An Older Woman Selling Cars – On The Job Traning

By on April 25, 2012

My Fast Car Saleswomen Training Experiences


This is the second article in a series by our guest author, Lee Macomber. She gives us an amusing and informative look at selling cars, as a career for an over 50 women, and also some great tips about buying cars from a lot! You can also back up to learn how her life as a car girl began!


On The Job Car Saleswoman Training


Female Car Salesperson On The Job Training

The majority of my training came from hanging with the pack.  They taught me how to size up a customer in mere seconds. The moment someone got out of his car, these guys could tell you what kind of credit score and income he had. It had nothing to do with the way the customer was dressed, or what he was driving.  It’s as simple as this: people who are financially stable carry themselves differently from those who are not.


They taught me how to dodge “strokers,” people who want to spend a lot of time with a salesman but have no intention of buying. They taught me how to spot customers who were likely to be up to their ears in debt and thus, impossible to finance.  This profiling process is called “cherry-picking.” Managers go ballistic over it. They want their salesmen to approach every customer as though he’s a serious buyer. It’s a nice concept, but in order for a salesman to make a reasonable living, he’s got to be able to distinguish the buyers from the non-buyers. If he’s not selling, he’s working for free.

Commissions and Bonuses

Nowadays, the profit margin on new cars is very narrow. This means salesmen can no longer live on commissions alone. They depend on their bonuses. At my dealership, a bonus level was reached at every five cars. There was also a bonus for the salesman who ended the month with the highest number of sold cars. I got that bonus a few times, but usually I ended up in the middle of the pack on units sold. The bonus I set my sites on every month was the granddaddy of all bonuses. It went to the salesman who had netted the highest profit for the dealership. I always had a good shot at that one because most of my deals were more profitable than average.  My customers usually signed off early in the negotiation process.  Usually.

Occasionally I’d get beaten up.  The worst beatings came from the quiet, methodical analytical types. Scientists. Engineers. They had zero personality, but they knew how to work numbers to their advantage.  I would even say that this type of customer was better at what I did than I was.

 Impulsive Auto Buying And Future Repos

At the other end of the spectrum, were the impulsive types. They’d agree to the first set of numbers I put in front of them. Believe it or not, I would often try to save them from themselves, particularly if they were single women on a tight budget. “You want to take a moment to think about it?” I’d ask. But there’s no stopping that personality type. They took deals they couldn’t possibly live with long-term. Those deals left me feeling a little sick inside. Those were the deals my manager called “future repos.”

Car Buying Types And Demographics

Car sales is one of those professions in which everyone becomes a “type.”  Every salesman has two or three types of people (demographics) with whom he is generally more successful.  My manager actually kept notes on the demographics of our successes and failures.  His notes showed that I was most successful with middle-aged Caucasian women, followed by African American women of all age groups, and third, with Hispanic families.  My highest failure rate was with middle-aged Caucasian men.  I believe this was because I had recently divorced a Caucasian middle-aged man who betrayed me.  As a result, I was unconsciously emitting a dislike or a distrust of this demographic that repelled them.  I tried to overcome that, but I never did.


Lee’s next article will begin to cover car purchasing tips. To make sure you do not miss a thing, you may want to subscribe to

About Lee Macomber

Lee Macomber sold cars for one of the major manufacturers for two years. Prior to that, she worked as a college academic counselor; an employee relations specialist; a Concierge at a four-star hotel. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from The American University in Washington, DC. However, “Nothing gave me the education that car sales did,” she says. She works quietly at home now. You can read her blog “The Turning Wheel” at


  1. David

    April 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I never sold cars, but when I sold insurance, I noticed I did better with certain demographics too.

  2. David Bradshaw

    April 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    C’mon admin, when are you posting the next article?

  3. admin

    April 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Hey David, I think I am holding it until Monday. It gives you something to look forward to after the week-end. :)

  4. Pingback: Auto Buying Tips From A Female Boomer Sales Person | Over 50 Website

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