “anti-salesperson” but he doesnt know that I am sometimes at the brink of tears when my sales can’t be closed because a customer lied to me about their credit situation, etc. I spend hours helping people with low credit scores or unrealistic expectations. Should I just give up on this and go get a job selling teddy bears?? I know I can be successful, I just need that thick skin and the right way to sift out the time-wasters I seem to attract. ADVICE PLEASE!!
KB · February 21 at 8:10 pm
When starting off the best ones are usually the ones that get more showroom traffic.
usually Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Nissan are good choices.
Thomas · February 18 at 8:03 pm
Hi. Like many guys in their younger twenty’s, Im trying to find a career that best suits me. I have looked and looked and everything in my area is basically a “all work and no pay” or pencil pushing jobs. I have found out that I am a people person and love to be around all kinds of people. I tend to better if I can make them laugh. Now with that being said, my work history consist of a temporary medical records job that lasted 3 months and majored in business administration in high school. Do you think I would be a good choice as a salesman? Which auto company would you think would be best? (I.E Ford, Chevrolet, VW, Audi, etc)
KB · February 14 at 7:16 pm
I am currently working on my new book that covers all those things and more. It should be available this Spring.
KB · February 14 at 7:02 pm
You forgot to mention that you can make even more selling cars.
Ryan · February 10 at 7:18 pm
I have been selling since 2008. I am now 26 years old. I have no college education. I drive a 2012 Chrysler 300, wear a suit everyday and love what I do. This is the only job in the world where a guy like me can make $70,000 a year with only the gift of gab. You mention a lot of very true things about the business. Which is a relief due to almost every other website being totally wrong about the guys in the car business. Thank you for that and good luck!
Grace · February 9 at 12:06 pm
Any ideas in getting clients? Flyers, Social Networking, Etc……..
KB · February 9 at 8:08 am
Sounds like you have a background that would serve you well in the car business. Read all of the posts and articles on the website here and then jump in with both feet if you are still ready to sell car for a living.
James K · February 8 at 2:10 am
i have always been interested in selling cars, farm equip, etc, every since my grandfather, a veteran of the industry for 25+ years. But since I have never done anything like that other than sell my own, I am nervous, but that also drives me as well because I really like learning. I was wondering if you had some advice for me, I am a people person, I don’t mind working hard long hours if needed, I have a general knowledge of cars, pickup, etc. I am able to get along with everyone I work with or have worked with, I am always striving to do better, I’m not the type to just settle. I’m a very driven, motivated person, as well as goal oriented. I also don’t quit, very stubborn. I’m very interested in the income potential obviously as well as the experience. Do you think I have what it takes? any pointers or tips?
KB · January 31 at 8:33 pm
A job as a car salesman can be a good and stable job if you can sell cars.
As far as getting fired that is easy to do at any job.
josh g. · January 28 at 3:07 pm
Hello I want to know if being a car salesman at the age of 18 is good job and if its a stable job, also how easy it is to get fired?
KB · January 26 at 9:12 am
Sounds like a the car business might be a good fit, but that is up to you.
You don’t need experience, most dealers will train you.
As far as the minimum income, it could be less than minimum wage.
However, you need to adjust your thinking because you could be making a six figure car salesman income.
Start thinking about the possibility of making big bucks and stop thinking about the worst possible outcome.
KB · January 25 at 5:56 pm
it is really up to you. Are you happy with your current 40 hour a week job and are you satisfied with the money you are making?
You have to decide.
tmac · January 23 at 6:17 pm
Will changing carrers be a wise choise for me who works a steady 40 hr work week ? I rent my own place with my fiancee would seeling cars be a wise carreer move if i live with my family?
KB · January 22 at 7:15 am
Sounds like you are on top of it, be yourself and you should do well.
Amanda · January 20 at 10:11 pm
I’m looking for advice. I’m attending college and need a job. Just found out my local Subaru/Hyandai dealership is hiring. I have zero sales experience, but what I do have is a love for cars, especially Subaru. I own 2 Subarus my self and have the Subaru world rally logo tattooed on my outer thigh. I’m very professional in appearance with no visible tattoos. I do have a lot of car knowledge as my dad is a master mechanic and owns his own shop. He taught me how to fix cars growing up. After highschool I spent 9 years on active duty in the Marines as a truck driver and was honorably discharged this past August. My enthusiasm for Subaru is all the motivation I need, the military has certainly given me thick skin as well as bearing and determination and..,I mean not to sound cocky, but I’m really hot too! I’ve already picked some business attire. I’m going in person to the dealership tomorrow. I’m just wondering what you think my best approach would be?
