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4 universal rules car dealers can follow to achieve sales success

On this edition of Straight Talk, our host, David Lewis, shares with us four rules dealers should follow to ensure a successful sales presentation. Every salesperson knows that a natural gift for communication and personal charisma can go a long way in sales.

Salespeople can not rely on those gifts alone. In fact, there are certain principles that tend to produce a consistent sales structure that is dependable in most circumstances. For anyone looking to have consistent and profitable sales in auto retail, Lewis recommends following these four rules:

  1. Never ask a question that could result in a lie: Avoid asking, What is your budget?, Do you have a trade?, What do you think it’s worth? How much do you owe on it? These questions only create fear and make the customer go on the defensive. The customer can perceive these questions as threatening and put a halt to the transaction.
  2. Never ask a question that produces an answer you don’t want to hear: There are certain questions salespeople often ask customers that turn the interaction South. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes and you’ll get a good idea of what questions, NOT to ask.
  3. Never ask a question that could make the customer more defensive: According to Lewis, nothing makes that customer more defensive than trial closes.
  4. Always try to catch the customer pleasantly off guard: Do your best to be unique and different from what the customer expects. In doing so, you can chip away at the defensiveness and give the customer a great buying experience.

David Lewis is one of the most respected automotive sales trainers in the country. For over 35 years, David Lewis and Associates has been working with all members of the dealership including general managers, F&I managers, salespeople, and many more to improve the quality and effectiveness of their team’s automotive selling performance. If you would like a free copy of any of David’s books, including Understanding Your Customer and The Secrets of Inspirational Selling, feel free to email him at

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David Lewis
David Lewis
David’s firm is a national training and consulting business that specializes in the retail automotive industry. He also is the author of four industry-related books, “The Secrets of Inspirational Selling,” “The Leadership Factor,” “Understanding Your Customer” and “The Common Mistakes Automotive Salespeople Make.” Visit his website at

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