A very good friend of mine makes a living selling cars. Unlike the gentleman pictured above, the vehicles he flogs tend to be brand new.
Until recently my friend sold luxury cars in Mayfair. I use the word 'sold', but aggressive selling had little really to do with it. The manufacturer reputation meant the cars sold themselves and the location of the showroom meant that the clientele were generally of the type that they knew what they wanted (it wasn't unheard of for someone to walk in off the street on a whim, and leave having ordered an extremely expensive car to be paid for in cash). The salesman's job was to take orders and provide the sense of service that the customers expect.
I've never seen my friend at work, but I've always imagined that he was excellent at his job. There's something luxurious and princely about him and I can picture him pouring his customers smoothly into the car, while making them feel that the vehicle is just worthy of them.
These days he sells Audis in Cambridge. He still doesn't feel that his job involves 'selliing' the car, by and large people make up their own minds. The key difference versus his Mayfair job is that the punters have more time and want to get a deal. He finds this more fun, it's a game that requires strategy and cunning manouvers. People are less concerned with how much they actually pay - having already accepted the ballpark price in the decision making process - and more concerned with walking away with a feeling that they've made a successful negotiation without getting had.