Given that car sales account for 19% of total U.S. sales in 2000 (source: U.S. Small Business Administration), a lot of people are buying cars which mean that are a lot of people selling cars. Additionally, new car sales have dropped from 63.4% in 1989 to 60% in 1999. Selling cars is not easy given that many still have a negative perception of car salesmen or women. Hopefully, these 7 tips may help you to sell more cars.
- First and Foremost YOU need to think of yourself as a business. Car sales people work for an auto dealership, but most work on a salary and commission basis. When your compensation is commission based, this means you have more control of your destiny and should view yourself as a business instead of just a sales person.
- Adopt a Planning Attitude. If you do not have a plan, then you are on some else’s plan – usually the successful car saleswoman or salesman. As a practicing performance improvement consultant or coach for the last 10 years, I have observed that most people plan less for their entire lives than they do for a simple visit to the grocery store.
- Learn how to prospect. There exists a fundamental belief that the auto dealership is responsible for bringing traffic through the door because the dealership owners have all those “big bucks” for media advertising. Given that 80% of all new sales comes from referrals, would it not make more sense to prospect individually rather than rely on outside resources to control your destiny? Those media efforts usually bring in suspects, not prospects. Use your time wisely by focusing on prospects those who have a need, dollars and are a decision-maker. Don’t rely only on the auto dealer to send out letters. Take the time to write some handwritten notes.
- Improve your sales skills to make more money. Today’s buyers are far more savvy than years ago. Learn how to cultivate and develop long term relationships. Consider a proven buying/selling sales process where marketing and selling skills are united to deliver to the desired results of another sold car. New car sales to used car sales are far more relationship based selling than years ago when car sales was a commodity sale.
- Establish your sales goals using your great planning attitude. If you are a car salesman or car saleswoman and have 300 customers and the industry average sales cycle is 3 years, then every year you should be selling 100 cars. Focus your efforts of those who will be buying a car this year, but remember to continue to touch those who will potentially be buying another car in 2 or 3 years. HINT: Use the W.A.Y. S.M.A.R.T.criteria for goal setting.
- Identify the attitudes or beliefs that are obstacles to your success. Working with those in the auto industry, I have heard countless reasons why sales cannot be made. However, when these reasons are reviewed, they are usually unfounded reasons based upon existing attitudes and beliefs. For example, “corporate has ruined the car industry by posting prices on the Internet. Everyone knows everything about the car.” My response is “if price was a real objection, then everyone would be driving a Yugo or a Chevette. And doesn’t it make more sense to have an educated buyer than an uneducated one when it comes to your time and resources?” HINT: When you change how you look at things, the things you look at will change.
- Make managing yourself priority number one. You must learn how to maximize your time especially in the area of time management, ongoing professional development such as through business coaching training and personal life balance. The auto industry is truly a 24/7 business given that cars are with us each and every day of our lives. However, it is important not to lose sight of your personal life including family, friends, physical health, etc.
Yes, you can be an incredible car salesperson who can increase sales through these 7 simple car salesman tips. Just remember, sales regardless of industry is all about knowing your numbers and then multiplying your activity to secure those desired results.