Since I’ve recently published the new book, How to Sell Cars on the Internet, I wanted to get back to sharing some best car salesman tips on this blog. Please note that I say “car salesman” instead of “car salespeople” just because Google likes it better.
The last weekend of the fiscal quarter for my dealership just elapsed. Working up to and through that weekend was an excellent opportunity for me to get back to the basics of closing deals in person while juggling my responsibilities with the steady stream of internet sales traffic.
I maintained my sanity in the hurricane of business that came our way because of a few of the best car salesman tips that I’ve gathered of the last few years. These tips include The Five Minute Rule, The Perfect Process Rule, and The Relationship First rule. If you are looking for guidance on how to have successful Saturdays, check out this article.
I’ll be breaking down these three “best car salesman tips” in this article. If you have any best car salesman tips that you want to share with me, feel free to add a comment at the bottom or send me a message via the contact page.
If you are looking for similar content, I have some articles such as Car Sales Tips Closing a Car Deal and Internet Car Sales tips. If you sell any cars online, I have recently released the new book, How to Sell Cars on the Internet, that is full of great tips.
Best Car Salesman Tips #1: The Five Minute Rule
RULE: Anything that you can do in less than five minutes should be done right away.
There is a laundry list of tasks associated with selling cars that are only tangentially related to the sale. Before, during, and after the deal, the salesperson is required to:
- Maintain Meticulous Notes (customer preferences, trade-ins, pricing expectations)
- Keep Track of Issues with Inventory (low gas, damage, missing)
- Keep Track of Car Keys
- Keep Personal Information and Documents Secure
- Answer All Incoming Phone Calls (In a Timely Fashion)
- Answer All Incoming Texts
- Answer All Incoming Emails
- Remember When Surveys are Dropping and Then Remind Customers
- Set Aside Loaner Cars for Service Customers
The list goes on.
How are we supposed to manage this workflow without letting things slip through the cracks?
The first step is to follow the five-minute rule. If, at any time you are not with a customer, you receive or remember a task that you need to accomplish, get it done right away. If you follow this, you will avoid having a huge pile of little annoying tasks stacking up in the back of your head. These little tasks, like ordering a key for a customer, are like little itchy thorns in your shoe. Although one won’t drive you mad, if you wait until there are five poking your foot, you are going to get uncomfortable.
I’ve found that stress is almost always related to feeling overwhelmed.
When I get overwhelmed at work, it’s rarely big projects that have piled up. It’s generally a million little small tasks that have quietly sat in the background, waiting for my attention.
The stress of these piles of “small things” combined with the outsized consequences of forgetting them is what you can avoid by adopting the five-minute rule.
Best Car Salesman Tips Example: 2nd Key
When you find out that a car that you sold is missing its second key, it can be annoying for both you and your customer. That said, it is generally an easy fix- promise the customer that you will order them a new key and usually their disappointment fades away.
Everything thing is then going to be okay.
Unless you forget to order them a second key!
At my dealership, it takes around 5 minutes to get the due bill, sign it, and make it to the parts department.
So easy that the task just gets written down, not a high priority to finish right away. Why spend the time to order this key right now when you can do it later?
That mindset is precisely what has got me in trouble in the past. Countless times a customer will call a week after taking their car, asking about a second key. I will stammer and delay, trying to remember if it’s here. I’ll end up making an excuse. As soon as the call finishes I run to the parts department and get the key ordered.
Unless… I just write it down to do later.
Best Car Salesman Tips #2: Perfect Process
RULE: Respond to common problems with the same process, every time.
What are some common problems you run into at your store? I’m referring to those problems that are part of doing business.
Things like cars with lot damage, customers that want financing but just moved to the country on a Visa, and required password changes.
What do these three things have in common? All three are common problems that occur at my store. This “best car salesman tip #2” is not about the answers to these three problems, as none of them can be prevented. What can be done is to have a perfect process in place.
What do I mean by perfect process?
A perfect process is a set “response” to these “triggers” that is followed by everyone on the team, one hundred percent of the time.
Best Car Salesman Tips: Perfect Process Example
Problem: Foreign national customer wants to buy a car, but has no-credit and is on a Visa.
Perfect Process: When confronted with a foreign national customer with limited credit that wants to buy a car, follow the following process:
- The customer fills out full credit applications and provides two references
- Then the customer provides soft copies (via email) of their Visa/Passport/Social Security Card.
- Then the finance manager calls the assigned bank representative while forwarding the documents
When we follow that exact process, the deals almost always get approved quickly. If instead, the salesperson does not support this process, the deal ends up being bounced around between the sales desk, the finance department, and the salesperson.
Problem: Salesperson’s sold car has “lot damage.”
Perfect Process: When confronted with a sold car that has “lot damage,” follow the following process:
- The salesperson creates a group text with the sales manager and the body shop representative.
- The group text should have comprehensive photos of the damage, the stock number of the car, and the customer’s contact information
- The salesperson organizes with the customer for when the vehicle should be brought to the body shop to have the damages repaired
This is another example of a process that, if followed correctly, will result in the timely resolution of the problem. There are an infinite number of ways that this situation can end badly if the process is not followed.
Best Car Salesman Tips #3: The Relationship First Rule
The car business does not exist without customers. Customers are people, and people like to be treated correctly.
In the process of selling and repairing cars, problems arise. When issues arise, there are a variety of solutions with varying consequences to the bottom line of the dealership.
My advice? When at all possible, value the relationship with the customer over any one transaction. Always try to make money, but when making money would get in the way of building a strong, lasting customer relationship, shy away.
Think of all the opportunities that we, as salespeople, have to influence our customer’s choices. The most successful salespeople align themselves with their customer. Your customer should think of you as an advisor, not a scam artist.
If you prize the relationship with your customer above all, you will create fans of your business. Customers that are fans of your business will always come back and they will often bring their friends.
Best Car Salesman Tips: Review
I recommend three essential tips. They include The Five Minute Rule, The Perfect Process Rule, and The Relationship First Rule.
Let me know what you think of this content. If you found value in it, consider checking out a few other popular articles. Some of my favorites include one about requesting finance applications, one about creating successful appointments, and this one about overcoming laziness and lack of motivation!