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How to Become a Car Salesman

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Car sales can be a lucrative job for people with a passion and gift for the work. Most dealers pay on commission, so your income is limited only by your time and ability to make sales. The formal requirements to become an auto sales representative are often minimal, but you need to take the rights steps to prepare yourself for an opportunity.

Get Licensed

While most states require licensing for sellers of real estate, insurance and financial services, you don't usually need a license to sell cars. However, some states do require that you apply for a vehicle sales license through the state department of motor vehicles, according to DMV.org. Licensing requirements vary by state for those that require licenses. If you do need a license, the process may only require completing some paperwork and paying a small fee. The typical formal education requirement is a high school diploma, but a sales certificate or business degree can enhance your chances of finding a job.

The Right Attitude

The right attitude for car sales is much more important in getting a job than formal education, according to an April 2013 "AOL Autos" article. Auto sales has evolved over time and employers want representatives that help them attract and retain customers. First, you need to commit to work 45 to 60 hours over six days at most dealerships. A positive attitude, honesty, strong communication skills and relationship-building abilities all contribute to the right car sales attitude. You also need to recognize the value of service to retain customers.

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Acquire Pre-Interview Information

Car sales jobs turn over frequently, which means your local classifieds are often filled with job postings, according to CarSalesProfessional.com. Before you submit an application or call for an interview, review the job posting and current auto industry trends. Most dealership managers prefer candidates with interpersonal skills, a passion for sales, self-discipline and basic car acumen over a person with great product knowledge and limited sales abilities. The exception would be if you are applying for a job with a luxury or specialty car dealer, which might require candidates to have knowledge of the cars they specialize in. As a general rule, it is easier to teach car knowledge than the right selling attitude and abilities, so go to your interview prepared to demonstrate why you would make an effective salesman. The job posting should note what kind of experience and expertise is required for the position.

Practice the Interview

Practice interviewing to showcase your skills in building rapport with prospects, converting them to buyers and managing relationships. When asked questions about your strengths, emphasize your communication, interpersonal and customer service skills, as well as your willingness to work hard and not get discouraged when you don't make a sale. Also, if you have experience or training on database software used in relationship management, practice talking about the software you have used and the value of relationship programs for car sellers.

About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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