Your car sales job is commission-based, so how can you ever stop asking yourself the question, "Am I really making the most I possibly can?" Self-improvement never ends, and the car salesman that plateaus is the one that thinks he knows it all. The parameters of your industry are not set, things can and do change all the time. Unless you're a leading salesman in the nation, or heading the pack at your dealership week-to-week for months at a time, there are bound to be gaps in the value you're providing your customers … and gaps in your value mean gaps in your pay. So check out the tips below, start implementing, and increase your take home this week.
How to Make the Most From Car Sales
- Don't judge any customer. It's easy to judge people from their appearance, or how they behave, or based on the car they're interested in purchasing, or on the trade-in they drove to the dealership. In fact, it's largely human nature to size people up. But don't let that lead you into losing a sale — you never know who has great credit or tons of cash.
- Overcome sales objections: To the seasoned car selling pro this may seem like a no-brainer, but for those just beginning this is essential. If you mishandle the steps of the sale, you're simply setting yourself up for objections. But even if you lock in the steps flawlessly, you'll likely still face some type of objection. If facing multiple objections, list them on your worksheet and break them down one at a time, starting with selection because every other objection is predicated upon this one.
- Stay up to date on all product details. Of course you should know the details about the cars you are selling, from fender to bumper. But do you truly know everything there is to know? When you're new to car sales, the challenge is often knowing which cars have what options; you can't know everything after all, but you need to know enough to avoid simple mistakes like claiming a car has volume controls on the steering wheel. For the used car salesman you likely have a smaller lot, less of the same model and thus less variation; in this case it's your job to know everything about every car to avoid placing distrust in the buyer's mind.
- Don't reveal desperation. Seasoned car sales pros and newbies alike all feel the pain of sales slumps at one time or another, whether's it's due to your personal life or poor lead-getting efforts by your dealership (lead-getting is your responsibility too of course). Whatever you do don't reveal your desperation. Always maintain total confidence, or the buyer will pick up on it and leave.
- Get all the information. It's easy to stop asking questions and start selling a customer on a certain make or model because of an assumption. Why? Because no salesperson wants to be anything but the authority on what they're selling. But it's better to sacrifice looking a little ignorant for the sake of turning a pushy sales pitch into a natural conversation. Your buyer will find the right car for them and feel like you guided them instead of coerced them.
- Know the limits of your control. You can't control everything, but you likely feel the urge to make every effort to do so. Push that urge aside. You can not control the decision of a customer to purchase a car on your lot. Maybe you don't have a single car on the lot that's right for your customer. If that's the case, find that out and give the customer your card for the future -- they'll remember you for the honest treatment.
- Take the long view. Connecting to the point above, don't ever assume today is the right day for the sale. Maybe it's tomorrow, maybe it's three months down the road. Perhaps you're the first dealership in a long line of options … how many times have you compared products in person only to return to the original one? Rushing creates pressure and pressure puts off buyers.
- Trial close your customer. Feel out your customer with a trial close. This gives you the chance to eliminate any remaining objections. An easy way to do this is to ask them to park the car in a certain section of the dealership which only contains sold vehicles. If the customer does as asked, you're ready for the real closer; if not, overcome whatever objection comes up.
- Cover all sources of profit. Chances are you're leaving something on the table. Always make sure to sell all the extras -- don't let a tough customer make you assume they won't buy add-ons … and don't let your F&I department lock in the extra money you left behind. Take every sale seriously and always consider the potential chance to boost a mini-sale into a major movement of product.
- Follow through all the way to delivery. Don't forget to cater to the customer all the way up to the delivery. Moving on to the next sale is insulting and leaves a bad impression.