If you’re a fan of cars but don’t like the idea of getting your hands dirty working under the hood, running a car dealership might be the career choice for you. You get to try out all the year’s newest models and get the added joy of matching drivers with their new favorite ride. If you’ve never considered a career as a car salesperson, here are some tips to help you succeed in what can often be a cutthroat industry.

1. Decide New, Used or Both

While you might be focusing on selling cars, you don’t have to limit yourself when you’re creating a dealership. Decide at the beginning whether you’re planning on selling new or used vehicles or a combination of both. If you decide to sell new ones, you will need to pick a single brand to associate with. If you’re selling used or a combo, the sky is the limit.

2. Build Your Brand

As with any business, you need to take the time to build your brand. Don’t assume that just because you’re selling Ford or Chevy or Lexus that the manufacturer’s brand power will do all the work for you. Figure out what you need to do to set yourself apart from the other car dealerships in the area.

3. Upgrade the Exterior

When customers stop by your dealership, the exterior of your building is their first impression of your operation. If it looks damaged, rundown or not cared for, customers aren’t going to put any trust in your ability to sell them a car. If you’ve got commercial garage doors, as many dealerships do, make sure they really reflect you and the services you offer.

4. Investigate Your Competition

Unless you’re setting up your dealership in Antarctica or on the moon, you aren’t going to be the only one in the area that is in the business of selling cars. Take some time to investigate your competition. See what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong and what you can do better. You might be surprised by how much you can learn.

5. Know Your Cars

Do you want to know the fastest way to chase customers out of your showroom? Don’t know anything about the cars you’re selling. We’re not saying you need to know every single spec for every year and model you sell, but if you don’t know at least some basic information about the most popular vehicles, you’re not going to inspire any confidence. It takes some effort, since the information often changes every single year, but it will make your customers feel a lot better about buying from you.

6. From Bumper to Bumper

Don’t just offer sales. A successful dealership is one that provides everything from sales to repair to bodywork and everything in between. Depending on your state, you may even be able to offer in-house financing to help people get auto loans without having to go through their bank. Being a one-stop shop will bring customers back again and again.

7. Care About Your Customers

Make sure you’re treating your customers as more than just a paycheck. No one wants to be thought of as a number. Make it a point to take an interest in your buyers. You’ll be surprised how much faster they come back to you if they feel like you actually care about them.

Finding Car Sale Success

There’s a lot of work that goes into running a successful car dealership but these tips can help you turn a successful business into one that thrives. In a sometimes uncertain and volatile industry, that is a blessing in itself.

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Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington and is an automotive journalist who has written for dozens of auto sites, including Yahoo Autos, Hooniverse, GT Spirit, The Mustang Source, and more. Scott's website, www.OffTheThrottle.com, and YouTube channel are popular automotive destinations.

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