Saturday is a day, unlike any other in the car business. Saturday is the day that embodies the sacrifice of the car sales career and the day that most of us make the bulk of our income. Over the last six-plus years, I’ve spent just about every Saturday selling cars.
Some Saturdays feel great and are full of success, while others make me question my career choice.
So what makes a successful Saturday? The things that make a successful Saturday overlap with the things that make a successful salesman.
In this article, I’ll start by reviewing the foundation for a successful Saturday. I’ll follow that up with strategies for the morning, a time when you can build momentum that sets the tone for your day. The article will finish with the physical and mental tricks that will teach you how to close every car deal (on your Saturday) as the day progresses.
If you are looking for more tips, consider my breakdown of my favorite car salesman tips!
How To Close Every Car Deal: Friday Preparation
Saturday comes around every single week without fail, and yet salespeople still fail to prepare. At my store, Saturday is an 11-hour shift for everyone in the sales department. Often our store will sell half of the week’s cars on Saturday. If you think you can dominate your sales on Saturday without proper preparation, you are wrong.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. There are a few key things you need to get done before Saturday rolls around to make the best of your day.
First thing? Set expectations with your family. Often I see salespeople handling family business on Saturday, fielding phone calls and texts throughout the day. It’s natural for your family to want to spend time with you, but they need to be on the same page. Saturday is the day that pays the bills. I’ll often see salespeople trying to leave early or sneak away because they feel guilty for not spending more family time.
Here is the reality: You work in car sales. Until you stop selling (or you negotiate a different schedule), you are going to be working on Saturday. Expect it. Since you can expect it, act on it before disappointment happens! Take your kids to the movies on a different night. Cook dinner and spend time with loved ones on the days leading up to Saturday. Many jobs require people to work on Saturdays, and plenty of people have successful relationships in those roles.
If you don’t get ahead of this first and foremost, you are going to have a bad time. I know, because I’ve been there. In past relationships, I’ve dealt with the constant struggle of guilt that comes with working all day on other’s day off. The only way I could fix the problem was through effort. I get ahead of the problem now, spending quality time with loved ones on the days that I can. I make time work for me; I don’t let it dictate my life.
Tired salespeople don’t have charisma. Charisma sells cars.
It’s that simple. I still see my fellow salespeople that are self-proclaimed “night-owls” come into the dealer on Saturday morning looking like a train wreck, even though they’ve been in the car business for years. Although they know that Saturday is a big day, they still stay up until one in the morning the night before. Some are party animals, some just like Netflix. Regardless, it’s not going to work if you are looking to be the best and make lots of money.
So get your eight hours of sleep. Seven hours should be the minimum. Try and wake up with an hour to spare, so that you have time to get ready. When you rush, you will not be your best. Give yourself the time you need to prepare.
Quick tips for a better nights rest:
- Don’t have your phone in your bedroom
- Take a walk outside before bed (it’s easier to fall asleep if your body temperature is a bit cold)
- Don’t eat late
- Try to cut out all the light from your bedroom
Appointments: The Saturday Schedule
This tip came from our Facebook Group (thanks to Trent!):
“If a done deal delivery must come on Saturday to finish the deal, try to book them for the moment you open so you don’t have any wait for F&I and you can give the most amount of time to your Sat unsold appointments. Being busy on a Sat and seeing lots of deals working is infectious and a great environment for unsold customers to be a part of. (We are closed on Sundays in our local market so Sat is very booming)”
- Trent N.
Some salespeople will congratulate themselves (myself included) for a successful Saturday if they sell two or three cars, even when those cars were sold before the day started. Plenty of times customers that order cars from the factory will choose to come Saturday. Although it’s not optimal, it is understandable from the customer’s perspective, and as such, you need to prepare.
Set all Saturday pickups for early in the day. If you can, have the deal printed before Saturday. Have the customer send you drivers license, insurance, credit application, and trade registration the day before, so you can get a deal jacket prepped. Set F&I’s expectations so everyone is on time.
Lastly, I always avoid setting 1pm-2pm appointments on Saturdays and Sundays. Those are big times for a customer to drop in. If you schedule people to come, you are going to miss out on the business that walks in the door. You want your appointments at 10 am and 4 pm.
Just because a customer hasn’t picked out a stock number before their appointment for you to prepare, doesn’t mean that you can’t be ready to take care of them.
If a customer has selected a car before they come in, have that car ready. One superstar strategy is to gas it up the night before, and while at the gas station, send a text photo to the customer with the message “preparing for our appointment tomorrow!” That type of message confirms the appointment in a friendly way and builds anticipation.
For customers with leases coming due, have a car prepped that is going to be similar to their current vehicle. That way, you have a smooth transition car if their needs haven’t changed.
How To Close Every Car Deal: Saturday Execution
Saturday is the day to make it happen. If you have followed the Friday preparation, you should be 80% of the way to having a good Saturday. There are a few things to keep in mind on Saturday if you want to maintain your momentum throughout the day.
Walk-in Happy and Early
Assuming you’ve laid the groundwork on Saturday, you should have no problem walking into your store happy and early. Walking into your store with a smile on your face, well dressed, and ready for work, is a great feeling. That feeling of positivity can carry you for hours, and your customers will feed off of it.
We are all reflections of the people around us. You can build “good-attitude momentum at your store” if you walk in with a smile on your face and say hello to everyone. Be a happy person when you walk in, and others will absorb your positivity.
Having a positive outlook is also essential for your relationship with your managers. If your baseline is happy and ready to work, then your sales managers will be able to tell when you aren’t having a good day. That’s a good thing. When a manager knows that someone is having a rough day, they can step in and help.
If instead, you walk in every Saturday late and tired, your manager expects that of you. If you are having a bad day, your boss won’t know, since you always look terrible on Saturday mornings. As such, they won’t realize when you need support.
Diets for Success
I’m not talking about successful diets here. What you eat on Saturday can affect your wallet and your waistline. The foods that unprepared people eat tend to be “easy foods” like cereal, toast, and sweets. These simple carbs will through quickly, and you will be hungry by 11 am. That’s not going to work.
Two strategies that I have found work are high-protein breakfasts and fasting.
For high-protein breakfasts, think eggs. Scrambles, omelets, and the like are delicious and will keep you satiated for hours. I’ve also found success with Soylent, which is a high-protein meal replacement.
Fasting is a more advanced strategy. If you do pursue it, keep an eye on your mood. If you find yourself getting grumpy while you wait for your hunger to subside, this strategy probably isn’t for you. I have seen success fasting in the morning until 1 pm, at which point I eat a nice lunch that carries me through the rest of the day.
How to Close Every Car Deal: Review
Having a successful Saturday in the car business requires preparation above all else. Mastering your Saturday will have a significant effect on your income, as much of the car business is done on this stressful day.
I’d love to chat more about car sales, so I’d like to invite you over to our Facebook Group to talk more!