I'm job hunting, car sales? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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I'm job hunting, car sales?

Come July 1st I will be out of work with my present employer. For about the last 7 years I've been working 150 miles from home out of state home on weekends only. I'm in pretty good physical shape but I am into my early 60's. I'm at that funny age with employment and I've been looking for the last month at least. I do have a job offer with another school system but the pay is abysmal and I know if I go there I will be job hunting right away. It seems like a point in time to explorer other fields of work. I'm a electrician in the school system I work at. By getting out of the public sector I can collect a small pension. When I bought my F150 I was on vacation in SC when our car died and went to the Ford dealer my friend's wife worked at. My friend's wife kidded us that we should move south and take a job at the dealer in sales. She said they look for new people and provide training. I never took it to seriously but now it has me wondering. It wouldn't be in SC although I would love to move but a local Ford dealer, not sure if they have any openings. At least I'd be home every night

Tom

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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 04:49 PM
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Didn't you mention working in a parts department before?


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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 05:09 PM
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You've made it to your sixties, why give up your soul now?
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 05:10 PM
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Most employers are reluctant to hire people in their 60's. I would guess car sales is one job where they don't care. A recession proof job would be good as the economy has been gradually slowing. Car sales have been slowing. Maybe a good time to get in where someone is leaving.

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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 06:38 PM
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Private sector electrical work can be very lucrative. If you know the business and have any certifications, hit up your current employer for a great letter of recommendation, build a resumé and show the young bucks how it's done ! !

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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 06:45 PM
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IDK where in PA you are, but here in CO you can make a great living as a sparky just doing the easy stuff. I got a buddy who mostly installs ceiling fans and light fixtures, and grosses about $1000 a week in labor.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Private sector electrical work can be very lucrative. If you know the business and have any certifications, hit up your current employer for a great letter of recommendation, build a resumé and show the young bucks how it's done ! !
In NJ to have a plumbing, HVAC or electrical contracting business or to work in a public school in these trades you must have a state contractors license which involves working in those respective trades for up to 5 years, verify and take a state test. I do have my NJ electrical contractors license which I’m required to take continuing educational course to renew my license every 3 years. Then I have to be bonded and insurance. Been there done that. I was just talking to the HVAC contractor we use. Small guy with a couple helpers. He’s been chasing down a lawyer who hasn’t paid him $9K for months on a flip that’s been sold with nothing in sight. It’s hurting him. I’ve seen a very good friend go through the same thing and finally pulling the plug. Typically working for a contractor there’s not security. You work when they work. No work for them, no work for you. Health insurance, vacation and sick days?

One thing I learned about having my own business years ago, I’ll do anything for money as long as it’s legal. So I’m open minded in a different career if it works. I’ll let someone else have the headaches at this point. The dealer I mentioned was a salesman that was doing pretty well. He had retired from the phone company and blew through his savings and had to back to work.

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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 07:04 PM
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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.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jgrote View Post
IDK where in PA you are, but here in CO you can make a great living as a sparky just doing the easy stuff. I got a buddy who mostly installs ceiling fans and light fixtures, and grosses about $1000 a week in labor.
Great idea if he can get on the wifes health insurance! I was forced into my current job from being blissfully self employed for health insurance.

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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 07:13 PM
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Some good advice here already. I will say, based on what I’m seeing, it ain’t a great time to get in that business.

This article is from today:
https://jalopnik.com/car-sales-are-s...ine-1835480712

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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 07:15 PM
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Health insurance keeps me working for others as well. If we ever get nationalized healthcare, those of us with skills will have so many more options.
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 07:45 PM
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Wow. What a great insight into car sales, I appreciate you taking the time to enlighten us.

I am in industrial consumables sales, have been for 25 years and like what I do. When I go to buy a car I deal with them like I like to be dealt with and, if they don't want to be straight up, I move on. Over the years I have come across a few car sales people that I really respected and those are the ones I would stick with and send friends or family to. I've come across jerks to but they don't bother me as I don't let them - I just move on.

I think car sales is much like real estate. The professionals have to work really hard, stay at one place, and do very well, the "wannabe's" and scumbags come and go.

Maybe you can stay in your industry but a completely different role. Like the electrical supply, places like Grainger, Graybar Electric, or even the electrical department at Lowes or Home depot. All those companies pay well with great benefits.

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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 07:46 PM
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Health insurance keeps me working for others as well. If we ever get nationalized healthcare, those of us with skills will have so many more options.
In theory.
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 4ocious View Post
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.
Thank you for the insight. I’ve been around the block a few time so I very well understand what you’re saying and will definitely take the advice. When I first had my own business I worked with a father and son plumbing contractor. I will never forget when the son was telling me about a estimate they gave to a home owner on a water heater replacement. They lost the job by $5. Yes $5, the HO got a quote from another contractor that looked at his, cut $5 off the quote. What really burned my friend was the fact the HO never asked him if he could do better. So yes I understand. There’s always that learning curve in any profession for the first couple years.

In my case it had everyone baffled why I’m being let go. Not by co workers but by top people starting from 2nd in command. There are 3 jobs coming up that I’d normally be doing. Labor alone is $198k, more then double my salary. I’m being let go due to “economy” reasons but a totally new position on staff with a starting salary of $174k is being put forth for approval.

Tom

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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Health insurance keeps me working for others as well. If we ever get nationalized healthcare, those of us with skills will have so many more options.

My Cobra cost per month would be $3500! I’m told my health insurance cost is $39k per year. Who can afford that? My wife gets on my case for what I make but overlooks what health insurance costs.

Not trying to get political but I’m not so sure about nationalized health care. What we don’t hear is many times treatments are far more limited. They go by what works for the majority. If it doesn’t work for you, oh well. Or it’s out of pocket. I was talking with a friend who’s son in law is from Spain.His son in law’s mom was living in the US for a while. She developed a sore throat, went back to Spain. She was diagnosed with throat cancer. To see another doctor was 9 months later. She never made it. As you get older treatment option generally get reduced as well. Afordable heath care what ever it is, absolutely!

Tom

One thing great about getting older. A life in prison sentence is less of a deterrence


Last edited by Huskinhano; 06-13-2019 at 08:29 PM.
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