I might have a bunch of sales managers sending me nasty emails after this post, but it’s something that needs to be said. Most sales managers are after their car salesmen to make appointments all the time and some dealerships will even require their sales people to have an appointment before they can work the floor. That may be extreme, but the car business has changed over the last couple years and generating floor traffic requires more than prospecting, newspaper ads and internet advertising.

If you want to have a successful car sales career you need to take some responsibility for bringing in customers. Whether it is from car sales follow up, prospecting, calling be-backs or all of the above. Bringing customers in to the dealership to see you is the ticket to a six figure income as a car salesman. The natural or most common method is to set car salesman appointments, but that is not what you want to hear. The word appointment is one that everyone understands, but it is not the one that most car buyers want to hear.

Think About the Car Salesman Appointment

Think about the last time you made an appointment to see someone. Was it a doctor, accountant, lawyer or dentist? It probably was, but was there anything good, fun or nice about that appointment? If it was the doctor or the dentist they poked, prodded or inflicted pain upon you and if it was the lawyer or the accountant they gave you their bill which was being poked in a different way. No matter how you look at it the experience is not something you look forward to doing again anytime soon. So why would the car buyer want to make an “APPOINTMENT” with a car salesman? We already have to deal with a bad reputation so who is going to make sure they don’t miss their car salesman appointment.

Stop trying to set car sales appointments and start setting some time aside to show your customer some vehicles. Ask them to stop by so you can show them some cars and provide them with the information they need to make a good decision when they are ready. Ask them to drop by the dealership so you can show them a few options and see what they think. Some people respect the car sales appointment, but I would venture to say that it is less than 5% of your customers.

When you are on the phone with a customer and you start grinding them for an appointment you are just giving them a glimpse of what is to come when they get to the dealership. If they feel any pressure at all to commit to an appointment they may agree, but don’t hold your breath. You can ask which is better today or tomorrow, morning or afternoon, but don’t push them for an exact time unless they want to set a time. Stop using the word “appointment”.

Ok, you got me, that is still a car sales appointment, but stop using that dirty word. Think about “What’s in it for Them” and why they should stop by or drop in. Maybe you could put them in a new car for the same payment, maybe you could lower their payment because of a finance special or you would like to see what they think about the new models. Make it casual, don’t try to sell them  a car before they get in the door. We all know that many things are possible after they “feel the wheel” and smell the new car smell, but first you need them in the door.

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot


Six Figures as a Car Salesman in Your Reach – The Car Salesman Guide


Steve · August 24 at 1:51 pm

New to auto sales? Be very careful which dealer you work for! Go with the BIG volume import stores. Stop by and talk to the salesmen, only work where more are making 100k plus. If you start out with a weak dealer, you might wash out in a in a short time. Auto sales is a great income, IF you work for the right dealer. The job is the same at most dealer, but the income is not……

KB · July 23 at 11:56 am

Hi Sean,

A steady base of sales comes from doing prospecting, follow-up and getting referrals.
It is out there, but you have to get them to come to you!
This will help keep you from feeling that you are on a roller coaster by creating a steady flow traffic and sales.


sean · July 12 at 8:15 am

Post as much as you can please. i have been in the business for 2 months now and I am good with the people skills part i just cant seem to get on a steady base of sales. This is what i need to be successful any ideas?

KB · May 21 at 8:02 pm

Thanks Chad

Welcome to the business.

chad · May 20 at 7:14 am

I’ve read most all these articles and think they are all very true, I’m new to car sales as of about four months ago and have already picked up on for instance the word “appointment” . Successful car sales is plain and simple about not being the stereo typical sleaze ball and the rest falls into place . Awesome website

Comments are closed.