Whether you are new in the business or you have been selling cars for years setting up the sale is a big part of being successful. As much as the Internet has tried to make the purchase of an automobile a simple transaction we can’t forget how much influence we can have on our customers and ultimately our commissions. We must start to sell our product, our dealership and ourselves at the first contact if you want to make more that a “mini”.

Setting Up the Sale For SuccessI see it everyday, a customer walks in the door with a price quote from your dealer or another car dealership and the car salesman or the Internet Sales Manager does their best to close the deal in a hurry and send them on their way. They assume the customer is sold because the customer has numbers on a specific car. The car salesperson will shortcut the steps to the sale and tries to make it quick and easy. The meet and greet is weak at best because they are sure that a “mini” is the best they will do. Sometimes they even try to skip the test drive and the walk-around is less than informative or non-existent. They are setting up the sale for failure and if they have any chance at all of selling a car a “mini” is all they will see on their commission report.

If you want to make some money selling cars you need to accept the fact that more and more people will be visiting your dealership with numbers in hand. The Internet has changed the way we sell cars forever and if you are going to make it as a car sales professional you need to change your ways and make the most out of every single customer you see. You need to start setting up the sale for success. Go back to the basics and spend the time with the customer, get to know them and earn their trust and respect. The test drive and the walk-around are important steps and a chance for you to sell and learn your customer’s hot buttons, wants and motivation.

If we treat our car buyers like just another customer we lose and the dealership loses. We can start planting seeds and selling services and accessories before they even select a vehicle. The time we spend with them is how we can influence, guide and direct them. So we can get them to switch cars, models or trim levels, purchase accessories, get the paint and fabric protection package. Start showing, talking about and demonstrating all of your products from the start, but not all at once. Plant the seeds in their mind as you go through the steps of the sale.

Examples of Setting Up the Sale

When they tell you what car they want, compliment their choice and tell them how you sold one like it to a customer a month ago that called you the other day to tell you how much they love their car.

When they pay particular attention to a certain vehicle tell them about the car and the options it has or how much nicer the car looks when it has (an accessory or paint protection).

When you do a service walk with your customer say hello to a service customer (you don’t have to know them) and tell your prospective customer about how they have been coming here for all their service and oil changes for years.

If you walk them past the parts department point out an accessory that many of your customers get with their car and why.

Tell a story about a customer of yours that had the remote start installed and how much they like it and how nice it is in the winter.

When you walk them past a clean and shiny car in service tell them that it belongs to a regular customer (mention a first name) that comes in and gets their car washed for free whenever they are in for service.

When you are on a test drive mention an option or something that the next higher trim level has as standard equipment.

I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the idea with these examples of setting up the sale. Remember an earlier post named “Stories Sell Cars”?

Why You Must Set-Up the Sale

When you walk around the car dealership with your customer and point out regular customers and talk about customers that you have sold you are selling yourself and the dealership and providing third party proof without coming off as a salesman. You are showing and not telling your customer about other people that are happy with you and your dealership and planting the seeds in their mind that will help you sell them a car. Then when it comes time to switch cars, add accessories or other products you can once again mention that specific customer that you mentioned earlier that had an option installed or bought an accessory.

If you are happy putting another sale in the books and getting a “mini” commission check you don’t need to set up the sale, but if you want to make some real money selling cars for a living setting up the sale is the ticket. Treating car buyers with price quotes like a quick sale is a huge mistake, because the Internet is telling them that this is the only way to buy a car today. Take your time, plant the seeds, make a friend, get more referrals and make more money as a car sales professional.

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot


You Really Can Sell More and Make More – “Six Figures Selling Cars” the book.