Best Training for a Car Salesman Seeking Employment

training for car salesman

You’re a born salesman, and for anyone looking to make a living making deals, cars represent one of the purest environments out there. The automotive industry is a place where a talented negotiator can make a fortune (the average yearly earnings are over $70,000!), but if you really want to land a great job you’ve got to focus on the right training.

For car salesman career prep, you’ve probably heard a thousand different tips. Some work and others look good on paper but don’t get the job done in the real world. In fact, some of the worst ideas you’ve ever heard came from high-powered sales seminars, and a few unforgettable gems were from the guy running the convenience store down the street. How do you sort it all out?

We know exactly how you feel—at Phone Ninjas, we’ve spent decades in the automotive industry finding out what flies and what dies when it comes to training for car salesman success and hitting monthly goals on the lot. Whether it’s nurturing leads on the phone or closing the show at the dealership, the techniques and tactics we’ve learned are some of the best training for a car salesman looking to impress a GM and land a job. If you’re looking to go into car sales, here are the things you’ll need to know to mesh seamlessly with today’s sales teams. 

Have the Right Credentials

You’ve probably been told that you have to go to college to get a job, but car sales are one of the few environments where talent and hard work are the only real job qualifications. Many dealerships want a high school diploma or a GED, but if you’re a natural and can make them money, neither of those is necessary.

However, if you want to run the show one day, a bachelor’s degree in business or finance really looks good, so that’s a goal you should probably pursue. Selling cars is a skill you can develop with experience, but business is based on fundamentals you’ll need to learn in school or through training. 

Finally, you may have to get a license to be a car salesman. Some states require one, others do not, and those that do have differing requirements. It can be as simple as filling out an application and paying a fee, or you might have to pass a formal exam.

Get Some Experience with People

Many dealers offer training for car salesman candidates who are new to the dealership. But while on-the-job training is great, some experience with people in sales environments is an extremely important head start. After all, cars are expensive, and a GM isn’t going to want to begin on the ground floor with an associate. The more experience you have before applying, the more likely you are to get the job in the first place. 

While there’s no comprehensive answer as to exactly what each dealership will want, here are a few common examples of experience that will show anyone you can communicate effectively and deliver excellent customer service:

  • Volunteer experience: Humane Society volunteers, hospital patient escorts, and non-profit internships are all great resume lines that speak to your ability to communicate.
  • Retail experience: If you’ve worked in retail and have some experience with helping customers, those skills translate well. 
  • Customer service: Selling cars requires great listening skills as well as expertise in problem solving and troubleshooting. 
  • Previous jobs in commission sales: The automotive industry works on commission in many instances, so knowing what to expect is key. 
  • Dealership or technician experience: If you love cars and have spent a lot of time around them, you have one of the most important qualifications a GM is looking for. There’s no substitute for passion!

Above all, the top attribute every dealer wants is great interpersonal skills, and if you can support them with experience in sales environments, a lot will translate to the dealer-specific training they’ll give you. 

Skills for Today’s Auto Sales Industry

In addition to aptitude and experience in the basics of bargaining and selling, you’ll need to know what the top dealerships are expecting in terms of modern sales tactics and strategies. You’ll be joining a team, and that means preparing for the modern car sales environment. That includes familiarity with phone scripts, brand-specific language, and the ability to support your colleagues to hit your monthly sales goals. Here are some of the more advanced skill sets you’ll need to cultivate to be an instant top pick for any dealership:

  • Negotiation skills are the very core of a car salesman’s job. There are a number of excellent books, college courses, websites, and independent coaches who can give you industry-specific insights. A non-sales job at a dealership is also a great way to start absorbing the skill.
  • A deep knowledge of cars is essential, from in-depth technical facts to overall design principles. These are the key details your customers will want to know, and you need to be prepared to guide them. 
  • Phone skills: Sales scripts are one of the most important tools today’s dealers are using to coordinate brand messaging, generate leads, and increase revenues. You’ll need to understand what they are and how to use them effectively. If you’ve never seen one, check out these free scripts to help you practice.
  • Interpersonal skills: if you can’t speak to strangers in an easy and natural way, you’ll need some coaching. Phone scripts in particular need to be delivered authentically and without sounding rigid, and that takes active coaching and experience to dial in.  

Training for car salesman careers may take time and effort, but if you’re passionate and dedicated nothing can stop you!

Find a Mentor Who Can Show You the Ropes

One of the best resources you’ll ever have if you’re looking to get started in automotive sales is a mentor with experience in the field. Formal training for car salesman skills is great, but if you know someone who’s been there and done it they’ll teach you more in five minutes than you’ll ever get from a seminar. 

Of course, if you can find a mentor who’s a professional trainer as well as an experienced industry pro, that’s ideal. At Phone Ninjas, we have over five decades of combined training for car salesman success, and we work with dealerships all over the country to get their sales teams operating at their peak. We know what the modern industry looks like, the employee skills GMs desperately need, and how to coach a sales associate to use them consistently to get bottom-line results. 

You’re likely to find our training in place at many successful dealerships, so experience with our methods and scripting techniques will look great on any resume. We’ve got a huge, free knowledge base you can access to start learning, and we’d love to hear from you to chat. Reach out to see how we can help!

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training for car salesman

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