I’ve done your dirty work for you. I’ve read the top “Auto Sales Training” articles that populate Google’s front page.
The truth is, I’m disappointed. Although I have no problem with people selling products and services (obviously), I found that they all provided little value to the readers. Short, basic articles, with little in the way of originality.
I can do better. My site, Car Sales Story, can provide auto sales training that has:
- Strategies, not just motivation
- Game plans, not just ideas
- Guidance*, not just a push
*Go to the end of the article for a bit more explanation on this!
Auto Sales Training Links
This article will be pulling information and summarizing the ideas that I’ve shared so far in this site’s 20 or so articles in the “Mastering Sales” category.
These articles comprise my comprehensive auto sales training program.
I hope that these articles will drive you to learn strategies and game plans on how to step your car sales up to the next level. People are making $100k-$400k doing this job. I’m here to open the door on how to do the same!
Your job, at the car dealership, is to sell.
The hard work of engineering and marketing the product has been handled, the showroom’s lease has been paid, and it’s time for you to shine. You are the glue that holds the customer to the product, the conductor who directs the customer’s experience. You must encourage visits, handle objections, and prove the value of the product.
Is Car Sales a Good Career?
I love this article because the math speaks for itself.
In this table below, you will see three columns. The first is your predicted income, annually before tax. The second column is the total after-tax money that you will take home monthly. In this thought experiment, we are going to invest all of your money that you make (read assumptions about room and board above- this is to allow us to compare it against a 4-year college degree in which “room and board” are paid for). The third column, therefore, is the end of year net worth after the monthly savings. This math is very easy to replicate with a compound interest calculator.
Here are the results:
Holy… at the end of the 4th year, you would have, on average, over a quarter million dollars. According to this site, the average Californian college graduate starts their working life with ~$21k of debt. That means that our college kid graduates with a net worth that is almost $300k less than our car sales guy.
The math is striking, and the point is salient. In this world of over-leveraged university students that are struggling to make ends meet, the car sales career stands in stark financial contrast.
Car Sales Training – An Overview
This article (my first ever on Car Sales Story) serves to give an overview of the different positions in the sales department. This is a critical part of your auto sales training. The main jobs include Floor Salesperson, Internet Salesperson, Sales Manager, and Finance Manager. It’s incredibly important to have the lay of the land when working at a dealership.
Employees that don’t understand the hierarchy have only a rudimentary idea of what “moving up” means. You need to understand what your position requires of you, and what your next job will expect. The levels of the dealership need to be clear to you so that you can develop a plan on how to get promoted and make more money.
My intro to the floor sales position requires a review:
Floor salespeople work on the “sales floor” and take care of mostly walk-in customers. You should expect to make $50k-$100k your first year if you follow the training and work at a decent dealer. I made $108k my first year in a major metro doing floor sales, but I worked my absolute tail off.
To start off, the car business has a growth structure built into it. “The floor” feeds directly into upper positions, and many of the corporate heads got their start at the bottom of the ladder.
Floor sales people are some of the hardest workers at the dealership. It’s where you are going to hone your skills, alternating between succeeding and failing. Pair your day to day life with the car sales training on this site and you will set yourself up for success.
Floor sales are also unofficially the proving grounds for management and upper positions at the dealership. After a year or two working the floor, you will be making good money but will be lusting after the better jobs.
Car Salesman Job Description For Resume
To excel at selling cars, you need to land a job in the first place. This article, called “Car Salesman Job Description For Resume,” was my foray into helping new salespeople land a gig.
I don’t think I’ve yet found a better summary of the essentials for landing your first car sales job, which I’m proud of. My favorite part that I wrote was the section on “What Do Hiring Managers Hate.” I’ve interviewed plenty of people that would have been well-served to have read my article before showing up!
The first red flag is arrogance. If you have something to be proud of that the hiring manager should know, fill them in. Don’t boast too heavily, don’t “beat your chest”. Although hiring managers like hiring successful reps for their potential to “plug and play” (less need for training), they don’t like hiring reps that will mess the mojo. You don’t know how the new store works, regardless of how long you’ve been in the business. Come in with a beginners mind.
The second huge red flag is trash talking your previous manager. No hiring manager wants to hire a problem, and regardless of what your previous manager was like, it’s best to let it go. Mentioning that you had a disagreement with your last manager is fine if absolutely necessary, but leave it at that. I’ve seen otherwise great candidates get passed up because they spoke ill of their previous manager. No one wants to hire a “problem employee”.
How to Sell More Cars at a Dealership
In this article, named “How to Sell More Cars at a Dealership,” I tried to break down some of the preconceived notions that readers may have about the most successful people at the dealerships. Auto sales training is about looking at the dealership’s business with clarity and understanding where you can fit in.
Although I still like the section on “Chuck the Closer,” I think the most substantial part of the article is the review of “buying signs” that new salespeople need to be on the lookout for:
- They drive in to the dealer in a car that is detailed and empty. They have a title in their hand
- They drive in to the dealer in a same-brand car. Drive an old Toyota into a new Toyota car lot
- They have printouts of the car they want to see
- They have visited other same brand dealers today
- They called in and made an appointment for a specific stock number
- They seem nervous but excited
- They brought their family or friends with them
- They are on the lot circling around a car, looking at it intently and pointing
- They walk onto the sales floor from service with a “customer pay” repair order in hand
- They know all the option names (“I think I’m looking for a… Premium Plus Technology Package with Sports Seats, in Teak Brown”)
That article is full of great advice on seeing the sale before it happens.
