Becoming a Car Salesman: 6 Steps to Get You On the Path

Becoming a Car Salesman: 6 Steps to Get You On the Path

Best car rental. Handsome young car rental manager giving a copy space documents on clipboard to smiling client sitting a new luxury car

Did you know that over 17 million vehicles got sold in the United States each year? Doesn’t that sound like selling cars is a lucrative business venture?

Selling cars isn’t as easy as it looks. If you want to become a salesman, you must have a certain set of skills to ensure you get the most out of the job. But without prior experience, you won’t know where to start. 

Don’t feel hopeless yet. 

With this guide, you’ll learn how to become a car salesman. That way, you’ll get started with your dream career. Read on and find out more. 

1. Prepare Your Education and Experience

Some dealerships are kind enough to hire applicants even without prior experience. But most will prefer job applicants with some background in sales. That’s why you must start preparing for your job in high school. 

To get a basic understanding of finance, you must take the necessary courses. This includes both economics and business since they serve as solid foundations for your knowledge. Be diligent and strive to get the best grades whenever you can. 

As for your part-time job, it need not be in a car dealership. Any job involving customer sales and service is great. It’s because it allows you to sharpen your communication skills and become more comfortable interacting with people within a professional environment.

2. Gain More Sales Experience and Training

Did you fail to get a car sales position as soon as you graduated high school? Worry not since you can use that time to gain more experience by working in other retail sales jobs. Car dealers are fond of salespeople with effective communication skills and talents for customer service. 

With this, if you get more experience in face-to-face customer interactions, your likelihood of getting hired increases. While you gain hands-on experience, consider getting more classes in the following: 

  • Sales 
  • Marketing 
  • Psychology 
  • Finance 
  • Public speaking 

To get an even more reputable education, take courses from either the National Auto Academy or the Automotive Training Academy.

3. Get Hired by a Reputable Car Dealership

No matter what your prior experience is, the majority of the 16,600 franchised light-vehicle dealers in the United States have training programs. As a new employee, you must finish this before you can work full-time. This course will often cover most of the dealership’s aspects, such as: 

  • Business culture 
  • General operating systems and procedures 
  • Customer service and sales strategies 
  • Negotiation techniques 
  • Car model features 

After the training, you’ll work closely with a senior salesperson for a certain duration. This ensures you learn more of the details and various nuances of your employment.  

Also, lots of dealerships will sponsor various staff training and workshops. They use various professional organizations to help, like the above-mentioned National Auto Academy or Automotive Training Academy. Some dealerships prefer having formal apprenticeship programs from time to time. 

4. Get a License (When Required)

Some states will require car salesmen to get a license before they start practicing. For example, if you live in California, you must pay a fee and then apply to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). For Colorado residents, you must take and pass an exam before you remit a bond, finish an application, and pay the fees.

5. Continue Your Education

For you to stay competitive as a salesman, you must update yourself with new knowledge regularly. The good news is that the National Automobile Association (NADA) can sponsor you with various training types. Their academy has six various programs catering to careers related to dealerships.

Some of these include the following:

  • Department Management
  • Consumer Sales
  • Fleet Sales
  • Operations

In the NADA General Dealership Management Academy, you become a prepared professional for general management roles. It’s because it offers various classes in decision-making and financial analysis.

If you want to take it to the next level, go for the NADA Special Ops program. This offers deeper, specialized training for managers. With this, you’ll know more about sales, service, and car parts.

6. Get Post-Secondary Education

After you gain a few years’ worth of experience, you might finally get the opportunity to advance and get a senior role. To accelerate this process, you must have the right level of education.

Take note, some dealerships will promote you to management positions or their equivalent trainee positions as long as you have the experience. But to become the most desirable candidate, you must have an associate or bachelor’s degree in either marketing or business administration.

This means you must join programs with courses in advertising, economics, and statistics. You might even study automotive eCommerce. Regardless, you’ll gain a more competitive advantage if you invest both time and effort into furthering your knowledge.

How to Be a Good Car Salesman

Now you know the steps toward becoming a car salesperson. But to stay employed in your dream career, you must learn the best practices. Here are some:

1. Remember Names

You’ll stand to earn more if you remember all your new prospects’ names. To help with this, you must use their name immediately after you learn it. After that, repeat it silently several times and use it occasionally as you talk.

After they leave, write the name somewhere accessible. Focus on a particular facial feature and connect their name with it. This allows you to remember it easier.

2. Ask the Right Questions

After asking their name, you must ask questions that give context about your buyer’s desires, budget, and personality. Depending on their answer, you might gain opportunities to cross-sell or upsell. For example, if your customer prioritizes safety, consider telling them about your four-wheel drive package and other safety features.

3. Build Rapport

If you notice disinterest, stop selling and focus on building rapport. If you continue pushing, you might alienate them. This will likely discourage them from buying a car.

Start Selling Cars Today!

These are some of the things you must do to become a good car salesman. Use these to ensure that your career stays on track for years to come.

But why stop here when there’s more to learn about selling cars? To pick up even more tips and tricks, why not go over more of our marketing guides today?

