Starting a Career in Car Sales
While many view a career in auto sales as a job filled with long hours and the need to employ hard closing techniques to anyone and everyone who walks through the dealership doors, a career in auto sales can be a very rewarding job.
More Than Just Cars
Those who are successful in auto sales understand that their success is not dependent upon the brand of car that they sell, but upon their ability to build rapport with their customers. The days of fast-talking, hard-closing sales professionals is over and have been replaced by the need for professionalism, courtesy, and service.
Anyone assuming that a career in auto sales would be nothing more than a good way to practice closing skills will find little success and much frustration.
The Internet, and more precisely the rapid advancement of people's access to the Internet, represents a tremendous change in the auto sales industry. What was once a mystery, the pricing of automobiles is now readily available to anyone with Internet access and some very basic Google skills.
This access to pricing may, to some, seem like the beginning of the end of auto sales careers, as dealerships may only need to post their vehicle pricing on the car's windows and have someone on staff to answer questions, hand over keys for test drives and help customers fill out paperwork. This reality is far from reality.
As long as there is competition in the marketplace, a need will remain for sales professionals. While pricing may no longer be a point of negotiation, consumers will are still more likely to buy from someone they like and trust than from someone who rubs them the wrong way. That is where the continued need for sales professionals comes into play!
Entry Level Sales
For those just starting out in sales, auto sales offer much. In general, sales professionals in the auto industry earn a base salary plus commission, receive company-sponsored benefits and often receive either a discount when purchasing a vehicle or can earn a "demo" car. Total salary ranges vary quite a bit and are heavily dependent on location, how busy and popular the dealership is, the make and model of the vehicles sold and, of course, how good the sales professional is at selling cars.
Those who do well in sales usually have the potential of moving up into sales management. But not all sales professionals are interested in management, and many who earn success at one dealership are recruited away to another dealership. Both advancement and landing a new job with a new employer both should mean an increase in compensation but also may yield an increase in some other factors.
Long Hours and Boredom
First off, a sales professional should never be bored. There are always new skills to learn, products to learn more about, prospects to call and customers to follow up with. However, many in auto sales complain that the long hours demanded from most dealerships often create seemingly endless hours with nothing to do.
If you get frustrated easily when work is not steady, make sure that you go into auto sales with a full understanding that there will be hours when no customers walk through your dealership's doors. For some dealerships, these hours can be very long and plentiful so either seek employment with a dealership known for heavy traffic or commit yourself to use any downtime to improve the effectiveness of your "up time."
Beginning your sales career in auto sales is a well-traveled and potentially very rewarding decision. You will be tested and your work hours will create a work-life balance challenge. However, no one ever said that sales were easy.