Automobile salespeople are front-line professionals representing the dealership as well as the manufacturer of the products he or she sells. They must have an understanding of the products they sell, finance, insurance, state and federal laws, warranties and the automobile industry in general. Salespeople are organized self-starters who can stick to a tough daily routine and prospect for new customers by telephone, mail and personal contacts. Most important, the sales staff should be excellent communicators who truly enjoy working with people.
To keep the sales staff up to date on the latest product developments and sales techniques, dealers and manufacturers conduct regular training sessions and encourage salespeople to take advantage of a wide variety of outside sales and business courses.
And, like many high-technology fields demanding extensive product knowledge, automotive salespeople are specialized. In many dealerships there are separate sales forces for used vehicles, trucks, recreational vehicles, fleet sales, and rental and leasing operations. New-car and used-car sales managers plan, organize and coordinate the activities of their respective staffs under the direction of a general sales manager, who ensures that the dealership meets sales quotas. A finance and insurance manager establishes relationships with financing and insurance companies and sells those products to vehicle purchasers. There may also be full-time customer relations and marketing managers to support the sales staff, in addition to a showroom receptionist or greeter.
Careers at Dealerships