The Steps of the Sale for Selling Cars

Car Sales Techniques

10 Tips to Help you Sell More Cars

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I have a couple of new salespeople at the dealership...

When I got in the car business almost 18 years ago, I was thrown to the dogs. I had no worth-while training, the only close I learned was "If I could, Would You...", my only technique was selling on price and quite frankly, I SUCKED! Later, I moved back to Michigan and had a great manager that took me under his wing and taught me a few good techniques. I am going to share some of these with you.

Tip #1: Stay Away from Negative Salespeople, Huddles, etc!

I can't stress this enough. There is a type of salesperson in the car business that I call an Old Timer. They think they know everything, they don't want to learn new things, they are average (or below average) salespeople and they take great fun out of bringing new salespeople down to their weak level. Every dealership I have ever worked in has at least one. Hell, I have even been one before! LOL

They never give good advice and if they try, they lack the skills to even know what they are talking about. They are good at making excuses as to why things are bad instead of learning/trying new things to sell more cars. They get jealous when a new guy knocks a "home run" and claim that other salespeople are outselling them because "they get all the house deals!" They are poison to a new car salesperson. Stay away from them! Avoid them like the plague!!!

Tip #2: Use a Great Greeting!

Bad greetings include, "Can I help you?" or "Can I get someone for you?" or the ever popular, "Can I help you OR get someone for you?" That was my greeting for my first 7 years in the car business and I am convinced that it cost me enough to pay cash for a new house. Seriously!

What, you may ask, is wrong with this greeting? You see all the old timers using it! Well, it is easy to create a "reflex objection" buy starting off with a yes/no question. Someone may answer, "I'm just looking."

The greeting you should use: "Welcome to ABC Motors. I'm (your name) and you are...?"

Walk into a "Moe's" one day where everyone yells, "Welcome to Moe's!" Walk into a department store when someone says, "Welcome to JC Penny." What comes out of your mouth? Not "I'm just looking" but rather "thanks!"

A good greeting is very important and will start the sale off right by allowing you to get control early-on. It will also make your customer feel welcome and appreciated.

Tip #3: Do a T.O. (Turn Over)!

Let a manager have a crack at a customer before they leave. They might say just the right words. On an average month, I personally close around 5-10 customers for salespeople who did a T.O. (I do F&I and Manage here...)

Tip #4: Test Drive With your Customer!

I know what you're saying--the Old Timers never drive with their customers. They even tell you that THEY don't want someone driving with them.

They are missing a great and very important opportunity.

The most important purpose of a test drive is to get to know your customer, to learn their Hot Buttons and to BUILD RAPPORT! You cannot do that if they drive by themselves.

Also, they may have questions.

Also, they may WANT you to drive with them because they are nervous in an unfamiliar car.

NOTE: If someone wanted to drive by themselves, I always let them. Swim with the current, folks.

Oh yeah--if you drive with a customer then you can...well, next tip...

Tip #5: Trial Close Your Customer After Test Drive

When you are about done driving with your customer and pulling back into the dealership, say to them: "Jim, sounds like this is the perfect car for you. Go ahead and park it in our Sold Line so no one else tries to buy your car. Point to a section next to the dealership or make up your own.

One of two things will happen--they will give you an objection (over come it!) or they will park in the sold line which means you are probably going to sell a car today!

Follow up with Customers and Prospects

See my article on follow up. Very important stuff!


Let the bank decide if they can buy. I promise, you will be wrong most of the time.

It's funny--I have seen a lot of new car salespeople over my career. I always get a good laugh when after a month, they ask about credit scores (none of their business) and talk about people being "upside down." Obviously the Old Timers have gotten a hold of them!!!

Never guess their credit, their trade (that they are upside down), never judge by their looks (I had a scruffy looking dude dump a bag of hundreds on my desk one time--$35K worth!). Always assume the sale.

Tip #6: See Tip # 5!!!!!

Tip #6 For Real: Learn Basic Objection Overcoming

Do not use "If I could would you" because you assume price is the only objection.

See my article on how to handle "I want to think about it."

Tip #7: Do Not Rely on Lot Traffic (Only)

I'm not saying stay away from lot traffic. What I am saying that if it is dead, call some prospects and previous customers. Ask for referrals. Talk to service customers.

Tip #8: Cash is King: Ask for Cash Down

Hit a customer for money down if they are financing. It gives you a better chance of getting the deal done and holding gross.

Do Not Ask: "How much do you want to put down?" or "Do you want to put any money down?" People hate putting money down.

Do Ask: "Do you want to put the standard 10% down or do you want to put more to help lower your payments?

If a customer says, "Lets see how much I need" then still try to get a number out of them.

If a customer says, "Maybe $3000" then say, "When you say 'Maybe' does that mean that you can put $3000 down right now?" Most of the time "maybe" means that they don't have it. When my kids ask for something at WalMart and I say, "Maybe later" I am really saying "No" but am just to scared to say it to them. Your customers are exactly the same.

Make sure it is a real number that they have now--not when they hit the lotto, not when they get their tax return, not when the Nigerians give them $3 million dollars for their uncle that worked in the oil business and just died, etc.

Tip #9: Get people to like you!!!

Make people laugh.

Get them talking about themselves. (Their favorite subject)

Smile a lot!

Keep your problems at home.

If you make a friend, they will go out of their way to buy from you.

Tip #10: Sell the sizzle, not the steak.

Sell the excitement of owning your car. Sell the vacation they will take with it. Sell the money they will save. Sell how jealous their friends will be when they see it. Sell how professional they will look at work. Sell how happy they will be.

Tip #11: (Had to add another one) Use a Great Follow up Program like Car Sales Assistant 12

Put everyone you talk to into it. Use it to remind you to make calls and print letters. It will help you sell more cars, there is no question about it.