Car Sales Career – The Mega-Post
Once you are selling cars, you need to plot out your career.
The last thing you want to do is test drives for the rest of your life. I think that my article “Car Sales Career” is one of the strongest on the site since it lays out a simple game plan on how to progress in your career. My auto sales training articles resonate with me most when they addressed questions that I had when I was starting.
For six plus years, I’ve been preaching a different brand of car sales from what you’ve heard in the media. The standard line is that car sales is about head to head negotiation, a total grind of a job that pits buyers versus sellers. You work your butt off all day every day, make a living, and slowly gain a few extra pounds from all the pizza.
Mr. Car Sales Story’s advice? Almost all of that is nonsense: Your current idea of car sales is slow, inefficient, and holding you back. You could be making tens of thousands of dollars more while working less.
What happens when you can make more and work less? You stick with car sales instead of giving up after 6 months to a year like so many people before you. You get a jump start on making a strong living and quickly line your path to financial freedom.
And the effects are surprising: if you can work this advice into your career early on, you could have an incredibly lucrative (and relatively short) working life, leveraging a network of contacts to sell millions of dollars in cars every year.
Car Sales Tips Overcoming Objections
The art of overcoming objections is a critical part of effective communication in your auto sales training. Many people think overcome objections is a matter of luck. They think some customers will listen to you; some will not. Some are going to be able to be convinced; others are strong-headed. This is not the case.
Much of this misunderstanding is rooted in salespeople’s inability to spot “placeholder objections”:
Objections come in two forms, placeholder objections, and honest objections. Placeholder objections are used by customers in place of the real objection. The reason they use placeholder objections can be because they are embarrassed, they feel uncomfortable, or they are trying to be strategic. Here is an example:
Placeholder Objection (What A Customer Says):
“I think this deal sounds great but I really should go grab some food. Feeling a bit hungry”
Honest Objection (What A Customer Means):
“I’ve liked working with you, but I’m not sure if I am ready to pull the trigger. I want to slow down and think this over. Also, I’m hungry.”
Common Sales Objections And Rebuttals – On The Lot
The previous article about overcoming objections sparked quite a bit of debate on Reddit when I posted it there. I followed that article up with “Common Sales Objections and Rebuttals,” which has examples of conversation tracks to use in stressful situations. I like the entirety of the content, but it’s very contextual. Each section is a response to the previous section, which makes it hard to quote. I do think that the review at the end of the article summarized things well. The summary is substantial mainly because of the other conversational strategies that I delved into.
The secret to overcoming many objections is persistence and a positive attitude. If you come across as a problem solver with good intentions, you are likely to receive positivity back. If you come across as a hard-ass process-follower with no room to compromise, people are going to reject you. Worse, they may simply use you for a test drive and then promptly forget you ever existed.
The beautiful saving grace is the fact that, most customers are pretty decent to work with. They each have their quirks and their sticking points, but we all do. Most customers are just looking for someone honest to learn from and do business with. If you always come back to providing value, you should be set.
Car Sales Referrals: The Ultimate Guide
One of my latest and greatest, this next article reviews a key component of auto sales training. Referrals are the underlying X-factor for the most successful salespeople (regardless of industry).
In the article, I provide several actionable tips to increase your referral pipeline:
Tip 3-b: Linkedin Articles
In my area, most of the professionals who purchase cars from me have a Linkedin account that they check semi-regularly. Of those people, very few ever post any type of content (other than the occasional status update). That being said, many of them read their Linkedin newsfeed!
This means that, if you are inclined, you can reach many of your customers with a positive message indirectly with an article that you’ve put together. I’ve had customers come to see me during their service visit, years after buying their car, just to tell me how much they liked my article about my mum’s incredible career. Linkedin articles are an incredible, free, scalable tool for maintaining relationships. Consider adding authoring Linkedin articles to your toolbox for generating extra car sales referrals!
Auto Sales Training: Read, Think, Execute
So there you have it. From “Zero to Hero” in one auto sales training site.
If you follow the advice I have in the articles above, you will be able to:
- Decide if Car Sales is Right For You
- Learn the General Outline of The Dealership
- Get a Job at a Dealer
- Sell More Cars Every Month
- Plot Your Career
- Master Identifying Placeholder vs. Honest Objections
- Understand the Customer’s Perspective on Objectives
- and Build a Book of Business (Secret to Wealth)
See you on the lot,
POSTSCRIPT: SIDE NOTE ON #3*
Stopping at #3 for a moment- this is one part of the site that hasn’t been fully fleshed out that I’m hoping to put more time into. I’ve spent the last five months building out the auto sales training, but now it’s time to evolve!
I’ve reached a point now on Car Sales Story where I am getting 50+ daily visitors and ~200 daily page views. Compared to well-established sites these are rookie numbers, but it does show interest in the content, and proof of effort for me. Not bad for ~4 months of writing.
The next steps for Car Sales Story are going to involve an active coaching business. I hope to attract some of my readers (you, in particular) to cross that boundary, from reader to a participant. I want to coach you.