How to Be a Successful Car Salesman: 6 Car Selling Tips for the Digital Age

Aaron Colby

how to be a successful car salesman


April 23, 2020

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It’s no secret that the future of auto sales is shifting gears. Car buyers are spending less time at dealerships and more time online.  But do you know how to be a successful car salesman as we move further into this digital age?

Because while the process of selling cars used to be a well-oiled machine, complete with print ads and billboards – that’s simply not enough anymore. Things have changed.

The price point (and every other detail) of every comparable car within 1,500 miles is at the customer’s fingertips, so a low price can’t even guarantee a sale.

And while charisma and a friendly demeanor might help you sell a car, it’s no use if people aren’t coming into your dealership in the first place. You can’t just wait for customers to stroll in. You need to actively achieve face-to-face time with them before they even step foot in your lot – and that requires video.

So, as you figure out how to become a good car salesman in the 21st century, know that it requires an agile, plugged-in mind to see the opportunities hidden in these challenges.

To help you navigate the new car-buying model that consumers are embracing, we’ve compiled a list of car sales tactics to consider in the modern digital era:

1. Learn Names and Remember Them

What’s in a name? A lot, actually, especially if you want to get cars sold.

If you want to learn how to be a successful car salesman in this day and age, you need to start learning the names of current and future customers and remembering them.

This needs to happen before any car sales pitch is made. And adding names to the subject lines of your marketing emails – while among good email tactics – doesn’t cut it alone.

You see, with the progression of technology, the personal touch of communication has dwindled. Plain-text emails, especially marketing emails, have lost their authenticity.

But people still need to know they’re not just a number in order to trust you – especially since this is a purchase they only make a handful of times in their lifetime.

So, as soon as you get an online lead, learn their names. Send them an introductory video email and use their names in your message in a natural way – like you would with a friend of yours in casual conversation. You can also write their name on a whiteboard to display in an animated GIF to increase their likelihood of pressing play.

See how Katherine Wysocki from Volkswagen of Rochester reaches out to online leads as part of her car sales prospecting in the video below…

By kicking off her video with her prospect’s name in a friendly greeting, she is showing him that he matters. It engages the trust needed to build a relationship. That’s what will get him in the dealership in person, and off the lot with a new car.

2. Answer Questions and Showcase Your Knowledge (Better Than Google)

Once the introduction has been made to potential customers, you are bound to have questions pouring into your inbox.

But consumers are more educated than ever before because…

 They have access to the same stock you do on any car they’re interested in across the whole country.
 They have access to the same Carfax and other reports you do right from their phone.
 They probably have also already initiated at least one or a few conversations with other dealerships and sales professionals through email or some other digital communication medium before talking to you.

However, only you can give them the full picture along the car buying process – not Google. Part of figuring out how to be a successful car salesman right now is learning to adapt.

So, to stand out in the new level playing field, you need to give prospective clients direct answers to their questions on a more personal level via automotive video email. This is how you’ll give them a great car buying customer experience that will bring you success.

As you record, don’t contradict your customers. It can come across as condescending. Instead, gently steer them toward the truth.

Video is the only way you can get this across with empathy. Plain-text email answers can be misinterpreted. Don’t take that risk. Be of value in a personal way that Google can’t.

3. Know What Customers Want and Show Them

Part of mastering how to become a good car salesman means perfecting the art of identifying what your customers want and delivering on those expectations.

Many customers have a specific car in mind that they want to purchase – one they’ve methodically researched. Unfortunately, that can give them tunnel vision which can be difficult to get past.

However, if you ask your client what kind of features and feelings they’re going for, you can tailor your car sales pitch to them. If they want one model of car that looks good and goes really fast, you can offer them similar options and thus provide a wider selection. And you can accomplish this before they even step foot in the dealership.

You can send customers the best car sales walk around videos of their dream car, and/or other close options, ahead of time. So, when they do make it to your lot, they come in with a more open mind and test drive the cars they liked most in your videos.

Watch how Doug Hodgson of MacMaster Buick GMC, conducts an auto walk around on camera in the video below…

Doug really focuses his video on the car, and how its features will benefit his client. So, he will know just what to expect from the vehicle when he comes to test it out in person.

These videos save both you and the customer time. And this will make the decision phase go a lot quicker.

4. Patience is a Virtue

Of course, patience has always been an important factor in the auto sales process. That’s important to remember when you’re learning how to be a successful car salesman in the modern car-buying age.

Customers can smell desperation. They don’t like being pushed either.

And yet, they want to buy! They just don’t want to be sold.

So, just because a customer walks out of your dealership without a vehicle, doesn’t mean it’s over. They may just need more time to make a decision, and that’s OK.

In the meantime, you can reach out to these customers with a video thanking them for stopping by the dealership. Tell them how much you enjoyed showing them cars, and welcome any questions they may have.

The fortune, after all, is in the follow-up.  The more you can cultivate relationships with every video email, the more likely you are to get the deal. Stay friendly, stay cool, and stay patient.

5. Check In After the Deal is Done

Even after your clients sign on the dotted line, the work continues. Because ultimately, you want customers for life – not just the duration of this transaction.

Learning how to be a successful car salesman means figuring out how to keep people coming back and garnering referrals.

So after the sale is made and a vehicle leaves the lot, send your customers a video email to see how they’re liking their new car. Express your gratitude for their business, and encourage them to leave a review.

Videos like this will leave a lasting impression long after customers purchase their vehicle. That way you’ll stay top of mind when it comes time to refer someone or buy another car further down the road.

6. Take Charge of Your Online Marketing

If you want to know how to become a successful car salesman, online marketing must be a priority. Online marketing for any business requires a coherent strategy – one with clear messaging that will get people in the door of your dealership.

Whether you’re serious and professional, or informal and light, you need to keep that consistent to build your brand. And the best way to showcase your brand is on camera across your online marketing platforms.

Use video to highlight your team and culture. Post regular walk arounds of cars on the lot. Record giveaways and service center specials. Share simple vehicle maintenance tips to keep cars in top shape. Be an expert your current and future customers can trust.

See how MacMaster Buick GMC accomplishes this with its Tuesday’s Tech Tips YouTube series…

Don’t let your online marketing get put on the backburner. And don’t let the cars in your lot pay the price for a lack of internet presence.

Differentiate Yourself in Car Sales with Video

The car sales tactics covered in this post all have something in common – video. Video is ultimately what gives you the edge over your competitors. Especially in a digital age when communication has become so impersonal.

Need more ideas for getting started with video? Check out how top dealerships are using automotive video email to sell more cars.

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