KB · January 17 at 6:00 pm
The right attitude is one of the important aspects of being a car salesperson and it sounds like you have that.
What is holding you back?
KB · January 17 at 5:58 pm
jesse · January 15 at 7:04 pm
I have worked many factory jobs but nothing makes me happier than working with cars. I went to school to fix cars. but i like to do that on the side not as a profession. I do not have any sales experience. The only thing I have going for me is that I work hard. I like to work long hours. I get along great with everyone I have ever worked with, and I am a very patient person. Do you think I would have a chance?
KB · January 11 at 1:56 pm
Thanks for writing. If you are going to do it then you need to jump in with both feet. You are right that there is more to it than being pretty. Now is a great time to start selling, this should be a good year and I am sure you would be glad to make more money.
Read over the posts and articles here and then lets get going! Both feet no looking back, only ahead to a brighter future, fun and big money.
Lizz · January 9 at 12:13 pm
Well im actually a receptionist at a car dealership and they had offered me a job as a sales rep, but I didn’t get into it. They told me that I’m “pretty” enough to be a great sales chick, which obviously thats not the only thing necessary! I am seriously thinking of becoming a sales rep now! I don’t know if I should or shouldn’t. Any tips?
Mark · January 6 at 1:19 pm
I have been a car salesman since i was 16 (I am 21 now), I started off selling new Nissans. Then I moved to a used yard and now I am selling Mitsubishi. As the article says selling cars takes no qualifications (I only completed the first 3 years of high school) if you have a good attitude, are clean and presentable, and follow up your customers you will succeed.
Just dont be afaird to ask if they want to buy the car, if you DON’T ask the questions you won’t get a answer!
That is true, but every dealer has different requirements.
KB · December 14 at 7:47 pm
Best of luck to you and by the way you can earn six figures selling cars.
Joe · December 14 at 3:25 pm
Hey I just got hired at a local nissan dealer. Its the largest in our county actually but I have never sold cars I’m really nervous. I’ve read a lot about salesmen making six figures but that’s not what I’m expecting to make however I am very curious about the business and plan to use this job to move up the ranks. I’m very confused on the pay and how this works also when can I expect to make a decent living in this field of work. I’m on the verge of losing my house and with my minimal expirence in sales is there any possiblity that this can save my house or am I barking up the wrong tree given my situation. I’ve got lots of confidence and great customer service skills but I know there’s a lot more to it then a big smile. Any how I can ask questions all day so I’ll end it here thanks
KB · December 7 at 12:47 pm
Sounds like a good dealership if they stick around that long. You are going to have to work a little harder and do a little extra until you are excepted as one of the crew. Earning their respect is the key to being accepted and the way to do that is sell cars.
KB · December 7 at 12:44 pm
Thanks for your input, but I know many people that make six figures selling what you call the big three from Japan. The point is that it possible no matter what brand you sell.
Wordtowise · December 7 at 6:21 am
First, nissan honda toyota sell a lot of cars….however, at no profit thats what we call minis. The buyers (typically foreigners) negotiate your eyeballs out(grinders) only to make 100 150 and some places 75. That being said the product to sell is luxury cars ,econo lines like kia and hot hot hyundai ,or good ole american. Reason being luxury cars lease more (affulent educated buyer knows what they want and what u make dont matter). Toyota honda nissan aka big 3. The buyers seem hell bent on beating the dealer (which never happens) salespeople lose and they lose time they will never get back often for 100 200 bucks. American car buyers want what they want period done deal…..sometimes easy sometimes not. Econo, just gives you all the suckers and poor folks (goldmine if you get paid off f&i) but alot of strokers(browsers). If you have patenice thick skin and think quick on you feet you will make at least 50k. Also alot of dealers have 43hr week instead of 60+. 10+yrs exp
ndautomall · December 6 at 5:05 pm
I have been in the business for about 6 months now at a very intense dealership that has an average of 20 years experience for everyone on the sales staff. I’m only 20 myself and so surrounded by sales experience that I’m only moving around 7 a month compared to everyone else’s 15 or 20. Any tips to compete with the season vets?
