Hello everyone,
I am looking to get into the car selling business and would love for some experienced sales consultants to give me some pointers. I am looking for some answers as to what helped you find your niche when it comes to selling, what were some ways you advertised for yourself personally and were they successful, what did you do to make yourself stand out to customers and your managers so they knew you were trying your absolute best?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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Hello and welcome.

what questions and concerns do you have?

JohnB
Hi Elizabeth,
I know I look like I'm 12 in my pic, but I have been doing this for a while! Hopefully you will find some of this helpful! As far as personal branding About 7 years ago when I first got in, people used to put their pictures in the local paper to let people know where they are at and what they are selling.....my how things have changed! At this time I would recommend using twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc to help you build your brand. You need to be where the eyeballs are and everyone is online. Rather than rant on this for an hour, ill recommend you pick up the book "crush it" by Gary Vaynerchuck. It will show you the path!
Finding your niche in sales is often times a tough one but once you sell a few cars, or whatever it is your selling, you will know what you did that worked. Or possibly you will notice a certain demographic you have a lot of luck with. Use that to your advantage. When I first started it seemed like a couple would walk on the lot (I was in my early 20s they were in their early 40s) The husband thinks im a kid and dont know what im talking about, but the wife thinks i look like her son, lol. Use it to build rapport and humanize yourself and you will win every time. I knew that my strong point wasnt selling trucks to hard core truck guys because they knew more than I did at the time about the product. I did find my path selling new hyundais to college kids, young couples, single women, and business men looking for a work car, because I could relate to them and understand they wanted. When you understand and listen to what they want, you can suggest what it is that will satisfy that particular need.
Lastly, if you want to stand out to your customers, be genuine. In everything you do and say. Customers run into too many "typical car salesmen" anything you do that comes off as being even remotely human will get their attention. Being a woman, I would imagine your going to have plenty of success in this field. Men are easily influenced by women of course, and women oftentimes feel more comfortable dealing with someone of the same sex rather than a man. Just don't waste time B.S ing with the guys you work with! That's an easy way to get your managers attention in the wrong way, when you could be easily getting their attention making the sales I hope you are in the future! Best of luck!
Great advice Walt, and I think you can see by looking at me - that I understand exactly what you mean. I once had a kind older lady on the lot say to me as I was getting ready to pull a car up for her to see "Oh Honey - you mean to tell me that they actullay let you drive cars around here?" (Meaning, she didn't think I looked old enough to drive - HA!)

Anyways, Elizabeth -


I wrote an two short articles on this very subject, and I think you'll find them helpful:

The Power in 3:
http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0Ab4EMd3pF-H6ZGdtd3Zuem1fMTY4c2M0a...

and

"Copying" Somebody is Not Cheating: It's Smart.
http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0Ab4EMd3pF-H6ZGdtd3Zuem1fMTMxYzZkY...

