At some point in your car sales career, you likely asked yourself one (if not all) of these questions: “How do I become a successful car salesperson”, “I’m new to auto sales, where do I start”, or “How do I sell a car”? Don’t feel embarrassed by that, we have all been there. In a previous blog post, we outlined how to be a great salesperson in 2021 and this post will focus specifically on those getting started in the car business. In the business you’ll be known as a green pea but don’t worry, everyone starts where you are right now, and just like many others before you, and many that will come after, you have the ability to make a great career in this industry. Follow the tips in this post and you’ll move closer towards your goal of being the best car salesman.
Everything You Should Know When Starting Out In an Auto Sales Dealership
Just like anything else, it is going to take some work to get good at selling cars. One of the toughest things about starting out in the auto industry, is knowing what to do. Hopefully you land at a dealership that values their employees and provides them with training so that you have the tools you need to start off on the right foot. Below we’ve put together some car sales tips that will get you to your goal of becoming a successful car salesperson.
1. Be Coachable
Being coachable is one of the most important things when starting out in the auto industry, and really will help you in all areas of life. You are going to come into contact with individuals who have been selling cars for years, what the industry calls veterans and who can offer some really great insights. Being open to learn will help create opportunities for you and signals to your management team that you are hungry, humble and passionate. Take Michael Jordan as an example, arguably the best basketball players of all time. He was known as a truly coachable player who listened to what his coaches said and then did it. Yeah he was great but he wanted to be better. Having the humility to know that you don’t know everything and to always be learning, will help you through your career in car sales.
2. Do the training your dealership provides
We just visited the dealership where the rookies were outselling the veterans. It’s no coincidence. The reason is that the rookies actually took the training and implemented it whereas the veterans tend to fall back on old habits. By having a playbook to follow, you’re taking the guesswork out of your job and using tried and true techniques that others have been successful with. Make sure to check in with your dealership management to make sure you have access to all of the training and tools they have and use them! You can also reference a past post that we wrote on the importance of continuous training – after all training is something you do – not something you did.
3. Ask For Your Stores Orphan Owner Leads/Contacts
When starting out, you will not have a database of previous customers to call on. These Orphan Owner leads can provide a goldmine of opportunities. So one of the best car sales tips for new salespeople is to ask for some of the stores Orphan Owners. Orphan owners are customers whose original salesperson is no longer with the dealership. By reaching out and introducing yourself to these past customers, you can begin to establish a relationship with them and transition them to your book of business.
4. Make sure you’re nurturing your sold customers.
Yes, making the sale is important but repeat customers close at a much higher rate and will also be a source of referrals for you. Not to mention they may have other drivers in their household. It’s important to remember that your job doesn’t end once you sell a vehicle. It’s your job to follow up immediately after the sale and every three months thereafter. You’re maintaining the relationship and will position yourself to be ‘in the know” when that person is ready to get into a new vehicle. We suggest even taking it a step further and volunteer to be that person’s point of contact for all their vehicle needs, like setting their service appointments. This is what we refer to as the farmer mentality. A farmer nurtures his crops, your sold customers, and over time you will reap the benefits. We’ve written about this in a past post where we highlight the importance of having both a hunter and farmer mentality to be the best salesperson.
5. Utilize Social Media
You likely have hundreds of connections on social media and it’s a great way to promote yourself in the car business. Doing simple things like checking in when you get to work will remind people where you work but make an effort to share photos with happy customers, promote your dealership’s events and create little videos on your inventory to highlight a cool new feature. Over time you’ll be seen as the authority in the car space and people will think of you first when they’re in the market to buy a car.
Unfortunately, a lot of people fall into a job at a dealership as a temporary gig. However, car sales can be a lucrative career choice for many people and should be looked at as a career choice. By doing the basics and putting the work in, you can easily make six figures in the business. As Jeff Olsen says, successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Go the extra mile and you will find yourself succeeding in sales.