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,