How to succeed in van and commercial vehicle sales?

How to succeed in van and commercial vehicle sales? The motor trade can be a hard business to be in sometimes and a great many van sales executives and dealers never make it through their first few months or years. Some underestimate the effort and commitment needed to make it in the motor trade and often overestimate the income they can achieve. Sometimes people just get the timing wrong and start at a bad time and others simply over spend personally or fail to plan how to succeed.

But whether you’ve just landed your dream job or you’re looking to take your sales to the next level, rather than just resting on your laurels, taking ownership of your personal development and learning from others success will help fast track your career and help you sell more vans.

So what are the traits and habits of successful van sales executives;

They are great communicators

The ability to speak easily and confidently in a way that makes people want to listen to you and believe you is essential if you want to be successful in any front line sales situation. So if you haven’t got the gift of the gab you are going to find it hard to be a super high performer in sales. But in the modern age being a great speaker isn’t enough. 

The top sales execs need to be great at communicating on all platforms and across all medias. Meaning you need to be able to write good copy when communicating via email, TXT, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp to name a few.

On top of that you also need to have a level of skill as both a photographer and videographer. Great photos are a must if you want to be among the best and customers now expect quality personalised walk-around and followup videos. The best execs practice long and hard on mastering these techniques and invest in the latest technology to achieve great results.

They have a positive attitude

The power of positive thinking can be remarkable. Every sales exec experiences some low days, but top performers have a positive can do attitude in most situations. Developing a positive attitude can help you in more ways than you might realize. When you think positive thoughts, you don’t allow your mind to entertain any negative thoughts or doubts.

Your positivity will affect you customers and everyone else’s attitude that you come into contact with. Ultimately resulting in a greater number of sales. You see this when a sales exec is on a roll and seemingly can’t do anything wrong and witness the exact opposite when things are going poorly.

Remember the pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. A quote well worth remembering in car sales.

They understand the need to always be learning

The most successful sales executives understand that being successful and productive in your job requires more than just participation – it demands being proactive about your own performance and learning. How you do your job is just as important as what you are doing. The best salesman are always educating themselves and are keen to lean new techniques and tricks. There is always something new to learn in sales whether you have been doing it for five minutes or a lifetime.

They dress for success

Dressing well in a sales role is important as first impressions really do counts and clothes make a strong visual statement about how you see yourself. If you experiment with your appearance, your will notice how people react to you when you wear certain colours or styles. Then based on those reactions and your career goals, you can make an informed decision about how you want to “package” yourself.

Lots of garages have moved away for the need for sales staff to wear a formal shirt and tie. This can work well if you are selling lower end products, as it brakes down carries between customer and sales staff.. But a suit will always give a better impression and give a more professional and authoritative impression. It can also influence a sales executives attitude was we discussed in the previous paragraphs above.

They have great product knowledge

Every successful salesperson has great product knowledge and its keen to learn about the latest models and industry news. With the advent on the internet the customer now has access to so much information that they often know more than the salesperson about a particular model, or at least think they do. Top sales executives usually have a very broad and in-depth knowledge of almost every make and model, covering even the most obscure. Meaning they always have the edge over the competition and the customer.

They make great personal social media content

Successful executives understand that their social media friends and follower are powerful tools in the fight to sell more cars. You can indirectly advertise cars and remind people what you do by sharing car related media to you social pages as feeds.You shouldn’t try and sell to them directly. But instead share industry relevant post, photos and videos.

Alternatively you can make your own content and share it. This could simply be a photos of the latest model with a comment saying how excited you were about this or that, or it could be how great a car sounds with a video of it driving by. A simply photos of the cars mentioning the weather can also be used as a on topic but off topic bit of subliminal advertising.

These sharable posts should be fun, lighthearted and sharable to have the most impact. If you friends and follower think you are trying to sell them something you are doing it all wrong. 

They are a team player

Top performing sales executives are always team players and in some most cases team leaders. They are always looking for more sales and understand the important part playing as team can play in this.

