In Summary - Car Salesperson
Works in a garage or car showroom selling cars to members of the public.
Car Salespersons typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Car Salesperson
Car salespeople spend most of their time dealing with customers, finding new customers and sorting out paperwork. When a customer first visits a dealership, the salesperson talks to them to find out which type of car they would like. The salesperson also needs to ask questions about the customer's circumstances: do they have a family; do they drive long distances; do they do a lot of driving in urban areas; will they need financial assistance to buy the vehicle? The salesperson then recommends a vehicle to suit the customer's needs.
The salesperson shows the vehicle to the customer and explains its features and advantages. If the customer is still interested, the salesperson usually arranges a test drive. This means taking the customer out in the car and allowing them to drive it.
When the customer decides to buy the car, the salesperson begins to negotiate a deal. Sometimes the customer wants to part-exchange their old car; sometimes they want to borrow money from a finance company (this is known as a finance package); and sometimes they will have enough money to buy the car outright and may want a discount. If there is going to be a part-exchange, the salesperson has to appraise the customer's vehicle; this means following a standard procedure to check the general appearance, age and condition of the car. The salesperson passes their appraisal report to the sales manager, who decides on a value for the vehicle.
When a sale is agreed, the salesperson records the details on computer and completes all the paperwork (finance forms, vehicle registration, insurance and so on). The salesperson also liaises with other departments in the dealership to ensure that the car is ready for delivery at the right time. It may be several weeks before a new car is ready for a customer so the salesperson needs to stay in touch by telephone to keep the customer informed of progress.
An important task is to find new customers. This is called 'prospecting', and car salespersons may spend a good deal of time on the telephone talking to potential customers.
Some sales people may specialise in selling 'fleets' of vehicles to large businesses.
The salesperson may also assist with sales promotions.
Interests - Car Salesperson
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Apart from an interest in cars, you will need to have a positive attitude and a flexible approach. You will need to be tactful and sensitive when dealing with customers who may sometimes be critical or suspicious. You will also need to be patient as it may take a customer several visits to the dealership (over several weeks) to decide whether or not they want to buy the car.
You should be confident, able to plan your own work and capable of working under pressure. You also need excellent communication skills and the ability to explain information clearly and succinctly is required. Excellent negotiating skills are also required.
A smart appearance is essential, as this is a very image conscious industry. Also, a driving licence is needed for taking customers on test-drives and for delivering cars to buyers.
Entry Requirements - Car Salesperson
Pay & Salary - Car Salesperson
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 27k
Rates do not include commision
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Car Salesperson
With 130,000 persons employed, this occupation will continue to offer job opportunities due to replacement demand alone. Half of those working are in part-time roles and job churn is a significant factor. Approx. 6,000 job ready job seekers previously worked in this occupation.
National Skills Bulletin 2018