It goes by many names such as the “Take Over”, Turn Over” or “T.O.”, but the premise is the same. When a salesperson has reached a point in the sales process where there is no longer any forward movement and no sales has been made it’s time for the customer to be turned over to another salesperson or sales manager and then they attempt to close the deal. This is a standard practice throughout the industry and one that is taught during your car sales training, although the exact steps vary from dealer to dealer, but the idea is the same.

Most Common Car Sales Take Over Steps

The first and probably the most common procedure for turning over a customer is where the Sale Manager takes over the customer and does their best to wrap it up. An experienced sales manager typically has the authority to cut the price or do whatever is needed to make a deal. Then if they close the sale the salesperson comes back in and delivers the car and gets a full commission. If they fail to close the sale they thank the customer for coming and let them out professionally leaving the door open for them to return.

Car Sales TurnoverMy favorite method for turning over a customer works a little differently and it adds another step to the process. When the first car salesman comes to a point in the negotiation where they can’t close the deal and there is no longer any forward movement such as bumping them the salesperson tells the sales manager to turn them or the sales manager decides to turn them out of the deal. Then the sales manager or desk manager has another salesperson take over the deal. The second salesman takes over the deal and does their best to make a deal. Then if they make a sale they deliver the car and the first salesman collects half a sale and the second collects half a sale. However if they don’t make any progress the deal gets turned to the sales manger like the scenario above.

Some Finer Points of the Car Sales Turnover

In the three step turnover scenario above (my favorite) the first salesperson must complete all the steps of the sale up to negotiation including a test drive, no test drive and the first salesman is out. Then if the second salesman bumps the customer to make the deal they must bump them a certain amount to qualify such as $250. It could be a $250 bump on the price or a payment bump that totals over $250. But if it is not about price or payment and they get them to make the deal they still deliver the car and get a half deal. The second salesman often has an advantage because the customer often thinks they are talking to a sales manager. This is also a good way to break in Newbies for the first 30 days until they learn the steps to the sale.

This is my favorite take over process for five reasons. #1.It helps the sales staff hone their closing skills. #2. It provides opportunity for the other sales staff members. #3. The sales person will usually take the extra time needed that the sales manager won’t to drive them in additional cars and build rapport. #4. The first sales associate will make sure they drive them in a car and perform all the steps to the sale which will sell more cars in the long run. #5. The first salesman will do everything they can to close the sale because they don’t want a salesman closing behind them (car salesman ego).

When we sell cars for a living there are times when we just clash with a particular customer and these are the times when the car sales turnover is good for everyone including the dealership. There are also sales people that are so determined to make the sale that they don’t know when to stop before they cook the customer and then nobody would be able to close them, but with a turn over closing is still a possibility. Sometimes a second face that says the same thing as the first is all that is needed to make a deal. A half a deal and half commissions are better than no deal and no commission.

This post was recommended by Lee a sales manager that left a comment on the site.

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot



KB · May 15 at 7:58 pm

Hi Lee,

Thanks Again

Good Idea


Lee Dibble · May 10 at 10:18 am


I appreciate the new post! With my 15 years experience in the car sales profession (selling cars in SO CAL), I also agree with you on the “favorite” way of turn over. It makes the car sales staff work harder and cover all their bases before the deal gets turned, and yes this is better for everyone. I noticed you mentioned “EGO” in this post. Which I think would make another awesome post on this website. We all need to understand when to have the EGO and when to let it go. Ego’s are the number one cause of missed deals in my opinion. Sometimes it just takes a fresh face to say the same thing and get the close. Sometimes another salesperson can get that much needed BUMP. 1/2 a deal and commission is better than no deal and or no commission. We all need that reminder to let the EGO go! Keep up the great work you are doing! Thank you for the shout out you are a true professional.
Lee Dibble

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