When you hear the term “car salesman”, I’m sure that one universal image jumps to mind: a
sleazy, well-dressed model capitalist, with a seductive grin and a cheap suit. However, there’s much more to the life of a car salesman than this stereotype! Despite the image, being a car dealer is far from a Sunday drive! Here are a few things you never knew about car salesmen.
They Speak in Code
In order to make sure they don’t send people running off the lot, sales staff on your average car dealership have all kinds of code words and industry slang which they use to communicate. If it’s likely that you’re going to buy, then you’re an “up”, but if you’ve got no credit history, you’re a “ghost”. If you’re taking up a lot of the sales rep’s time with no signs of buying, then you’re a “stroke”. If you enter the dealership with a lot of paperwork, such as car reviews and newspaper reports, then you’re a “professor”. If you’ve turned up at the lot without a spouse or partner, then you’re called a “one-legged shopper”, and almost certain not to buy a car on the day! Sales reps who are new and inexperienced are called “green peas”.
Despite What Some Say, They’re Not Rich
While it’s certainly possible to make a decent living as a car sales rep, it doesn’t come easy! The large majority of car salesmen are paid solely by commission, which means they’ll only take any money home in a day if they make a sale. There’s no such thing as a car salesman who just lazes around and watches the clock – the ones that do aren’t around for long! Furthermore, many salesmen make minimum commission on their sales, which is peanuts when you take the hours they spend at work into account. Things are even more uncertain for self-employed and specialist dealers when you think about all the overhead costs like cleaning and vehicle transport. Yes, there are car salesmen out there who bring home a small fortune every year, but they’re certainly not the majority!
Lots of Movement Means a Slow Day
If you’ve ever gone to a dealership’s lot and seen many vehicles moving around, then taken this as a sign that it’s a successful, professional business, then guess what? You’ve fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book! Car dealers use rotation as a trick to convey a busy, active company. If the lot’s been having a slow day, the manager will often tell their staff to get out there and move an entire row of cars. Apparently, playing musical chairs with the stock like this is a great way to get customers flooding into the lot. Another odd ploy is the use of balloons – something I’m sure you’ve noticed before! While there’s no concrete market research to back this up, balloons are supposed to sell more cars. When a dealership’s going through a slow period, the manager will go crazy with them!