How do I Become a Car Salesperson?

N. Madison
N. Madison

While each automotive dealership may set its own standards for hiring new car salespeople, most share the same basic requirements. Most car dealerships require successful job candidates to have driver’s licenses, acceptable driving records, and satisfactory results on a background check. Some dealerships may also require car salesmen to be at least 18 years old and have completed high school or earned a general educational development (GED) diploma. There are no particular degree programs or training courses required for a person who wants to become a car salesperson.

Car salesmen must be able to connect with buyers at a personal level.
Car salesmen must be able to connect with buyers at a personal level.

An individual who wants to become a car salesperson may do a bit of self-educating by learning as much as he can about cars. Though he won’t have to fix or build cars, a car salesman may benefit from having at least a basic knowledge of the inner workings of automobiles, including types of engines, exhaust systems, and fuel types. He may also find some benefit in learning about popular makes and models, car warranties, standard features, extra features, vehicle maintenance, and recall records. A prospective car salesman may wait until he’s hired to learn detailed information about the particular cars he has to sell, but having an above-average knowledge of cars may help him to not only get his foot in the door of the dealership, but also sell more cars.

Car salespeople should have at least a basic knowledge of and enthusiasm for cars.
Car salespeople should have at least a basic knowledge of and enthusiasm for cars.

Good sales and communication skills are also necessary for a person who wants to become a car salesperson. He must be able to listen well and understand the needs of his customers. He must know how to inform potential customers about the benefits of buying a car without seeming pushy enough to intimidate or aggravate them. He should also have the ability to analyze verbal cues and body language, knowing when to press on or back off of his sales pitch.

To get a job as a car salesperson, an individual typically visits a dealership and completes an application.
To get a job as a car salesperson, an individual typically visits a dealership and completes an application.

Some people say sales ability is a talent a person has naturally while others think anyone can become a successful salesman. Gaining experience with selling, whether it involves cars or another product, is likely to help an individual who wants to become a car salesperson. The more practice a person gets, the better he may become at selling. Some car dealerships may institute their own training programs or courses that are designed to help their salesmen sell more cars.

Learning about vehicle maintenance is an important aspect of becoming a car salesperson.
Learning about vehicle maintenance is an important aspect of becoming a car salesperson.

To get a job as a car salesperson, an individual typically visits a dealership and completes an application. He may have to demonstrate both math and sales ability in order to secure a job. In some places, the local driver's licensing agency may require new salespeople to apply for a vehicle salesperson license before beginning work or within a short time thereafter.

A car salesmen must be able to understand the needs of his customers.
A car salesmen must be able to understand the needs of his customers.
Car salespeople should have a thorough knowledge of the maintenance services offered by their dealership.
Car salespeople should have a thorough knowledge of the maintenance services offered by their dealership.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments

Animandel

Sporkasia - The applicants with the confidence are more likely to be hired, so most salespersons have a bit of confidence.

Drentel

Animandel - Remember that that knowledgeable salesperson you want is also trying to make a living. He wants you to buy a car and spend as much money as possible, so make sure you do your research and don't lean too much on the salesperson.

Animandel
Sporkasia - I agree that from the car salesperson's point of view confidence is very important if he or she wants to make a decent living. However, what I want is a car salesperson who is knowledgeable. I want the person trying to sell me the vehicle to know more than I know--a lot more.

When I buy a car I research the cars I am interested in purchasing. However, even with hours of research, I can't know all there is to know about the various vehicles on my list, so I want someone who can help me make an informed decision.

So even if my salesperson is lacking in confidence, I can live with that as long as he knows his products, and can help me figure out what I need to know to make a purchase.

Sporkasia

One attribute that accounts for a successful car salesperson is confidence. I think that is the most important trait for anybody in sales. Car salesmen and saleswomen who are timid are easily intimidated by customers and they don't inspire the customers to have confidence in them.

Many potential car buyers go into a car dealership with their guards up because car salespersons have reputations as being dishonest. The salesperson's first job is to reassure the buyer and get the buyer to lower his or her guards. If that does not happen then the sale will never take place.

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