Dos and don’ts for a successful car salesman

For most people, selling is an inevitable part of daily life, whether it is part of someone’s job or a necessary aspect of entering the supermarket. Yet for those not conversant in the ‘tricks of the trade’, selling something large such as a second hand vehicle can appear daunting. If you have ever thought, “I need to sell my car, but have no idea how to convince a buyer to part with enough cash,” then here are some starting points.

Be a likeable salesperson

Fight the cliché of sleazy, aggressive salespeople pressuring victims to sign on the dotted line. Instead, maintain a likeable, polite but friendly, manner, while paying close attention to the customer’s needs and maintaining your enthusiasm until – and after – a deal is agreed.

Don’t ‘sell, sell, sell’

Avoid the hard sell and never be aggressive to a potential buyer. Don’t argue with them; ask questions until you reach agreement. Never criticise other cars, products or viewpoints. Finally, it goes without saying that you should never smell of alcohol or cigarettes when you approach a customer.

Follow the AIDA sales approach

A – attention. Give the customer your full attention, perhaps pointing out a few features of the car, but not overwhelming them with too much detail.

I – interest. Show that you are interested in their specific needs. Will the car be used for business or pleasure? For a family or a single driver? Such questions will help you to tailor your sales pitch and the customer to make a better-informed decision.

D – desire. Use what you have learned about the customer’s requirements to match them with specific features of your car. Do they have a large family? Point out the spacious back seat. Travelling long distances? Demonstrate how comfortable the car is to drive and talk about fuel economy.

A – action. Experienced salespeople know instinctively when to close the deal, however you should get a feel for when to go in for the sale after a few minutes’ conversation. Don’t leave it too long or they will lose interest.

Remain flexible

Be prepared to discuss discounts, especially if your car needs some work. You could avoid this by offering to get the work done prior to the customer handing over their money. Customers also appreciate sellers who are happy to arrange collection or delivery on a day / time that suits them, rather than the other way round.