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Jennifer  Livingston

Jennifer Livingston Consultant

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The How's and Why's of Being a Great Car Salesperson

All those brand new and certified used cars sitting on a lot practically sell themselves. The great looks and features do help move a car slightly. If the cars were capable of entirely selling themselves, however, no dealership would employ any salespersons. If you landed the job as a car salesperson, be prepared to do what is necessary to collect those commissions.

"Selling cars" is a simplified description regarding doing what is necessary. A good salesperson possesses a range of different skills capable of closing deals. Here's a look at a few top sales traits.


Work on Becoming a Better Communicator

While you may speak fine at home with friends and family, your professional vocal skills might be lacking. Speaking for sales purposes requires a useful set of skills. Every syllable must be understood. Delivery must come with enthusiasm. An overall positive nature shouldn't be missing from any wording. Impacting and persuasive speech contribute to sales success. So, anyone hoping for moving models off a lot should spend time working on developing his/her speaking abilities.


A great communicator isn't just a great talker though. Talking all the time doesn't exactly lead to determining the customer's needs. Salespersons who follow a script as a way to cheat learning communications skills, in particular, spend too much time talking. Work on becoming a smart listener who picks up on the customer's concerns. This way, you may find it easier to guide the customer to the car he/she would be happiest. Also, active listening allows a salesperson to figure out what customers aren't all that serious. Why waste time on these individuals?


Highlight Lesser-Known Benefits

Specific cars come with unique attributes not everyone readily knows. A vehicle known for handling well on wet roads may appeal significantly to someone constantly dealing with inclement conditions. If a top car accident attorney singled out a particular model for safety features, passing on the unofficial endorsement to a potential buyer might be a good idea. The average customer might not be entirely familiar with the benefits of a particular vehicle. A savvy salesperson knows to tip a would-be buyer off about all positive traits. Doing so makes it more likely to sell cars, which is the prime purpose for being a salesperson in the first place.


Embody Perfect Body Language

How you speak should be congruent with the way you move. Posture and mannerisms contribute to strong sales skills. If your body language doesn't back up all the positive things you say, your words won't carry credibility. You run the risk of coming off as scripted. Customers feel a little wary about scripted pitches. Such pitches don't appear natural nor convincing. To cut down on these problems, work on developing the right posture, facial expressions, and movements. Your physical presence should stress believability and confidence in a fluid way.


Watching impressive colleagues on the dealership lot can be an excellent way to pick up on decent body language. A word to the wise - don't limit yourself to fellow sales professionals. Try to pick up on profound body language skills from any source. Entertainers can be a great source of inspiration. So can politicians. Look closely at how they utilize mannerisms to get their intentions across.


Work on How to Close

Selling a car means someone pays for the vehicle and drive it off the lot. Talking with potential customers, highlighting the benefits of the vehicle, and handing out literature can support an eventual sale. The steps don't add up to much when the would-be customer never buys. Anyone involved with sales as a profession must learn how to close a deal.


Closing involves bringing together a multitude of skills to convince the would-be buyer he/she is making the right decision. Naturally, you can't close every potential sale, but you can increase the number of closings by making a strong commitment to improvement. Look at what you did right with successful closes. Analyze situations that didn't end in a sale. Shore up your strengths and work on improving on weak areas.

Chris K

Asking a lot of questions seems to be a theme of very successful salespeople right Jennifer. If you are not asking a ton of questions,  you are not selling a lot of cars. That can be changed fast and fortunes are reversed overnight in this business. 

Did you all forget already? Ask and you shall receive. 

Chris K

Must Read: The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. 

Bart Wilson

I agree Chris.  Soft skills are a must.

What about follow-up?  I'm not necessarily talking about 90 day Internet follow-up.  I mean delivering on the expectations you set up pre, during, and after the sale or visit.  That was a big asset for me.

Anthony Smith

Always keep in mind that your customer may purchase a vehicle once every 4-5 years while you speak to clients everyday. Don't allow the monotony of repetition to cause you to short-cut them on their demo. Yes, you've shown that car 1,000xs but they are seeing it for the first time-build excitement!

Ashley Hicks

When you are working with your BASE 97th% of the time you are right. 

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