Full gallop this way --->
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Durham, NC.
Both a former car salesperson and dealership manager here. BMW, Subaru, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Lexus, and yes, even Ford.
It is rare when a dealership ISN'T looking for new salepeople.
All of them provide training from the ground up.
Most would prefer you have no experience.
They prefer to train you their way so as not to deal with any "bad" habits you learned elsewhere.
By "bad" habits I mean knowledge of how to tell real buyers from tire kickers in less than three minutes.
To succeed you must work many hours, typically sixty+ per week for the first two years or so.
You are a fool if you take a single Saturday off, even if you aren't scheduled to work one.
Nearly every customer you meet starting out will know more about the vehicle than you.
It will take a year at least before you start to get a meaningful number of referrals or repeat customers.
The internet will undercut whatever price you give nearly always, even the internet staff at your own dealership, and they will get the sale and commission, not you.
There will be times you do all the work selling someone on a vehicle and they will go buy it elsewhere in a heartbeat with no regrets. You will have done some other salesperson's job for them, all they had to do was get signatures.
You will likely be required to participate in "Lot Parties". Starting dozens of cars outside in winter to keep the batteries from going dead, moving them to and fro all over the place in sweltering heat too.
Other low life salespeople will attempt to "snake you" on deals, taking half credit for your sales at every opportunity.
You will follow the book and spend hours with a potential buyer only to find out they are a "Hogue" with no chance of getting a loan anywhere.
You may well get yelled at if you let a customer walk out the door without meeting your manager first, even if they only wanted a stupid brochure.
"Nobody walks until the boss talks."
Almost every customer has an appointment somewhere else they must get to shortly. (Hint: They don't.)
The way to tell if a customer is lying is if their lips move. (This goes both ways too often.)
It is very hard to "hold gross" these days and avoid whatever a minimum commission is. Few vehicles command all the money.
Some of the people you work with would rip off their own mothers, and do.
Turning your "done deal" over to a Finance and Insurance Manager to complete the paperwork doesn't mean you sold a car.
F & I can and will screw it up trying to sell the customer stuff they don't need or want, sometimes reducing that gross profit you negotiated so well to hide the crap they added.
You must have a thick skin to succeed in car sales.
I was lucky I guess, and did fairly well. Only to establish my credibility here, where I'm coming from, I was a three time consecutive Hendrick Automotive Group Presidents Club winner, top 1% in one of the largest dealer groups in the country. I was also one of the top 25 BMW salespeople in North America in 1995 and 1996. I was Acura National Precision Team twice. I had so many Salesperson of the Month plaques my co-workers called my office "The Shrine". I won "Trips for Two" to Dallas, Atlanta (1996 Olympics), Tucson, Chicago, San Antonio, San Diego, hell, can't remember them all. I got to drive some really cool cars at speed on tracks too. There are rewards.
But in the end I grew to hate it. I liked dealing with many of the customers I met, but I was gradually worn down by constant battles with some people above and around me. I did it right, a truly honest car salesperson, but it was hard being that way sometimes. Some of the people who work in sales at dealerships are really awful human beings, sad but true, and some of them were upper management. I had to get out and did, my happy honest soul still intact.
If you can land a job in a dealership parts department, you won't make so much money but the hours will be regular and the income more or less steady. You also will avoid that high stress every month crap-ton of grief in sales.