The pressures salespeople face

Here's the challenges they face and how they earn their money

Now call me old fashioned, but I prefer the old days where a salesperson would walk up to you and say ' Alright lad/ ladess how can I help you.' Today it just seems a bit superficial as they ask ' Could I take some details in the form of your name, address, gender, waist size, shoe size and your favourite dinner please? Oh also, once you've signed all 20 of these forms you can then drive the car away.'

I'm all for customer service but it just feels like a bit artificial nowadays, but it is such a pressured environment and as we'll discuss later you'll soon understand the reason for why they may look nervous.

Let's just give a quick general run through of what a salespersons's day would look like. First off they'll get into the dealership and make their coffee before going into the daily meeting where the managers discuss appointments for the day and who is hitting targets and maybe who isn't.

The salesman will congregate in a small meeting room

The salesman will congregate in a small meeting room

The salesperson will then go back to their desks to organize their appointments and take calls from and ring prospective customers. They will also have to deal with ' walk ins' people who don't have an appointment. They will also deal with handovers throughout the day, this is where a customer picks up their new car. If all of those tasks are complete then they will help with general tasks such as forecourt presentation and pricing up cars.

Sometimes they may have to stay after close to finalize a deal with a customer or to complete outstanding paperwork.

Now I'll turn my attention to the targets they face, obviously they have to sell a certain amount of cars over a certain period of time, and there is a big focus on selling finance amongst dealerships. The extras however are what they really want to sell, such things like GAP that you may have heard of and wheel and paint protection. Due to most dealerships being regulated by the financial ombudsman they have to offer you these, so it is worth you listening. GAP is especially worth considering if you are on finance as it can get you out of serious financial problems.

Apart from the occasional difficult customer they may get, their work is cut out for them much more in the form of a customer satisfaction survey. These will usually have the options of not happy, happy, very happy and excellent or you give the salesperson a rating out of ten. They are told they must get an excellent rating, anything less isn't good enough and some companies may induce a small fine if you're constantly not hitting the right rating.

In fact I know of a certain company ( which I won't name) that starts with V and end in N, that gave a salesman a warning because a customer said he hadn't given a follow up call on the survey they filled out...... 10 minutes after they'd left the showroom. They really should send the survey out a few days after to give the salesman a chance to make the follow up call.

Salespeople start on a basic usually quite low of around £13,000 , someone I spoke to said they then got 10% of the profit of each car they sell and 10% of the finance packages they sold, different types of finance can be more lucrative. Then bonuses for selling GAP and autoglym kits they would usually get between £25- £50 for. These figures obviously vary from dealer to dealer so don't take it as gospel if you're looking to become a salesperson.

With everything added and salespeople hitting targets they can earn up to £50k which really isn't bad of a job where you don't need too many qualifications.

I hope you've got a better insight into salespeople and the nature of their job and the pressures they face, let us know of your experiences with salespeople, good or bad and whether it's something you think you could do.

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Comments (9)

  • Cars are a commodity although I know nobody likes to admit that. When I purchase a car I want to walk in, get the best price, fill out my check and sign my name once and head home within 30 minutes. Is that too much to ask? Just a few months back it took me a week to negotiate a price over the phone (which you have to have a separate phone for) Then it took two days and a ridiculous amount of time and signing to get the vehicle in my driveway. I'd opt for one of those Japanese vending machines any day and twice on sunday...

      2 years ago
    • Yeah it's amazing many times when I've worked as a receptionist I've heard sales guys saying they miss the days where they could get a deal done and dusted in 30 mins. Now it's and hour minimum

        2 years ago
  • My mom is a car salesman at a ford dealer and she seems to like it although I would never become one because it just isn't a job that a petrol head like me would enjoy

      2 years ago
  • I wish i could just show up with a suitcase of cash and give them 10 minutes to take it or leave it. And maybe wear a shirt that says “I DON’T WANT YOUR EXTENDED WARRANTY” that I could just point to repeatedly.

      2 years ago
    • Was once in a sales presentation...Sales presenter said he once should up at a Lexus dealer, showed salesman his watch and set timer for 30min. Said "here's a check I'll pay for that car, you got 30 min to make it happen before I walk out the...

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        2 years ago
  • Although i sell different things to a car sales man i know the pressures they are against. We have ten times more pressure with what we sell, which is lawnmowers, because we have to compete with other companies selling other brands, the big DIY stores selling cheap (usually rubbish)mowers and the biggest competition the internet retailers that have one warehouse and only sell for sales minus the aftersales support. We have to get sales to keep pay for rent and business up keep and to pay for staff in the workshop, parts and sales. Buying stuff of the internet is a complete risk unless it is being delivered from a dealer with a member of the sales team to go through how your vehicle works so you have a idea how to use it.

      2 years ago
  • Salespeople are pressured to do one thing. Make money. There's the ridiculous info collection so they have "leads" they can use as busywork when they don't have customers. Morning meetings are make money pressurized pep talks that involve things like get the down payment so we can "work" it into the numbers and make it pure profit. Ben is totally right....its a very painful process to buy a car at a dealership.

      2 years ago
    • I can in fact second that, the amount of forms and things I had to sign before being allowr to drive the car away is painful. Not a job I would like.

        2 years ago
    • I've done it once. Never again. What should be a fun process for folks has been perverted into a greedy trainwreck.

        2 years ago