How to get a job as a car salesman (Complete Guide)
Career Advice Career Basics

How to get a job as a car salesman (Complete Guide)

How to get a job as a car salesman: Car salesmen are an important component of the automobile industry and they’re tasked with helping individuals make ideal decisions when choosing what type of vehicle to purchase. They also play a vital role in the general profitability of car dealerships. While this career path requires a number of qualifications and a great amount of dedication, it can be a very fulfilling job for many.

In this article, we would address what a car salesperson does, their average salary, and the steps needed to pursue this career path.

What does a car salesperson do?

A car salesperson’s main job is assisting potential clients in selecting a vehicle for lease or purchase. Car salespersons usually help clients evaluate potential automobiles by explaining various aspects of the car, such as its make, model, mileage rates, and luxury features. They sometimes also follow clients during a test drive in which the client can drive the car to get a feel of how it runs.

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To be effective as a car salesperson, it’s expedient you know all the details of the cars you will be showing to the clients. This means that you should spend a large portion of your time studying every little detail of the vehicles and becoming conversant with the various aspects of how particular cars work. Automotive salespeople are also responsible for completing all paperwork associated with the purchase or lease of a vehicle and must be well informed of all policies and procedures related to this process. Which includes understanding the financial processes of buying or leasing a car as well as how different loan institutions work and the kind of offers they provide to potential clients.

Listed below are various tasks that a car sales person may perform while on the job:

  • Studying the characteristics, features and capabilities of the cars available for sale.
  • Staying updated on the competitive models of vehicles offered at the car dealership.
  • Educating the clients on various car details.
  • Matching the clients with automobiles that mostly meet their criteria for the desired vehicle.
  • Keeping in touch with potential clients via phone or email.
  • Responding to vehicle-related inquiries made by potential clients.
  • Negotiating the price and car features to help complete a deal.
  • Completing sales reports to provide information on sales to management.
  • Participating in sales training offered at the dealership.
  • Creating and processing all paperwork associated with a car sale or lease.

Average salary of a car salesperson

The average annual salary of a car salesperson is $62,642 according to the bureau of labor statistics. However, this number can change significantly depending on some factors. Most car salespeople are given a base salary, base salaries are set income that they will receive irrespective of sales.

What truly determines the overall income of car salespeople are the commissions made from selling or leasing vehicles. Every dealership has its percentages, but the average commission for these professionals ranges from 20 to 25% of the dealership’s earnings. Let’s say, a car is sold for $50,000 and the dealership makes $10,000 from this sale, the car salesperson would be given $2,000 to $2,500 in commission. Working at high-end dealerships and having a high rate of sales can increase a car salesperson’s income astronomically.


How to become a car salesperson

Below listed are the steps you can take to pursue a career as a car sales representative:
1. Complete the minimum educational requirement.
2. Get your license.
3. Accumulate work experience.
4. Complete training

Complete the minimum educational requirement

The minimum of a high school diploma or GED equivalent is what’s required to become a car salesperson. Having this educational requirement will typically allow you to apply for most car salesperson positions. However, a bachelor’s degree in business or finance would be better if your ultimate goal is to eventually become a sales manager

Get licensed

Although not all states require car salespeople to be licensed, some do. Every state varies in its requirements for a car salesperson. States like California require people in this career path to submit an application and pay a fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles to be licensed to sell cars in the state. Some other states may require individuals to take an exam.

Gain work experience

Most car dealerships require some form of experience in a sales position from their potential employee. Demonstrating your ability to effectively communicate and exhibiting a high level of customer service skill will set you apart from other candidates.

Complete training

After successfully been hired as a car salesperson, you would most likely be required to complete a training course before becoming eligible to sell cars on your own. These training programs are typically company-oriented like how the dealership works as well as specific education on some type of cars the dealership offers.

What skills does a car sales representative need?

There are many skills required to be a car salesman, but one of the most important skills needed to be a successful car salesperson is the ability to be persuasive and effectively communicate with customers. Car salespeople spend most of their time educating clients on vehicles while helping them make the right decision as to what car would best suit their needs. They would sometimes also need to persuade hesitant customers to buy a vehicle and on other occasions work with challenging clients. Knowing how to efficiently communicate can increase a car salesperson’s success percentage.

Additional skills that car salespeople need include:

  • Listening skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Organization skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Adaptability
  • Technical skills
  • Financial skills

What is the work schedule like for a car salesperson?

Most car salespeople work full time, or an average of 40 hours a week. A car salesperson’s schedule may not be set, however, they may be required to show up during weekends and nights as many car dealerships are open during those times as well.