Qualities of an Auto Sales Professional

As the president and owner of Midwest Motors in Lake Zurich, Illinois, Ben Ripstein sells late-model luxury cars in a custom-designed indoor warehouse location. Ben Ripstein adheres to a stringent standard of customer service, which involves personally escorting customers through the warehouse and following up with them after a sale.

Buying a car is no small matter, and the successful car salesman needs to know when to press for a sale and when to step back and let the customer think. Flexibility and listening skills play a key role in developing this awareness; a good car salesperson pays more attention to the customer than to him- or herself. To do so, the salesperson must first start the conversation. Experts suggest using an open-ended, nonthreatening “welcome” and a personal introduction versus a yes-or-no question.

Once the conversation has started, a give-and-take technique will likely help the salesperson to understand the customer. Asking questions and offering small bits of information tend to keep a conversation going more naturally than overloading a potential customer with excess information or making offers to test drive too soon or desperately. Successful car sales professionals instead elect to be available to answer questions, present relevant knowledge at the right time, and help customers feel that the dealership cares about their shopping experience.

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