What is a Car Salesman?

Do you have a friendly and outgoing personality? Are you able to listen attentively? You may be a perfect fit to work as a car salesman.

Car salesmen work for automobile dealerships that specialize in specific brands and models of cars. They are responsible for showing and selling automobiles to people who visit the car dealership. They use their product knowledge and people skills to not only be successful with selling cars, but to meet the needs of a variety of clients and situations.

What does a Car Salesman do?

As a customer service representative, a car salesman will greet arriving customers and make themselves available to answer any questions they may have. They will explain the various features of whichever model the customer is interested in, and also explain financing options and warranties.

They must have adequate knowledge about every automobile in the dealership and must be prepared to answer any questions customers put forth.

A car salesman showing a woman a car and explaining its features.

Taking a customer out for a test drive is one of the main selling tools in car sales. Test drives allow customers to check out the performance of the vehicle, and also gives the customer an opportunity to determine whether they feel comfortable driving that particular model.

A car salesman will usually accompany the customer on the test drive to answer any questions they may have, as well as for liability reasons and to prevent theft.

A car salesman is responsible for negotiating car prices and trade-in values with the customer. They know the dealers' costs in advance so they are aware of how much leeway they have on sales and trade-in prices.

Customers may make offers on cars during the negotiating process, and the salesman will typically discuss these offers with the manager or owner of the dealership. The car salesman will then come back to the customer and let them know if a deal has been authorized or if there is perhaps a counter-offer.

Once a car is sold, the car salesman will coordinate the financing of the vehicle through the dealership's finance department. The salesman will escort the customer to the finance manager's office, and then wait for the customer to complete the credit application and necessary paperwork.

Afterwards, the car salesman may coordinate any repairs, cleaning, or servicing that may need to be done through the customer service department. They will also follow up with the customer after the purchase to see how well they like their new vehicle and to address any concerns or questions they may have.

Are you suited to be a car salesman?

Car salesmen have distinct personalities. They tend to be enterprising individuals, which means they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic. They are dominant, persuasive, and motivational. Some of them are also artistic, meaning they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if car salesman is one of your top career matches.

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What is the workplace of a Car Salesman like?

Car salesmen work for automobile dealerships that specialize in specific brands and models of cars -- and most work on commission. They are employed by new car dealerships or used car dealerships.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Car Salesmen happy?

Car salesmen rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 3rd percentile of careers for satisfaction scores. Please note that this number is derived from the data we have collected from our Sokanu members only.

The occupation’s markedly low happiness quotient may be related to a decades-old stereotype of car salesmen. According to Gallup and other polls, car salespeople continue to be ranked as some of the least honest, least ethical professionals in America. The negative effect of this stigma may be that awareness of the stereotype hurts both job performance and job satisfaction.

Should I become a Car Salesman?

Without exception, successful car salesmen possess the following:

Mental toughness
Selling cars is mentally and emotionally challenging. Occasionally, you will have to deal with difficult customers and with the stress they bring.

Thick Skin
People who sell cars have often been caricatured as shifty dealers who play loose with the facts. Although this is a cartoonish stereotype, you will still have to deal with the salesman jokes and be able to control your thoughts, words, and emotions.

Charisma and communication skills
You will need a certain charm and magnetism. You will need to communicate interest and integrity and carefully choose words and gestures that support the sales process. If you are not able to convince prospective car buyers of the value you see in your product, success in this field will prove to be elusive.

No two customers are exactly alike. Your success rate will grow exponentially if you are able to adapt to different personality types and unfamiliar situations. Adaptability is also the road to building customer loyalty and attracting repeat buyers.

So, you have the required characteristics and skills. Are you also ready to accept:

-the pressure and fluctuating income of commission sales?
-the fierce competition in the automotive sales industry?
-often working evenings, weekends, and statutory holidays?
-standing for long periods of time, sometimes outside in car lots in intense summer heat or winter cold?
-the need to be constantly prospecting, following up, and building client relationships?

If, indeed, you are suited to the career of car salesman and become a top performer at a dealership, you can earn more than $100,000 per year and receive a no-cost ‘demo’ car to drive. Additionally, most dealerships provide their employees with excellent benefit plans.

How long does it take to become a Car Salesman?

Aspiring car salesmen can enter the field after earning a high school diploma. Most dealerships have in-house training programs for new-hires. These programs can last up to twelve months and combine formal instruction with on-lot experience under the guidance of an experienced salesperson.

What are Car Salesmen like?

Based on our pool of users, car salesmen tend to be predominately enterprising people. This is not unexpected, since, by definition, all successful salespeople are enterprising. Selling big-ticket items like cars calls for an even more pronounced dedication to initiative and resourcefulness.

Car Salesmen are also known as:
Car Salesperson Vehicle Salesperson Automobile Salesman Automobile Salesperson Vehicle Salesman