KB · November 23 at 7:58 am
Sounds like you are thinking in the right direction.
Keep me posted.
KB · November 23 at 7:55 am
It sounds like you are ready.
Squadfather · November 22 at 6:18 pm
This article has given me a lot to think about. I currently work in an office, but am seeking to earn more money. I have contacted Carmax because they often hire sales consultants on a part-time basis. Sort of “testing the waters.”
Yet, I am beginning to think that such an arrangement might be an exercise in futility. Your point about “are you sure” keeps coming back to me.
I suppose the car business is an all or nothing type of thing. I hear people say “don’t burn bridges,” but don’t armies burn bridges behind them sometimes? Knowing there is no retreat makes a soldier stand and fight.
Sorry for rambling.
Travis · November 22 at 12:42 pm
I am thinking of becoming a car salesman in a few years (when the economy picks up) and I think its my calling, my true job that will last a lifetime and I currently work as a cashier in a major store here in Ireland so I think I have the right attitude towards people and be able to deal with them but what worries me is how much I have to learn about all the cars, it is difficult to take it all in and memories. BTW I am 18 at the moment.
Chad · November 18 at 12:33 am
Thanks, I’ve called several dealerships, and they’ve all told me 21. I have yet to find one that says 18. If you don’t mind me asking what type of dealership do you work at? Just curious.
KB · November 16 at 1:56 pm
Your best bet might be contacting orphan customers.
KB · November 16 at 1:52 pm
There aren’t any that will make a difference. As far as what age do you need to be a car salesman, some dealerships require you to be 18 and others 21. I like your attitude.
Good Luck Chad
chad · November 13 at 11:32 pm
Are there any type of college courses you think I should take to help me become a car salesman? I know a lot about cars, and would love to work at a dealership. It is my dream job. Also, what age do most dealerships hire? I’ve put in two app. at to different dealerships.
BigChris · November 13 at 9:29 pm
Hey Guys. I’m just starting out (again) selling cars. My dealership has very little floor traffic/ some inbound call traffic. Whats my chances of survival here. I want to start prospecting on my own, flyers, cold calls. What do y’all think? Do I have a shot or should I move on.
KB · November 6 at 6:57 pm
Selling 30 cars month is fantastic but it is hard to keep up that pace. My biggest month ever was 31 cars in a month. Volume is one thing but gross is very important so as far as whether you should change to a higher volume dealership really depends on you and the kind of you are making at your current dealership.
Sami H · November 3 at 8:48 pm
I hear people talking about selling upwards of 30 cars a month on this board (I’m sure you have before), but at my dealership, 15 is considered a very high number.
Should I be looking to move into a place where it is higher volume? I have only been working a week and a half, but I can already tell you barely have 40 fresh-ups in a month, let alone cars sold!!!
Zac · November 1 at 6:29 pm
I have been selling cars now for about 5 months doing pretty good for new in business averaging about 11 cars a month but I find I am loosing alot of sales when demoing the vehicle and when I’m closing the deal any tips for demonstrating and closing??
KB · October 26 at 11:25 am
It does sound like a great opportunity!
Give a try!
Bradley · October 26 at 11:23 am
Yes KB, I’m thinking about selling cars. I’ve always been great with customers and seem to have a knack for building raport with people. I know that this would transition well in to car sales, but like alot of people, I am worried about the commission aspect. I read all over this board though about people making so much after a few months and I get remotivated again. I had an interview today and will be calling them on Friday to see if they have made any decisions. I already have an idea list of candidates to market too.
KB · October 26 at 11:05 am
Are you thinking about selling cars? If you are not quite ready to jump in to selling on the floor maybe the Internet Sales department would suit you well.
Bradley · October 26 at 10:55 am
Hey KB, I’ve worked 7 years in a call center and now 3 years in the banking industry. I deal with rates and credit scores on a weekly basis. I’ve lived off a salary for years so I’m a hesitant to get out there and live off commission. But I need something that has unlimited potential for income.
Mitchel · October 17 at 4:33 pm
My dad is opening a car dealership, he said I could sell cars for him. To me, it sounds like a great opportunity, any tips?
KB · October 13 at 5:24 pm
You definitely have a shot at selling cars for a living, but you need to find the right dealership.