7 Customer Retention Strategies That Work Very Well

7 Customer Retention Strategies That Work Very Well

Customer Retention as a Fast and Easy Website Concept

A business with poor customer retention is a lot like a bucket with holes. You can try to make it work, but you’re better off figuring out how to patch the holes up.

First things first: what is customer retention? As the name implies, this is a process of turning your existing customers into loyal buyers. Studies show that increasing your customer retention rate by 5% can increase your profits by up to 95%.

Focusing on customer retention strategies comes with other benefits as well. It helps you figure out how satisfied your customers are and what might be turning them off. Retaining customers is also much cheaper than acquiring new ones.

Not sure how to retain your customers? Here are seven tips to get you started.

1. Educate Your Customers

Once your customers sign up, don’t leave them to fend for themselves. Instead, help them learn how to use your products by offering the right resources.

The most common method of doing this is to provide product onboarding. This provides simple tips and tutorials to guide new customers. You can get a similar effect by sending a series of lifecycle emails to all new customers.

For customers who prefer self-service training, offer an online academy of training resources. The academy may include live classes that anyone can register for. One-on-one training sessions with an onboarding specialist are also worth it.

2. Provide Surprise Reciprocity

Surprise reciprocity is one of the most effective ways to retain customers. You could even say that reciprocity is one of the things that makes the world go ’round.

Reciprocity is a simple concept: people will respond based on how you treat them. If you’re nice to someone, they’ll be nice to you as well. This is why providing good service is a great way to get people to recommend your products.

Now, the big thing about reciprocity is that it works even better when it’s a surprise. Can you remember the last time someone did something nice for you out of the blue? Even if the gesture wasn’t a big deal, it likely still left an impression on you.

The trick, then, is to surprise your customers with a nice gesture once in a while. You can send them swag or even a handwritten note. Though these may seem old-fashioned, they can still make your customers feel special.

3. Do Loyalty Programs Right

Many businesses use customer loyalty programs, but few of them are effective. The good news: there’s a ton of research that can help you get it right.

For example, did you know that the biggest pitfall of loyalty programs is getting started? Customers are twice as likely to finish loyalty cards if they’re automatically started as soon as they sign up. We call this the endowed progress effect.

Also, customers love being “gold” or VIP members. The only catch is that there needs to be a class below them on the totem pole. If you implement a silver and gold class, you should see an uptick in gold members’ participation.

Creating a loyalty program is much easier with the right loyalty program software. This gives you all the tools you need to improve the customer experience.

4. Stand for Something

Most customers don’t feel like they have relationships with brands. Of the ones that do, though, most cite shared values as the main reason for that relationship.

Why does this happen? Well, it’s all about a cognitive bias known as implicit egotism. People have an unconscious preference for things that resemble them. If you want loyal customers, you need to let them know what values you share.

Many businesses shy away from this strategy because it’s “political.” This is a flawed line of thinking, as all companies have political agendas of some sort. Make the most of the things you stand for by making them a part of your brand.

5. Capture the Momentum

Making exciting improvements to your products can be a big momentum driver. That said, your customers may not feel the same way.

One thing you can do to change that is to share your work. Let the customers know what the latest versions of your products will let them do. This also helps the existing customers, as many of them might miss out on the new features.

Other than creating excitement, this momentum will carry over into your sales. Studies show that telling customers about new products makes them 30% more likely to repurchase it or recommend it to others.

6. Focus on Quality Over Speed

In an ideal world, your customer service would get perfect marks in both speed and quality. In reality, the latter is much more important than the former.

See, customers are far more likely to engage with a brand if they deem their service as helpful. This is why spending more time with customers leads to a more positive experience. Rushing them will likely create more problems than it solves.

Speedy service can help too, but only if you’re delivering what your customers want. If you don’t, the customer is more likely to feel ignored. For instance, people are more sensitive to price changes if they receive poor support.

7. Reward Your Advocates

When it comes to how to retain customers, loyalty matters a whole lot. This is why it’s important to reward your brand advocates whenever you get the chance.

Let’s say you see someone recommending your product on social media. Most of the time, the right thing to do will be to reply to thank them. This shows that 1) you’re paying attention, and 2) their gesture means something to you.

For bigger rewards, consider using a referral program. One way to do this is to give your customers a $100 Amazon gift card when they refer someone. Consider giving that new customer some credit on their account as well.

Other Customer Retention Strategies

You’ll notice that none of the above customer retention strategies include shortcuts. This is by design — business relationships are a lot like personal ones.

Here’s one final tip for the road: overdeliver on your promises. Customer expectations are at an all-time high, so impressing them isn’t easy. The best way to stay competitive is to go above and beyond what your customers may expect.

Want to know more about how to have loyal customers? Trying to make the most of your marketing strategy? Keep reading our business-related content!

How to Turn Product Reviews Into a Full Business

How to Turn Product Reviews Into a Full Business

Product reviews on their own are not a smart business strategy. The burst in revenue from the sponsorship is nice, free products are normally fun, and the easy commissions with affiliate links are very appealing. But you likely won’t survive in the long run if you always rely on doing reviews.

