Sound Advice for Anyone Desiring a Long and Rewarding Career in the Car Business:

Proverbs from 25-year car sales veteran Rex Gambrel of Anderson Ford in Clinton, IL.

1. Be yourself
Don’t try to impress people trying to be something you are not. They’ll see through it.

2. Be a good listener
Listen to what the customer is telling you. He will tell you how to earn his business.

3. Ask good questions
By asking the right questions the customer will open up and share their needs and wants.

4. Be sincere
Have the customer’s best interest in mind. Always do what is best for him, not you. If you do not, he can tell you are trying to help yourself, not him.

5. Be empathetic 
People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Truly be concerned about them and their needs.

6. Be enthusiastic
Make the customer feel welcome, and that you are glad they are in your dealership.  Also, let them feel that you are glad to be working there.

7. Be honest
Always tell them the truth. If you do not, they will catch that and you will lose all your credibility.

8. Be productive
Activity breeds productivity. There are plenty of things to do to keep you busy all day.

9. Do not talk too much
You have one mouth and two ears.  Use them proportionately.  Don’t do all the talking.

10. Know your product
If you do not know your product, how can you sell it? You must become a student of your product to become successful. You may not know every bolt and where it goes, but you must know the basic features & benefits and how to present them. If you do not know a feature they ask about do not guess. Tell them you will find out for them, and do so.

11. Know your inventory
This is your livelihood. Know what is on the lot and what basic features it has. If I were to give you a test today about some of the cars on the lot and their basic features, would you pass or fail? If you look at your paycheck each month it will tell you how well you know the inventory.

12. Find hot buttons
If you can find what the customers like the most, you will know what features of the car to present the strongest. Sharing everything, from a lack of not knowing exactly what’s most important to your customer, will bore them, cause them to lose interest, and risk your sale.

13. Come to work to work
We are very unique people. We are not standing on an assembly line putting parts on things. We can be lazy, or we can work hard and be productive. Your paycheck will tell you which you are.

14. Price does not sell
A trainer from many years ago had a very true statement.  He was Jackie Cooper.  He said “until the value of the car exceeds the price, there will be no sale”.

15. Be a team player
Always work as a team. Always be willing to help each other. You never know when you will be the one needing the help.

16. Follow the basics
The sales process works. Use it every time and trust it. If you try to change it, you will water it down and it will lose its effectiveness.

17. Watch your words
A famous trainer once said, “Most sales are lost over a few words, not over a few dollars.”

18. T.O. everyone
Always give your manager a chance to talk to your customer before they leave your dealership.  Many times a new face can put the deal together.

19. Train
You are never too old to learn. Even if you have watched every training video many times, you forget.  It is very important to keep sharp and fresh.    I know most of you think I am too old to learn, but I can learn many new things and improve my skills.

20. Be competitive 
If you do not want to win or be in first place, you will not be very successful in the car business. Be sure that while you are striving to be number one, that you are doing it fairly.

21. Have short-term and long term goals
If you do not have written goals (short term and long term), you will never push yourself to the level you could achieve, and you will probably never be above average. Review your goals daily to see where you are and what you need to do to get where you want to be.

22. Follow up
Keep in contact with your sold and unsold customers.  There are many salespeople who never follow up with their sold customers to cultivate future business. National statistics show most customers do not remember their salesperson’s name because they did not follow up.

23. Appointments
The true success of the car business is appointments. Walk in traffic will never make you a good living.  Work hard to make setting appointments a top priority in your business.

24. Scripts
Most sales people think scripts sound canned. If you practice them and use them the customer will not realize you are using a script. When you master them and use them 100% of the time, they will make you a very good living.

25. Do not give up
When you decide the customer is not going to buy, you will be right. The problem is the customer did not quit buying, you quit selling. Never give up and you will sell a lot more cars.

I am not trying to tell you I have all the answers or am the perfect salesperson. I just wanted to share with you some of the things I have observed in my 25 year career.  I hope you will take this to heart and try to learn from this.  Put these things into practice starting today!

About Rex Gambrel

I am blessed to have Rex as a friend. I look forward to his quarterly calls where he brings me up to speed on how his business is doing. I always feel better after chatting with this gentleman.  Rex is 68 years old, and lives and works in a quiet farm town. He has spent 25 years at Anderson Ford in Clinton, Illinois. Rex almost retired, but decided to recommit himself to his craft by focusing on his goals. He states that he is having fun again, likes working, and has renewed pride in his achievements and contributions to the dealership.


The Mar-Kee Group are leaders in AutomotiveBoat and RV sales training, The Mar-Kee Group takes every effort to ensure our clients and their employees are confident and empowered by the tools we offer. Ultimately, it means happier customers that return time and again to your dealership, increased overall sales, and boosted morale for your sales team. A win-win-win for everyone involved! Contact us with any questions or for more information on our sales training courses and strategies.

Richard Keeney
The Mar-Kee Group
251-680-6633 (cell)

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