How to Become a Car Salesperson

The automobile industry is constantly changing and improving to create a variety of vehicles for many different types of consumers. A car salesperson is responsible for selling many different types of new and used automobiles.

What does a car salesperson do?

A car salesperson works for a variety of automobile sales companies such as specific dealers and used car lots. Those who work for dealerships usually sell new cars of a specific manufacturer. Used car salespeople sell many different types of used cars made by many different manufacturers. All car salespeople approach and help potential customers select a car that meets their needs. They gather information such as budget and the type, size, model, and features the customer wants in a vehicle. They show the customer a variety of different options and emphasize attractive features. Car salespeople also prepare the necessary financial documents and insurance information.

What kind of training does a car salesperson need?

Car salespeople typically need at least a high school diploma and a working knowledge of a variety of types of motor vehicles. Some car salespeople have formal postsecondary training in business, sales, or other related field. Many aspiring car salespeople shadow an experienced and successful salesperson to get a feel for the job. Many car salespeople start out in lower level positions and move into sales positions as they gain the necessary skills and experience. Many employers provide some on the job training to enable new car salespeople to learn the required policies and procedures. Car salespeople complete additional training as needed throughout their careers to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a car salesperson?

Employment of car salespeople is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 8% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increased need for new automobiles will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be good especially for car salespeople with extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace car salespeople that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do car salespeople make?

As of February 2010, the average annual car salesperson salary is $109,000; average annual car salesperson salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a car salesperson is a great choice for people with a strong interest in automobiles and selling a variety of vehicles to many different customers. Car salespeople must have a solid understanding of the procedures and policies of selling automobiles. Strong sales skills, perseverance, good persuasion skills, and good negotiation skills are necessary characteristics. Car salespeople must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with a variety of customers. They must also be ok with rejection and use it as a learning experience to improve their sales techniques.

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