Esteban · September 26 at 10:12 am
Hello KB, I was just wondering what kind of shot I had at becoming a car salesman? I turn 20 next week, serve at a restaurant 4 days a week (would obviously quit to become car salesman), and go to community college in Monday-Tursday in the mornings. I also know a lot about cars for my age. Thank you.
KB · July 26 at 5:20 pm
Some require that you are 18 years old and some require 21 years old.
Pete · July 22 at 2:46 pm
is there an age limit for when you can start selling cars? i’m only 16 at the moment.
KB · June 5 at 12:27 pm
From what you are saying it sounds like Toyota or Nissan are your best bet.
Mike · June 5 at 11:40 am
I am ready to sale cars, I have been selling all my life so cars seem easy as long as you have people to talk with that come in. If you make them your friend and let them talk people will buy.
I really need help on finding the right dealer. I am in Orange County ca so we have a ton of dealers and all styles of cars. I figure the more people that come in the more you can sale but not sure if you can make higher splits at smaller dealers so it all works out as well.
So far sounds like vw pays around $100 to $500 a car
Toyota is 20%
Nissian is 30% with 10% on the back
we also have high end $300,000 cars here as well to sale.
I am looking at making $10,000 a month
If you can hand pick the dealer you want to work at what would it be and why?
Or better yet break down the high end dealer the small dealer the big dealers into what you think splits look like.
It’s hard to talk with the dealer they say anything to get you to come on with them.
Toyota told be I would be talking with 15 up’s a day. That seems pretty high to me. Other small dealers said they sold 70 cars in the month and I was thinking I want to sell 40 cars just myself. Not sure how you could make any money at a small dealer like that.
KB · May 22 at 6:21 am
Follow up is a good practice for as long as it takes to keep them happy and to provide you with referrals for more customers now and in the future.
KB · May 22 at 6:18 am
Sounds like you have tried everything else, you might as well sell some cars.
KB · May 22 at 6:15 am
It really depends on the type of conviction and the policy of the dealership.
KB · May 21 at 8:07 pm
Sounds like you have the ability. Just make sure you stick it out until it gets easier and the the big money will come.
John · May 18 at 4:52 pm
Hey, wow this article really made me want to get involved, I Once was going to be a carsales man but I never Went for it I just doubted it…But I think I’m going to look into it now!
MY buddy here is asking if carsales jobs conduct Background tests? he has a misdemeanor conviction well 2 of them. so do you think that would ex-spell him from getting a job with a car dealer in California? THANK!
Dee · May 18 at 4:42 am
Ok hubbys a car sales man and I was looking through his phone and I see he texted some girl he sold a car to 3 months ago asking how is everything do salesman check up on customers like that? Or should I assume he is trying to make conversation? I always thought once deal was done u was good to go .
Garrett · May 17 at 7:06 pm
Published a book when I was 15, determined to make money. Got screwed on royalties but I still pushed on, buying my own books at my discount price and reselling them at book signings and going door to door. Since then I’ve worked as a sales manager at a carpet and air duct cleaning business, worked 72 hours a week traveling selling steak products door to door, been a customer sales rep at radio shack, worked factories and hauled wood, bought and resold cars on my own. Good times. My situation is, I’m unemployed and low on funds as of three days ago. Got two car dealership offers, or I can start up my own air duct cleaning business cuz I got the equipment. I could make 400 to 800 per job, however, I’ve always wanted to dive into car sales. What would you do in my situation, and what advice could you give me?
kimber · May 13 at 4:37 pm
hey! i just got hired at a ford dealership on wedneday, and i start this monday. i had came from a job as a salesperson at family video and was actually the number one salesperson in the company (out of 65,000 people). i am not worried about my sales capability, just really about how many people actually buy cars and whether or not i will make money? and, im not sure how all the paperwork stuff is done… will i be taught thorougly how to figure all of this out? just stressing about everything! i am only a 20 year old female. haha
Mo Money · May 3 at 7:13 pm
Thanks KB. I am still a green pea in the car business and most of my sales were “one whack willies” as they say. Holding on a person’s trade can really add commission and, if they argue about the worth of their trade, they are not focus on a discount anymore so it gives you more commission either way you look at it.
KB · April 30 at 8:35 pm
Hi Mo Money
Thanks for the comments.