Best to you all,

Tobias Sedillos

Walt Kustra said:
Hi Elizabeth,
I know I look like I'm 12 in my pic, but I have been doing this for a while! Hopefully you will find some of this helpful! As far as personal branding About 7 years ago when I first got in, people used to put their pictures in the local paper to let people know where they are at and what they are selling.....my how things have changed! At this time I would recommend using twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc to help you build your brand. You need to be where the eyeballs are and everyone is online. Rather than rant on this for an hour, ill recommend you pick up the book "crush it" by Gary Vaynerchuck. It will show you the path!
Finding your niche in sales is often times a tough one but once you sell a few cars, or whatever it is your selling, you will know what you did that worked. Or possibly you will notice a certain demographic you have a lot of luck with. Use that to your advantage. When I first started it seemed like a couple would walk on the lot (I was in my early 20s they were in their early 40s) The husband thinks im a kid and dont know what im talking about, but the wife thinks i look like her son, lol. Use it to build rapport and humanize yourself and you will win every time. I knew that my strong point wasnt selling trucks to hard core truck guys because they knew more than I did at the time about the product. I did find my path selling new hyundais to college kids, young couples, single women, and business men looking for a work car, because I could relate to them and understand they wanted. When you understand and listen to what they want, you can suggest what it is that will satisfy that particular need.
Lastly, if you want to stand out to your customers, be genuine. In everything you do and say. Customers run into too many "typical car salesmen" anything you do that comes off as being even remotely human will get their attention. Being a woman, I would imagine your going to have plenty of success in this field. Men are easily influenced by women of course, and women oftentimes feel more comfortable dealing with someone of the same sex rather than a man. Just don't waste time B.S ing with the guys you work with! That's an easy way to get your managers attention in the wrong way, when you could be easily getting their attention making the sales I hope you are in the future! Best of luck!
HELLO ELIZABETH!
MAKE SURE THAT THIS IS THE BUSINESS THAT YOU WANT TO BE IN. TRY THIS FOR STARTERS. DO YOUR HOME WORK. FIND THE BEST POSSIBLE STORE, ONE THAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE IN. GO IN AND LOOK AROUND. SEE HOW EMPLOYEES TREAT EACH OTHER...HOW MANAGEMENT INTERACTS WITH THE SALES ASSOCIATES AND SO ON...ONCE YOU TAKE THE JOB, GIVE IT ALL YOU HAVE. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO EVERYTHING THAT YOU ARE TAUGHT AND MAKE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT YOU UNDERSTAND IT. THAT SAID...WHEN GREETING A CUSTOMER DO IT RIGHT. TRUST ME WHEN I TELL YOU THAT YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION IS YOUR BEST CLOSING TOOL. YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT AT THAT. BE HONEST AND UPFRONT. IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THE CUSTOMER'S QUESTION, DON'T MAKE IT UP. SIMPLY TELL THEM THAT YOU DON'T KNOW BUT, THAT YOU'LL GET THE ANSWER. KNOW YOUR PRODUCT. FOLLOW UP WITH EVERY CUSTOMER EVEN IF IT IS TO JUST SAY THANK YOU FOR COMING IN AND ALLOW YOU TO SHOW THEM YOUR PRODUCT. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS ASK FOR THE SALE. ASK FOR REFERALS. DON'T EVER ASSUME THAT ANYONE THAT WALKS ON THE LOT OR IN THE STORE IS JUST A TIRE KICKER. EVERYONE AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER WILL BY A CAR FROM SOMEBODY. YOU WANT THAT SALE TO BE YOURS. ALWAYS STAY POSITIVE. DON'T HANG AROUND WITH NEGATIVE ASSOCIATES. FACT IS YOU WON'T SELL EVERYONE THAT YOU SPEAK WITH A CAR, BUT YOU CERTAINLY CAN TRY VERY HARD. DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP WHEN YOU DON'T MAKE THE SALE. YOU'LL HAVE PLENTY OF CHANCES TO DO THAT. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU DID RIGHT WHEN YOU MADE A SALE, NOT WHAT YOU DID WRONG WHEN YOU DIDN'T. ALWAYS STICK TO THE BASICS LEARNED THE FIRST FEW DAYS IN THE BUSINESS. DON'T EVER TAKE SHORT CUTS TO MAKE A SALE. THAT WILL LEAD TO NO SALES. TRUST ME ON THAT ONE.
MY NAME IS WALDY AND I'VE SPENT 30 YEARS IN THE CAR BUSINESS. I'VE PERFORMED EVERY JOB THERE IS TO BE DONE AT A DEALERSHIP, STARTING WITH CLEAN UP ALL THE WAY UP TO GM. IF YOU REALY WANT TO MAKE MONEY; THERE'S PLENTY OF IT IN THE CAR BUSINESS. WORK SMART, NOT HARD. YOU'LL MAKE IT. LOTS OF LUCK.
WALDY.
Elizabeth,

When you land at a retailer the first thing is to get comfortable with your product. The features you find interesting you clients will as well. Dont get wrapped up in the deal, get to know your client and offer a completley different type experience. Always listen to your client whoever speaks first looses. I have trained many successful women in the automotive industry. Think outside the box, market yourself don't rely on the dealer to bring traffic become involved in women groups and other porfessional networks. As a ten year vetran in automotive being young can have ups and downs. Once your in your in manage social life and work life seperate. Stay away from negative people they will bring you down. Develop a process and stick to it "remember what works for others may not work for you" Have confidence and embrace every opportunity that you come in contact with. This is a fun and hard business all in one...

Once your in/ your in!

Good Luck
VT
Hi Elizabeth,

I first want to say that you have been given a lot of great advice so far. I just want to say a couple things and forgive me if it's been said I haven't every word everybody has written. But first once you decide that you want to choose a career in the Automotive Industry make sure you choose the right dealership that feels comfortable to you. While your being interviewed ask yourself if you can see yourself working for the person or persons interviewing you. Meet the other salepeople that are there talk to them ask them how they enjoy working there see how they respond to you. These are the people that you will spend a lot of time with so you want to feel comfortable in the store's atmosphere. Once you decide on a store I know this has been said but you need to be patient and learn everything you can about the product and follow the guidance of your manager. We have been in your shoes our goal is to help you to achieve success.
As a woman I agree with Susan it gives you a great advantage in this industry typically I have found people feel more comfortable dealing with an intelligent woman that knows her product. It doesn't mean you don't have to work hard but it gives you a step up.
In closing one thing to remember the people that do the best in this field stay at the same store they don't jump from store to store. This is a repeat and referral business.
Good Luck with your decision if you have anymore questions just ask.

