How to Sell A Car – Part One

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
how to sell a car part one
First, relax. You hate your job because you don’t know what you’re doing. Face it. You, a car salesman, have no quantifiable methodology for selling a car. At best, you think customer "conversion" depends on your personality, product knowledge, perseverance and luck. At worst, you think it’s a simply a matter of bullying the customer into buying a car. You want to hear something funny? Bullying IS the most effective sales technique. I’m not recommending it, but if you really want to master car sales, you’ve got to understand the non-PC realities of human nature.

Before Ted Turner bought Montana and retired to shoot wildlife in a drug-addled haze, CNN’s founder had a sign on his desk that read “Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way.” Obviously, Captain Outrageous considered himself the leader; leaving everyone else to either follow his instructions or, as Ted liked to put it, f-off. And boy, did The Mouth of the South learn to work that strategy, building a multi-billion dollar empire on the back of championship wrestling and baseball. That’s because Ted Turner had an inherent understanding of his position in this world. He knew he was a born salesman.

It all comes down to testicle size. (For women, it’s the amount of testosterone in their system.) Men with larger testicles produce more testosterone than men with smaller testicles. The hormone makes them physically stronger, much more aggressive and far more inclined to take risks than smaller-balled men. As you might imagine, high testosterone or “alpha” males represent a minority of the total population. Well, if they’re not at the beginning of their life cycle, they are at the end– after competing alphas have killed each other off, died from taking stupid risks or found their way into a prison cell.

This, my friend, is you. You are a high testosterone male. Think about it. Who in their right mind would be a car salesman? There’s no job security. There’s no income security; your livelihood depends on your performance on any given day, with any given customer. If you want to know how you ended-up where you are, look down. Not convinced? Look around. How many of your male colleagues are tall/large? How many of them are losing their hair? How many played contact sports in high school? How many are cheating on their partner or just plain horn-dogging it? How many are always sweating? How many are team players?

These are your people. But they are not your customers. Car salesmen can’t get their heads around the fact that their customers do not share their psychology. You want a bigger house. A better car. A better suit. A better watch. A better wife. You were born to want MORE, and you’re willing to risk everything to get it and WIN. Your customers have smaller balls. Their primary motivation is to hang on to what they’ve got. They were born to sniff the air, follow the crowd, minimize risk and NOT LOSE.

This is why your customers fail to share your excitement about buying a new car. The majority see car buying as an endless opportunity to lose/squander their precious resources. In fact, the whole process scares them shitless. You scare them shitless. This is why car salesmen who are bullies do so well. We’ve all heard stories of burly car salesman who literally kidnap and/or physically force customers to buy a car. They do it because it works. The evil alpha salesman establishes dominance over the beta customer, who eventually decides they’d lose more by not buying a car (like, say, their life).

Again, this kind of bullying is not the right way to sell a car. But in the absence of a positive, coherent, logical and successful method to honestly and effectively utilize a salesman’s natural dominance to sell a car; it’s the most efficient. And please don’t go thinking about all the times this wasn’t or isn’t true. If you’re going to learn how to sell a car properly, you need to subvert your natural tendency to focus on exceptions to the rule. Alphas are born hunters, and hunters always look for the different thing: the old, weak or malformed member of an otherwise homogenous herd. Sales is a numbers game. Your goal is to sell cars to the majority, not the minority. So forget all the examples that illustrate that I’m wrong. Focus on all the experiences that tell you that I’m right.

Last paragraph? Wow. That went fast. There’s a bunch more practical stuff to come that’s gonna blow your mind and bring you bucks (YES MORE!). Meanwhile, a quick question. What if there’s a way to embrace your Alpha-ness that helps car customers make the right decision? And what is the “right decision?”

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2 of 27 comments
  • McAllister McAllister on Jun 23, 2006

    Best way I know of to avoid this mess, at least for a new car, is this: 1) secure your financing (cash, bank, whatever) 2) test drive and research and find exactly what you want - model, color, package, extras, etc. 3) fax the fleet manager for every dealership in a 50 mile radius, specify exactly what you want, ask for a return fax with their best out the door price, and the lowest gets your business You only use a fax, don't have to talk to anyone, and it's all in writing. M

  • Dolo54 Dolo54 on Jun 23, 2006

    stryker - found it on craigslist. it's a 96, but I was lucky that it wasn't driven much. still look up prices on late 90s lexuses, vws, integras and what not. You should be pleasantly surprised by the prices.

  • Kcflyer It will be good to see sleepy and Trump back together again. Not since one won the election and the other was made president has such a woeful collection of humanity gotten so much attention,
  • Bullnuke With his choosing sides in the current labor negotiations, the President should cut through all the red tape of the process and, using his executive powers, cause his Secretary of the Department of Labor to order the Big 2.5 to accept whatever is asked by his choice - the UAW. This would save the strike fund money and allow the automakers to restart the assembly lines quickly.
  • THX1136 Maybe Mark Worman/Graveyard Carz will see this, buy the thing and restore it to it's original condition.
  • THX1136 Fain's comments are ridiculous to these ears. "Struggling to get by. . ." - really? The only reason any would be struggling is due to living beyond said individuals means (spending money like the gubment does). Both political entities 'visiting' the situation is one more reason for this baby to vote for neither.
  • Sgeffe 400 horsepower? In a German 2-point-zero-tee?My God, that'll blow sky-high the day after the warranty expires!