Great job 25K in 4 months…..You are on track to make a six figure income selling cars.
Mo Money · April 29 at 2:05 pm
I have been in the car business for roughly 4 months and have made roughly 25 k so far.
I was a street vendor for 6 years, straight out of high school, selling tennis shoes and clothing on street corners. I made good money doing it but Memphis stopped selling permits and started giving me problems.
Anyway, all sales are the same, whether you sell cars or candy. It’s all about attitude and product knowledge.
You have to ”control” your customer in a sense that you need to know what you are doing. Little things such as walking IN FRONT of the customer when leading them to where you want them to follow you. Never ask yes or no questions and never stutter when you speak.
Don’t have a lot of time to give more advice but hope this helps someone.
KB · April 20 at 8:14 am
You can open your own store, many have and done quite well.
KB · April 20 at 8:12 am
I have always said that the first 90 days are the hardest. Just keep that it mind because you are learning with every customer you work with whether they sell or not. Keep your head in the game.
KB · April 20 at 8:06 am
Sounds like you might do well in the car business.
Not all dealers require open to close six days a week. I only work 5 days and refuse to work six and those 5 days are not open to close. Pick a good dealership and that won’t be an issue. However it is mot unusual to work 50 hours a week.
Phylisia · April 19 at 7:18 pm
I currently having a banking sales job and am required to bring in certain numbers a month which would be fine if i liked the products…i have a real fascination with cars and help all my male and female friends and coworkers buy there cars people always tell me I am very persuasive and have the gift of gab but I am scared to take the plunge of switching to an all commission job i have a new baby and also am worried about all the hours people complain about do you know if it is completely necessary to work from open to close and 6 days a week? i really want to do this career switch just nervous…some advice pleeeeasssee!!!
Mike · April 18 at 10:39 am
I was just hired to start selling cars at a pretty slow store about a week ago and was okay to start selling roughly 2 days ago. I just had my first possible sale walk out on me due to being upside down on his mortgage and couldn’t shell out for the monthly payments. Any recommendations on how to stay motivated when things like this happen?
ac · April 18 at 9:46 am
love the site have learned a lot already, is it better to work at a big name dealer or a small used car dealer just the same? i have a goal to open my own used dealership, and looking to get experience and sell cars also thanks.
KB · April 13 at 12:57 pm
You don’t need experience to start selling cars. The money can be great and the dealer will train you. You are young enough to where you could make a great career as a car saleswoman, but it is not like selling anything else.
Lindsey George · April 13 at 11:18 am
I recently just bought a Brand new 2011 vw jetta and the guy who helped me was so nice. I never once felt pushed into anything and he let me drive the car for as long as I wanted. I work in sales for AT&T selling phones and home products and I make very decent money, but I’m always striving for more. It’s an hourly plus commission job. I was wondering if car sales get the same kind of thing or if it’s just commission. I’m the top sales woman in my store and have been ever since I got here and I came in not knowing a thing about cell phones so Im thinking I would be good at selling cars with the proper training. Just nervous to try as I am only 20 years old and have no background in cars. Thanks!
KB · March 16 at 7:16 am
I wish I could tell you that you have what it takes, but everyone is different. The right attitude and the desire is main thing that will ensure your success, but it is up to you.
KB · March 16 at 7:07 am
Car sales are actually on the rise and the industry predictions say it should continue to climb slowly for the next or more years.
Paul · March 14 at 6:10 pm
Currently an account manager for a large beverage company. Looking to switch careers. Just worried about the economy and rising gas prices. Do you think car sales will take a plunge?
phillip larsen · March 9 at 5:45 pm
I am currently working and making over 50k a year as a BICSI cable technician but I always enjoyed being a salesman. I have a degree in Finance and while at school, supplemented my income by working odd sales jobs such as selling scooters, insurance, financial plans and for-ex options. I made my retirement dollars while working overseas and I always wanted to know if I can become a great car salesman. I heard stories about car salesman that would turn over my dad’s grave but I still find myself attracted to the business. What is your opinion? Do I have what it takes?
KB · March 8 at 6:11 pm
That is a great income for a 21 year old, but wouldn’t six figures be nicer.
You weekly check won’t be the same every week on commission, but make a lot more each year sure would be nice. Right?
