(Closed) Calling all car saleswomen (and salesmen)

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 4
Member
668 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I have no advice about being a cars salesman, but I think thats great you are interested in going after something that interests you so much to have the experience! Not many people do that πŸ™‚ Have you thought about working maybe in an auto body shop?? Completely different car path, but fun none the less πŸ™‚ At my work the estimators make great money work with ALL different kinds of cars, dirrectly with the dealerships, hands on with the customers over see all the body work that’s being done. Just throwing it out there, if you don’t think you may be “cut out” for being a cars sales person there are other ways options too!! I say go for what you want πŸ™‚ I dont think you have to have a set personality to do anything just the drive and want to do it!! Good luck!!!

Post # 5
Member
1659 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

FH’s brother sells VW’s at a nationally known dealership and he loves it. FH and his brobee are both obsessed with VW…there are three in our garage and I traded in my accord for a jetta a year after we started dating. He is soooo passionate about the cars and has so much fun helping people find cars, and he has such an awesome customer base and gets tons of referrals so much repeat business that he pretty much operates on an appointment-only basis. He makes $80-90k/year, but often works 10-12 hour days and will work six days a week if he needs to.

He’s been doing this for six years, and started off as a mechanic or something in he service department.

Post # 7
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

My dad and brother were both pretty good car salesguys at one point in their lives.  πŸ™‚  Dad has moved on – they own a business and he works at/runs another.  Brother is now a product trainer – he trains salespeople on the cars they’re selling.

To be a good salesperson you have to be nice.  Then you have to be not pushy, but knowledgeable.  People want you to be the expert and tell them everything about the car they’re looking at (or just bought).  My bro can explain how your transmission works.  Other than that it’s about knowing what your customers want and need and working with them.  My dad would talk to anyone – he told tons of cars to people who drove in crappy beat up cars that the other guys didn’t want to talk to.  He sent letters to all our neighbors explaining what he was doing and that he’d be happy to find them their next new (or used) car.  In a smallish town like we lived in, you got half your business from referrals, so you had to treat people right.  πŸ™‚

That said – the both made pretty good money at it, it can be a good career.  Dad left as the Sales Manager at his dealership and Bro moved on to be the trainer. 

Post # 8
Member
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Lol, post Divorce I looked at the Car Sales Biz… and here is what I discovered.

1- It is Sales, so it is means long hours (rarely will you get a night or weekend off)

2- You spend a lot of time on your feet

3- It is highly competitive… so you have to be agressive and sell a good bit of volume (from what I’ve heard from my guy friends who have worked the floor… it can even get to be a bit nasty between sellers on the floor)

4- Although you have to be agressive and know how to “pull” a customer, you also have to be patient and kind, polite etc to them… one thing you want to learn early is how to read people.  Are they just killing time on the floor (say while their current car is in for service) or are they browsing for a future purchase (say within 12 months) or are they really and honestly looking to buy.  Reading folks isn’t always easy.  The best sellers concentrate on these qualitites (pulling & reading)

5- There is a high turn over of staff on the Sales Floor.  And the car business is one that has many ups and downs… as an industry as a whole, in my lifetime, I would have to say I’ve seen the bottom fall out at least twice (1980s and then again with the 2008 American Recession)

6- Being a woman is a positive thing.  There are not many women in the field.  Statistically it is said that women in a relationship have a lot of say in what car a couple ends up purchasing (certainly has been my own experience over 30+ Years).  And women buying on their own like to deal one-on-one with a woman vs a man.  Evidently car dealers would like to see more women in the job (a positive when it comes to looking at this career… you may have an edge over the guy applicants).  On the other hand, usually women don’t have the same affinity for cars and car knowledge like guys do (they can pick out the make, model and year… at a glance)… so there can be a steeper learning curve about the this sales work.  Dealerships can help with this info… but you will have to do a lot of reading and studying “to know” the product and be able to hold your own with “the guys” (see Point # 3)… especially so as there are some smart @ss guys who would like to do nothing more to point out to you that your info is incorrect (be that another sales person… or even a customer)

7- Being a woman is a negative thing.  There is a bit of an old-boy mentality still in the car business.  Although there are no set rules, you may find that working your womanly charms could work to your advantage… ie skirts vs pants, heels vs flats (and some time that can be a PITA see Point # 2)

8- And lastly, if you are working the floor you have to go out in the cars with the Customers on their test drives.  This is the element that steered me away from this career more than anything else.  These are people you do not know, someone you literally JUST met.  And at most Dealerships a lot is based on “faith”… in that no research is done into the person who presents themselves for a test drive.  So you don’t know their driving history, criminal history etc.  As a woman, I did not feel secure in this element of the job.

Sooo… when all is said & done, my recommendation would be to try and find a job behind the scenes at a car dealership if this industry interests you.  There is a gal who works in the Service & Parts Department of my own Dealership, and she by all accounts looks to be fabulous at what she does… As a Customer she is a joy to interact with, and listening to her on the phone and with “the guys” she seems to know what is what.  And because of that she appears to be highly respected by her peers… lol, and she gets to wear pants and not high heels etc in a garage… (makes a ton more sense to me)

But that isn’t the only great job I’ve seen at the Dealership… I know that they have a whole other world “upstairs” in their finance department… so no doubt some good careers there too.

Hope this helps,

 

Post # 9
Member
5 posts
Newbee

First of all, I admire your interest in your passion to try something new, & that you are searching for opinion before you jump into it – so smart of you to think ahead like that.

Congrats on the recent graduation!  To me, sales is the most challenging type of job as it is so much about human interactions – must have great E.Q. and able to connect to people via effective communication.  Relationship & trust are key.  Yes, your degree is great!  People from all walks of lives is our potential clients, so I’ve learned to be so appreciative of friendship.  Of course, some people/friends/family members can also put our confidence and self-worth to a serious test.  The good result is that it expand our horizons and help us grow as a person.

3 yrs ago, I started selling (not automotive) on the side w/ my full time clinical job at a hospital.  It is such a different feeling when your job title changed.  People would naturally think I’m smart when they see me at my full time job, but others who know me as sales would think that I’m un-educated and just want sales ($) from them.  In my culture (Asian), there is so little respect for sales, as it is not “doctors””lawyers””accountants” etc.  Somehow, required years of education becomes the ruler of one’s worth.  (sorry, Im venting)

Anyway, I am so rewarded when I connect with someone who truly appreciates my knowledge of the products.  They got the help they never thought they could get & are so appreciative.  Every sale makes me smile big, no matter the amount.  Most customers stay with me, and reorders are just easy & makes me feel so BEAUTIFUL. 

I like all the previous posts, so true.  $ can be unpredictable, but can also be a lot higher for the same # of hrs put into a fixed pay job.  Yes, must be about them (the customers), as long as we find their needs and fill them, it is a match.  So – reading what people really want / need is a skill.  Personally, I think pushing a sale is only a short term solution.  I won’t want a quick sale and risk losing a customer and his/her future referrals for good.   

Hope I have given you some idea of traits a successful candidate would need.  best of luck and enjoy the learning process!

 

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