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?