Mike · March 2 at 1:47 pm
I am currently in a job that I make $45,000 a year. I am only 21 years old with a high school degree only. Many would say that 45K a year for someone my age is good but I want more. I always have the hunger for more and more money. I am currently in sales and everyone I help loves me. Here is my problem. I am very stressed at my job and want something new. I think I am worth more than my $650 dollar check a week. A friend of mine introduced me to a Honda dealership manager and he offered me a job. No salary just pure commission. I have steady bills that come in weekly. How big of a risk would it be leaving my job now and jumping into the car BUSINESS? The manager said that the location is very busy and that if I am motivated I should be able to make 6 figures my first year. This is just a very hard decision obviously risking going from steady income to all commission….what are your thoughts?
Scott · February 24 at 8:16 am
Thanks got the job 😀
KB · February 23 at 7:21 pm
Thanks for stopping Scott and Good Luck.
Sounds like you have some street smarts, you will probably do great.
Scott · February 19 at 9:09 am
I have served 5 years in the army, had my own taxi business and now in security. iv got a job interview to be a salesman on Tuesday I just hope I don’t crumble and keep searching online what kind of questions ill get asked?
I want this job more than anything and make a career out of it. I’m only 24 and just hope my nerves don’t get the better of me!
KB · February 7 at 3:20 pm
Give it a shot. You have to start somewhere.
MT · February 3 at 10:58 pm
I’m 18 and I graduate from high school this year, and I want to get a full-time job as a car saleswoman. I have no prior sales experience, and my job experience includes internships in scientific research and I was a horseback riding instructor. I was wondering if I have a chance at being a car saleswoman being so young and not having prior sales experience? I have always been good at working with people, and I think I could make a good car saleswoman.
KB · January 30 at 7:40 am
Don’t stop because on dealerships passed on you.
Your age can give you a real advantage and many will be willing to give you a shot.
I think you should go for it. Apply as several dealers until one hires you. You will be gals you did.
Butch · January 28 at 8:28 am
Good morning. I have been interested in a career as a car salesman, and even had an interview at a dealership (but didn’t get the job).
I am one of the many laid-off I.T. guys out there and figured I would branch out into a new career, and basically re-invent myself at age 50. I have the desire and motivation to become a car salesman. I am wondering if dealers would risk taking a chance on me, given that I have zero experience and come from the I.T. industry.
Thanks for any advice you can provide.
KB · January 20 at 7:29 am
You might ask about orphan customer of sales people that have left, sometimes you can find a few gold nuggets there.
Your scenario sounds like the issue of respect that I cover in the book.
Keep pushing Joe, you can do it.
Joe · January 8 at 10:01 am
Hi KB, I lost my job in September of 2010 and began looking for a job. I saw an ad for a local car dealership and decided what the heck what do I have loose. I have a background in restaurant management but have always wanted to be in the sale side of it. I got hired on at this dealership back in December. Have been there for a month and sold 5 cars. I ran into a problem the other day with the floor manager, wherein I had a customer that I had been working with for about two weeks and knew what he was looking for. We had just gotten some new vehicles in and they were under the canopy of the service area. I asked my floor manager if I could show one to him and he then called another salesperson over and proceed to give my customer to that salesperson. That salesperson did the exact same thing that I did with this customer as far as showing him what we had, etc. The floor manager let the other salesman take the customer out in one of the vehicles that I had asked to show the customer. What the heck? I really want to make it in this business, so can you suggest any marketing tools that I can use to get more customers besides just the walk ins that the dealership gets. The dealership works in that whoever gets the customer first, it is their customer. Thanks!
KB · January 5 at 8:19 am
Go for it. It is loaded with opportunity and all about connecting with the customer. The best part is that you determine how much you want to make. I have have known people with similar backgrounds that are making six figures a year.
Michael · December 30 at 4:08 pm
Hey there KB. I’ve been looking into becoming a car salesmen to support my family. Tired of working these dead-beat $290 a week jobs. So far my job experience includes one big box retail store which I was at for nearly 3 years(At the time I talked plenty of customers into buying things they didn’t even come in there for, or intended on buying), and had a few customers that had me drug out of the back or from the floor to ring them up…to put it simply, they didn’t want to deal with anyone else.
Other than that I was a Security Guard for a year, then worked at my most soul destroying job, a gas station, for about five months.
