Car salesperson

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Peter Ball is a senior new car sales executive. He promotes and sells vehicles across the entire range, from small city to family and executive cars.

What does your job involve?

I sell new cars to the general public. I am in charge of the day-to-day running of the new car sales team, reporting to the regional sales manager and dealership directors.

How do you approach selling a car to someone?

Most people have a rough idea of what they are looking for when they enter this showroom. I discuss their options to help confirm their choice, show them round our models and then arrange a test drive. If they are still interested, I discuss prices with them before closing the deal.

How long does it take you to sell a car?

There are no hard and fast rules and customers don't always buy on the day. After all, buying a car is a big (and expensive) decision and some people take several weeks to finally make up their minds.

What do you do if someone wants a car that you feel is wrong for them?

I'm honest. I don't want to sell a car to someone if it doesn't suit their needs or their budget. It is also important to maintain our company's reputation within the area.

Do you get involved in new car launches?

Yes. I went to Germany last year for the launch of a new car. I've also been to Marbella where I had a look at the new Fiesta. Car launches are hard work and very intense, but they give you the chance to learn about new products.

Why did you choose this type of work?

I had a general interest in the motor industry. I was also attracted by the fact that every day is different and that it is possible to achieve a good salary at a young age.

What training have you had?

I have been sponsored through my Diploma in Automative Retail Management and I hope to do the degree course next.

What hours do you work?

I work from 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. I work one late night every week to 7pm. I also work on Saturdays from 9am to 5pm and every other Sunday from 10am to 4pm, but I get time off in lieu during the week.

What do you like best about your job?

I enjoy meeting new people and the challenge of trying to beat my sales targets.

Are there any downsides?

The hours can be long, although it's always very busy and the time passes quickly.

What skills and qualities are needed?

You need self-motivation, the ability to listen to your customers, and a positive and enthusiastic attitude.

What are your long-term career goals?

My aim is to become a sales manager and be involved in sales management across a number of showrooms.

Peter's route to becoming a salesperson

  • GCSEs.
  • Advanced GNVQ in Business Studies.
  • A level.
  • Joined car sales as a trainee sales executive.
  • Diploma in Automotive Retail Management.

Peter's sales career tips

  • Expect the unexpected.
  • Keep up to date with new products and developments in the industry.

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Salary working in car sales

  • Basic salaries range from £15,000 to £20,000, plus the use of a car.
  • Commission earnings can increase salaries to over £50,000 for the top salespeople.

How to become a car salesperson

  • Car salespeople can find work with one of the large dealerships throughout the UK, as well as with smaller independent car salesrooms.
  • Larger car manufacturers often run internal training schemes for school leavers or graduates. Apprenticeships may be available for young people.
  • Not all companies expect applicants to have a sales background – some employers put more emphasis on people skills and personality. It helps to have a proven interest in the motor industry.
  • Relevant qualifications are The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Certificate and Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Sales, the Diploma, BSc and MSc in Automotive Retail Management available through The Henry Ford College in Loughborough, and NVQs/SVQs in Vehicle Sales at Levels 2 and 3.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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