Once Google, YouTube, Pinterest, etc… wipe the review or reviews that drive your traffic, and they will, your business will sink because you only focused on these types of short term wins.

If you’re a current product reviewer or you are thinking about creating a review platform, here is how you can take a successful product review and turn it into a long term business strategy.

Here’s the process and then I go into more detail:

  1. Do keyword and topic research (this is the must read section)
  2. Create the review
  3. Make sure to optimize it and not just for the brand terms
  4. Create a follow up post that tries to display as recommended reading
  5. Bring the person to a place or platform you control
  6. Monetize!

Do Keyword And Topic Research

If the product or brand you are reviewing has a lot of search volume, this is good news for you! But only if you rank for Product + Reviews on YouTube or Google.  If the product or brand doesn’t have a ton of search volume, then you need to do keyword and topic research to help an audience find you.

Keyword and topic research are not the same thing!

  • Keyword research is looking for specific phrases with an estimated monthly search volume on a platform like Google, YouTube and Pinterest.
  • Topic research is finding the questions people are asking like if the product is compatible with another product, how much the product weighs, or if the product really works.

(Before we get into the meat of this post, some of the links below are affiliate links and I’ll earn a commission if you shop through them.)

Here’s a three step process to do keyword and topic research:

 

  1. Log into a keyword research tool and type the product name, brand name, and a couple of related keywords in to find the search volume.
  2. Now type the relevant phrase into a topic tool like Answer The Public or the same one from the affiliate link above to find questions and answers. As a bonus, many of these phrases have featured snippets in Google and rich content which are easier to get than top ten rankings.
  3. Last type the keyword phrase into Google and write down the auto suggest results before you click enter. Now click to search and write down the questions inside the “people also ask” and “searches related” versions inside the search results.

Now you have the estimated search volumes and the questions people are asking to bring more people to your product reviews.

Create the Review

This is the easy part. You unbox the product, talk about the benefits and encourage the person to take an action like shopping for the product. I highly recommend doing a few things if you want to build trust and provide a good user experience.

  • Time stamp the video to let people know what they’ll learn at each section of your review.
  • Provide a list of the sections towards the top of your blog post or web page with anchor links to bring people to the relevant section.
  • Make sure your featured images and thumbnails have proper labels including alt tags that matches the theme of your review.

Bonus Tip – With your email list sign up you can tag the product and review the person came from. This way you can market similar products, brands or products with the same audience demographics, and competing products to that list. Make sure to set up a subscribe list named “meat” or “coffee” or something so you know the niche the person is interested in. 

Optimize the Review Not Just for Brand/Product + Review

If the brand or product does not have a search volume, at least right now, you’re not going to see any activity unless you already have an engaged audience. By using the topic research above you can optimize for the questions people are asking or that Google is recommending. This may also help you to show up as recommended content on YouTube, or for keyword mixes on other platforms.

If you use this strategy you’ll be attracting a new audience and you are building awareness for the brand. This awareness will likely get you on the brand’s radar that you aren’t just a reviewer. You are a content creator that provides solutions to an audience’s problems. This builds trust with the person using your content and presents you as a trusted solution provider. This type of trust is what you want for long term success.

As the person finds more of your videos and you help them over and over, they may subscribe and you can become their go to resource.

Create a Follow Up Content Piece

Now that you have a review done, why not create a content piece that is likely to optimize for “recommended reading”? This is another opportunity to become the recommended videos on YouTube or on Facebook after a person watches the first video. This content can also be the recommended post in content sites that offer similar topics like an aggregator.  It’s a great way to piggyback off of someone who already has a lot of volume and viewership.

Bonus tip – You could also try doing a comparison post between two or three popular and competitive products. This provides even more solutions for your visitor and builds you as more knowledgeable and an authority if the person trusts it.

Bring Your Viewer to a Platform You Control

As I mentioned above, someone else will replace you in Google, YouTube or Pinterest as they create a newer review that meets the platform’s algorithm criteria better. When this happens your traffic dries up. That is why you ideally want a website but more importantly an email list.

With every review, make sure you tell the person to subscribe or follow you, but also encourage them to go to your website and join your newsletter. Your newsletter is your most reliable way to bring the person back to your new content and on your own terms. You can email to it, upload it to social media or Google, and make money from it across multiple channels.

Give the person a reason to sign up like telling them they’ll get a custom discount for a specific brand, unique content only available through the list, not to mention new product reviews as they go live. Think about what someone would want by signing up for your list and create the offer for them.

Monetize

Monetizing is the ultimate goal. You have tons of options as a reviewer. Here are a few.

  • Affiliate links in the review
  • Ads showing on the page via CPM and CPC
  • Lead generation (CPL and CPA)
  • Sponsorship fees
  • CPV video ads

If you’re looking to become a professional reviewer, this is what I recommend you keep in mind. There will always be someone else doing a review of the same product that will eventually replace you and get the traffic. If you cannot get the people that watch to subscribe while you have the top space and the traffic, you will not survive in the long run.