How do you think I’d fare in the auto sales industry?
KB · December 22 at 8:38 am
Perfect, the customers will respect you more and your life experiences will help you sell more cars.
50 is not too old to start selling cars, unless think it is. 50 is a good age to start making a six figure income.
You can do it.
Joe M · December 21 at 7:07 pm
Hi, I am tired of factory work! I know there is good money to be made selling cars. I really like being around people, and everyone thinks that i’m a really nice guy. My only concern is am i too old to be hired as a car salesman? I just turned 50.
KB · November 24 at 6:53 am
Welcome to the business Christopher,
Try to relax and remember that you are just talking to people and people buy from people.
Be yourself, listen closely to your customers and watch the other salesmen and learn. Sounds like you have a lot going for you, slow down and learn from your mistakes. There is something to be learned from every customer so analyze Up that you take and adjust accordingly.
Christopher · November 23 at 8:51 pm
Hey I start on the floor tomorrow, and Im pretty nervous. I have gone through a whole bunch of video training, a salesman trainer and the dealerships personal own training. I actually know the selling process then better the salesman on the floor and im bilingual. My managers think Im easily going to make a deal my first day if not more. Im bit scared of the pressure and nervous of freezing. Any advice for me?
KB · November 9 at 5:59 pm
I doubt that a sales manager would think that your restaurant background would be a good fit, but that is not very important. They are primarily looking for drive, ambition and enthusiasm.
Your background will help you connect with people which is the most important part or selling cars for a living. I would you go for it because it is something you love. When you something that you are passionate about you stand a much better chance of being a successful car salesman.
Adrian · November 7 at 6:34 pm
I’ve been a car guy my entire life since I was a little kid, always loved learning about and talking about cars. I’ve been a restaurant general manager for the last 8 years and am burnt out on the restaurant business, so I’m thinking about getting into car sales. Do you think my background will help me get my foot in the door at a dealership? I think I would do really well selling cars, as I have much experience working with all types of people.
KB · August 16 at 7:46 am
The best advice I could give for an interview would be to be yourself, don’t be intimidated by the lack of women in the world of selling cars and be enthusiastic.
Two of the most important things that a sales manager is looking for is a positive attitude and enthusiasm.
Don’t offended if they are unimpressed with your previous sales experience because car sales is different than most other sales experience. However they will train you to use their selling system.
Good luck and let me know how it goes.
Michelle · August 16 at 7:31 am
Hello! I actually have an interview tomorrow at a dealership. I am a woman with some sales experience and my associates degree in Marketing. I am pretty excited about my interview but don’t really know what to expect. I am great with customer service and talking to people, but I refuse to be a high pressure sales person because I am turned off by it. Any advice on my interview and what I can expect from the job? Thanks!
KB · May 5 at 6:47 am
Thanks for stopping.
I think women have the same or better opportunities when selling cars. I am glad to hear of your interest in the car business. Your background sounds like you have broad experience in different areas that would probably be more help than you think.
However, even more important is your ability to connect with people. If you like working with people i think you have a chance to really clean up in the car business and be a great car sales woman.
A major benefit that women have when selling cars is that many people will open up quicker to a car saleswoman than a man which will help you fill their needs better.
Just remember; Two people meet and One gets sold.
Drop me an email anytime with questions or to let me know how it is going.
Angi · May 4 at 5:47 am
How do women fair as a car sales person? I am extremely interested in selling cars, have some sales experience (banking products). I love cars and I love working with people. This has always interested me, but my current skills are in bookkeeping, customer service and clerical duties. I have worked at a motorsports dealership as a F&I manager.
Could you share your thoughts on challenge/success situations a female may experience?
KB · March 21 at 4:22 pm
Thanks for visiting the site.
Congrats on your sales. I think we have another Car Sales professional the can make a six figure income.
Welcome to the business.
Make sure you add your name and emaill address to get notified of new posts.
matt · March 21 at 2:01 pm
Hey great advice! Keep it coming. I am a newbie to the job but so far I absolutely love it. Its no doubt a stressful job. Having a deal fall apart on you that was going to be a $500+ commission is heart wrenching to say the least. But I have been on the floor 3 weeks, sold 10 cars and made over $4000 in commissions. Not to shabby for someone who was used to making $400 a week waiting tables!
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