How To Have a Career in Used Car Sales

The auto industry experiences slumps, but used car sales are always good. There is always a customer for a well maintained and affordable vehicle. You can have a lucrative career in the used car industry if you are willing to put in the time and effort. Here’s how to get started.

  1. Evaluate your personality. You should be likeable with a warm and pleasing personality, have effective communication skills; good sales ability and you should be organized. You must be willing to work on nights and weekends, since that is when the bulk of sales are made. You must also be willing to stand for long periods, even outside during hot or wet and cold weather conditions. You must also be well groomed at all times, so good hygiene and taking care of your appearance is a must.
  2. You must have a valid driver’s license and good driving and parking skills. When a client comes in to the lot, you should be able to take the car out so the customer can take it for a test drive. Sometimes, you will need to move several vehicles before you reach the one the client wants, and then you’ll need to return the other cars you moved out of the way. Get the picture?
  3. Apply for a job at the used car dealership. Shop used car dealerships sell a variety of makes and models, whereas some specialize in specific brands. The more knowledge about cars you have, the better, although what is most important is your sales ability.
  4. Get a state issued used car dealer regulatory license. The dealer should have it’s own license to sell used cars, although some states may require individual sales license. Your employer should be able to assist you with this.
  5. Get the appropriate training. Read up on the vehicles that you are selling. Aside from the price, people are looking at the features, as well as the reliability ratings of cars. You must also know the sales process, such as if you offer in house financing, and what documents you will need to get signed to close the deal. You will typically have to shadow a senior salesperson the first week or two before you are able to sell on your own.
  6. Start networking. Let your friends and family members know to come to you if they are looking for a used car. Although the bulk of sales come from walk in customers, referrals are a surer deal. Also, if you depend on walk ins, you will have to compete with the other salespeople on rotation.
  7. Be sincere. A used car salesman has a negative image of a plaid wearing, smooth talking shyster who will sell a sucker a lemon car. Break this mold by being upfront and being sincere. Be professional and make sure that your customer understands what he is buying. Don’t insert any hidden costs that were not previously discussed. Do learn to cross sell products and services, such as additional warranties and insurance.
  8. Stay positive. There are slumps in any selling year so you must remain upbeat if you want to be successful. Read books to improve your sales and closing skills.

Compensation plans vary per dealership. Typically, a salesperson will work on commission, although some now offer a base salary to improve employee retention. If you feel you can be a success in used car auto sales, try it!


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