Fostering a good relationship with customers is important when selling cars, as a customer that likes you is more likely to buy from you. They are also more likely to refer or recommend you to friends and family. This is the same in a garage environment. You may not get and referrals or recommendations from the other sales executives, but you might get some from you other work colleagues. If you are a team player who actively contributes help them complete tasks, meet goals or manage projects. They are much more likely to recommend a potential customer comes to you than one of you colleges. 

The same is true of a hot lead that a sales manger receives. Who’s he going to give the lead to, his top performing executive with the highest conversion rate who is always happy to help out or the low achieving salesman who never refills the coffee machine?

They assume nothing

The philosopher Mr. Eugene Lewis Fordsworthe is credited with crafting the phrase “assumption is the mother of all mistakes”. A successful salesperson knows that you can take nothing for granted in the motor trade and assumes nothing. Making an assumption isn’t always a bad thing, as it can help a deal move quickly and freely when you can’t acquire or verify all the information. But you must always follow everything up and get everything verified before a deal is concluded.

They use personal branding

People have understood the power of branding in relation to products and services for years now. But great sales exec understand the power of persona branding. In the past this would have simply been called reputation but these days its much more than just that. 

A top performing salesperson will not only take care to protect and establish a good reputation but will also consider his or hers online presence and their appearance, both at work, home and social events.

Almost all of your clients or potential clients will search for you online. So your online profiles should all look uniform and present a professional outlook. Linkedin has a reputation for being more formal as a social media platform, and you should replicate this feel and look across any other platform you have profile on. A professional and conservative looking profile will lead to more sales. 

Appearance can also be very important in personal branding. Everybody that drives a car is a potential customer when you are involved in van sales. So you should always dress smartly or appropriately. 

This is especially important if you live in a small community as it’s easier to build a personal brand. A good example is a well know car dealer in our local area that’s worn the same style jacket for the last 20 years, which has become his trademark. Everyone recognises and knows the jacket even if they’ve never meet him personally. His ”dealing jacket” as he calls it has almost taken on its own persona. This simple branding trick has made him memorable which has lead to him creating a personal brand which helps him sell more vans.

They are passionate about what they do

Being passionate about you job is often seen as a bit of a cliche. But you will really do need to be passionate about van sales if you are going to be successful. The job requires so much energy, passion and love if you are going to succeed at the highest level.

Strangely we know plenty of highly successful sales execs that aren’t passionate about vans. But the one thing they all have is a love for the job, whether that is driven by the need to succeed, the love of money or the buzz of the next deal. Every successful salesperson has a passion for their job.

They have a plan

A success salesperson leaves little to chance and thinks more like a business, rather than just sales person or employee. 

They set and work towards long-term goals, invest in relationships and learn everything they can about marketing. From the beginning of their career they are creating a mini business around themselves that is portable, flexible and able to move and grow with them. They are much more able to weather changes in the market than someone who isn’t thinking like a business owner.

When you’re thinking like a business owner, your long-term success depends on many things. A good beginning business plan is one of the most important. Don’t let your enthusiasm for getting the next sale keep you from important business organising and planning and take time to understand your market and customers. While you are growing your prospect base, think beyond just getting your first client and have a concrete plan for how you will grow your business.

They don’t gossip

Workplace gossip can erode trust and morale, leading to lost productivity and wasted time. So successful sales execs don’t get involved with office politics. Instead they focus and sales and themselves.

They are tenacious, resolute, resolved and determined

Whichever word you want to use a successful salesperson is the kind of person who never gives up and never stops trying – someone who does whatever is required to accomplish their goal. Stubborn might also be a good adjective.

You will never succeed at some thing if you don’t give it your all and preserver whatever the obstacle.

They have their personal finances under control

Every successful sale executive has his or her finances under control. They avoid excessive dept or in some cases any debt at all. They don’t fall into the trap of buying expensive watches or jewellery, and definitely don’t spend money on expensive depreciating assets like cars!

If you’re spending more than you have coming in, you will struggle to follow the other traits and habits in this article and will never become a successful cars sale exec. 


Ultimately success is subjective. But the top performing sales executives, dealers and managers all share the majority of the traits and habits above. Yes it’s possible to be successful without achieving them all, but if you can master or adopt some of them you will have a much better chance of succeeding in and form of sales.