Allen H
Great question Elizabeth and great advice offered by others who have been at the starting gate of the auto business at one time too. Women make 80% of the buying decisons in our world. As Susan said and as others commented about, you have a definite advantage in sales. The decision maker always feels more comfortable to work with a sales person who can relate to them and women relate better to women than to men. I started in auto sales in 1999 and worked on the sales floor for just more than a year before moving into the F&I position. The most memorable moments of those days were: the (thank you) gifts I received from clients that bought elsewhere...which taught me to be an exceptional listener...I always thought I was great at this skill until I was humbled by the car business to find out that I had a lot to learn and; calls of despair that I made to my dad when I was having an "off" day/week or month...find yourself a mentor who has lived and breathed the business for a long time and who can appreciate the ups and downs you may experience...they will clear the haziness and help you get back on the right path to selling cars.

I have a book to recommend, "Women Make the Best Salesmen" by Marion Luna Brem. She started selling cars many years ago and now owns a couple of dealerships in Texas. When you read her story, you will realize that you can do this too, the trial and tribulations she overcame to be in the position she is in today were incredible...she makes it look easy for the rest of us.

Put your best foot forward and be all of who are! Happy Selling.
Hello Elizabeth and anybody else who may be reading this:
Picking a Dealership to work for should be the same as any other company you would be interested in joining. Find out all you can about them.
Reputation: look at Better Business Bureau, Dealer Rater and other customer blogs.
Facility: Modern and great location. How long in business? Family owned? Corporate owned?
Brand: if you’re just starting out pick a manufacturer that is among the top selling brands.
Make sure your Dealer does not have a flooded floor. Are there too many salespeople employed?
Churn and Burn! Is the Sales force limited to selling new only, used only or an open floor (both)?
Ask about their training program. What will be covered? How long will it last? How long will it take to become a certified sales associate by the manufacturer? What is the average length of a salesperson employed there? Months or years?
A positive attitude will take you all the way! Do not hang around with sales associates after work at all!
Keep your personal life and business life with co-workers separate. Believe me that is Great advice.
Now pay close attention to this:
The owner of your future dealership choice is absolutely, you’re best friend! ...... Let me tell you why!
There are very few businesses where the owner makes available to you over 14 to 22 million dollars, depending on the size of the dealership. All of the new car inventory, let’s say 8 million, all of the used car inventory, again 6 million and an 8 million dollar facility, including assets, are all there for you to use and sell from FREE, No charge! No gas bill, no light bill, no cashier bill, no rent bill, no employee expense, no advertising expense. We could go on and on. I promise you that if you and you alone sold all of his or her inventory they would be as happy as a “sissy in sissy camp”.
For all you sissies out there, forgive me!
Again how much money did you have to invest to start your own automotive retail empire?
Nada! Nothing! Zero!
What you have to invest in is “YOURSELF”.
After you have first met the manager interviewing you for the sales position and after you have talked a while and he asks you “Any Question’s”? Ask him or her for the business plan/ marketing plan they have prepared for their sales associates. If they don’t have one, tell him or her thank you and Leave. You need more than sales’ training that lasts a few days. You need to see how this business “the automotive business” can make you a $100,000 a year with commitment on your end and theirs. Now I am not exaggerating here. It is done every year by sales associates who work and do not play sales associate!
Just starting out you will need a dealer who will support you and have expectations from you. Without a proper business plan you have a plan and that plan will be to fail.
Really, many of us could write a book on this. After twenty five years in the business, starting out as a used car technician to becoming a General Manager I have seen who will succeed and who won’t.
Those who invest themselves in learning that the “Customer comes first”…… WIN!
Remember…..”Attitude is everything”

Hey everyone!!
I want to say thank you so much for taking the time to give me the wonderful pointers and advice you have!! Every one of you has given me information I will definitely be using when it comes to starting out in sales. There is no question that I am going to purchase "Crush it" and "Women make the best Salesmen". I can't wait to read them and learn more about the business. I couldn't be happier to be entering into this and having so many people to reach out and help when it is asked for. Thank you again and I will keep everyone updated :)
Hello Elizabeth,
Feel free to visit my website www.davidjlong.com You can down load a sales manual that may give you some additional information to help you on your journey.
Best of luck to you and your career.
Hello Elizabeth

Excellent choice! This is a tremendous business that provides professionals with opportunities not afforded in other professions. For what it is worth I think the best advice posted yet was posted by Susan. She understands what the pitfals of the business are so listen up.

If I might add just two more points for your consideration?
1. Do not let the negative, lazy, excuse ridden bottom 20% employees (they like to title themselves "salespeople") bring you down.
2. Work at your chosen profession. Come in every day with 5-key strategies that you will accomplish. Focus your energy and efforts on achieving those goals. You have a choice to succeed...make it.

"focus on the purpose and not the outcome"
Best of luck
Joe
Elizabeth good luck with your new job. I think there are two main questions you should ask. 1 How much does the # 1 sales person make. If it isn't over $ 100,000 move on. #2. What is the average time of years you have sales people working for you. If it is not 4 years or more move on.. You will find out that dealers that pay well have the best people and do trainind. Little turn over means the dealer treats the employee well. You now know you can make good money at that dealership and the people will have a better attitude when they get trained. Give yourself time to learn everything. Best of luck.

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