How to Sell Like a Sleazy Used Car Salesman (or NOT)

sleazy guy in suit standing  with cigarette in his mouth

Let's talk about the sleazy used car salesman. You know, the guy wearing the tight polyester pants, hair slicked back with natural oils, and a bulging belly aimed in your direction as though it's being offered as a surface for signing paperwork? The wheeler and dealer who opens your car door for you as soon as you pull into the lot and extends his hand, which was just grasping a cold, sloppy cheeseburger moments ago? Yeah, that guy (has there ever been a sleazy used car saleswoman?). You can picture him all too clearly.


Sure, polyester suits may not currently be in fashion but these sales legends are clearly on to something to possess such a renowned reputation. In fact, there must be valuable sales lessons we can learn from a guy who has mastered the art of the fake laugh, right? Right??

Let's take a look at how a sales consultant MIGHT (or might NOT) earn higher commissions by working customers like an oily used car salesman. Are you ready to put the "easy" in sleazy?


  • Be Every Customer's Best Friend/Next Hot Date - Say and do anything you have to do to win over your customers. Compliment their taste in clothes, hairstyles, and shoelaces; anything to flatter them so you can earn their trust. Stand inside their personal space, flirt with your eyes and your hands, and tell stories like you've known each other since childhood. Whatever you do, never let them see you have an authentic moment.

  • Pester Customers Who Don't Want Your Help - After you escort customers into your place of business, and they tell you they only intend to have a look around, respond with a loud belly laugh as if they've just told you a hilarious joke. Maintain no more than a 10-foot radius from your browsing customers at all times, and remark on everything they look at, including the surface beneath their feet.


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    • Pit One Spouse Over the Other -  Anytime you sell to a husband and wife team, decide in the first five seconds which spouse you will talk to exclusively (HINT: it's the wife). Lock arms with that spouse and talk about the other spouse as if he's not there. Describe how your product or service will benefit the children (even if they don't have kids). Mock the spouse you shun anytime he asks a hard question. (BONUS HINT: For same-sex couples, lock arms with the shorter one.)

    • Make Promises Your Company Can't Honor - Sprinkle a few white lies into your sales pitch if you believe they will help seal the deal for a customer. Some common examples include offering bogus warranties, bloated statistics about your product's performance, and free trips to Atlantis with purchase. Remember, there's always a chance you can hold on to your sweet commission, no matter what transpires.

    • Wash Everything with Cologne - Forget about using laundry detergents that leave your clothes smelling like countryside in the spring, you're working for money, not irrigation rights. Instead, bathe your sales uniform before every shift in cologne named after a twenty-something pop singer. Perform the same dousing on your body and your lunch. You will impress customers with your connection to popular culture and your attention to detail (having not missed a square inch of your person with alluring cologne).

    We hope you find these tips to be helpful for your sales career. If you ever discover this advice to be ineffective, simply insert the words "Absolutely do not" at the beginning of each tip (in bold).



    We suspect you have advice of your own worth sharing from your experiences with sleazy used car salesmen. Take it away...




    Contributed to jobs.net by Kim Evans




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