Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hendrickson, William J.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Business Administration


Automobile industry and trade; Sales personnel; Selling


The Problem. The problem was to determine what training is needed, recommended, and provided for automobile salesmen. Procedure. A general investigation of textbooks and various articles in other printed media preceded a preliminary study involving questionnaires and interviews at selected dealerships. The results of the questionnaires and interviews were not used as such because of a change in the kinds of data needed for the final study. The major research was conducted by means of personal interviews with respondents from the Chicago corporate training centers of four of the largest automobile corporations. Participation by the researcher in many of the learning situations (classroom course presentations, sales meetings, inspiration meetings, and experience in selling automobiles) provided additional information. Conclusions. The major conclusion uniformly agreed upon by all respondents was that automobile salesmen need to be better trained and that effective planning for training needs expansion. Methods, materials, and course contents were not uniform in the industry. The length of training periods were not consistent. The need for training is recognized but the implementation of automobile sales training is left too much to chance. Greater efforts toward improvement in salesmanship and sales training need to be further developed at all levels—from the dealership to the corporate training centers. Recommendations. The following are the major recommendations: 1. The goal of "professionalism" should be further emphasized and considered in the initial hiring of automobile salesmen as well as during their training within the dealership and during centralized course instruction. 2. The automobile salesmen, the dealerships, and the automotive corporations should give far more emphasis to such courses as salesmanship, retailing, advertising, and marketing currently offered by colleges, college extension programs, and junior colleges. 3. The salesmen and dealerships should consider the values of training in general psychology, sociology, the behavioral sciences, and substantially increase their attention to the field of consumer psychology. 4. The corporations should offer a planned series of training courses for automobile salesmen. Each phase of such a series should minimize difficulties for the dealer in maintaining an adequate sales force on the premises. The total course should, however, provide for much more training in salesmanship theory and psychology, as well as giving more information and training in the basic sales techniques.


Includes bibliographical references.


ix, 79 pages




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