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Thinking of selling cars...any advice?


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#1 ladypanther

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:40 PM

I have worked in human services for many years. The work is very rewarding but the systems suck. I finally realized I need a complete change. Instead of taking care of everyone else, I need to take care of myself (human services is not financially rewarding)

So, now I want to sell cars. I have an interview with a big company with several dealerships. They have benefits and a 90 day training program. Everything I have researched says the biggest factor is people skills. I do not mind hard work or long hours. I like the possibility that the harder I work and the better I am....the more money I make.



Any advice? Anyone out there do this? I am completely burned out with what I am doing. I have to make a change. Not just a change of jobs (have tried that) but a change of careers.

#2 cultclassiccat

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:17 PM

My father has been selling cars on and off for 30 yrs. He has done several other things(marketing, art design, sales) in life but always falls back on it. He does not like it but he knows it pays the bills, he too is very personable. I could tell you a few things just from knowing what he knows. I would suggest that if you could, get on board with a luxury brand. They tend to make more unless you are 1. Smoking hot with a great personality 2. Can sell water to an eskimo. Good luck but i would bet that if you asked a car salesman what to do they probably would point you in a diff direction unless you were able to be a supervisor or in a managing position. I think the working hours is what gets to him the most.... long days with no bites.

#3 Hawk

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:26 PM

I think the worst part if can be the fact that you could work your ass off and unless the customer wants to buy, you aren't going to get a penny out of it. I'll assume that it's the same there as it is here and sales is 100% commission.

#4 thefuzz

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:19 PM

Do the right thing for every customer and you will make money.

If you treat people well, and get them what they want, don't be afraid to ask for a referral, they are your bills.

Call folks back after they purchase, every month for the first couple, then every quarter, but always call them, lives change in an instant.

Learn to do something other than smoke and shoot the poo during the day, many days with nothing to do. Don't just shop. Maybe do e-bay or something like that.

Be ready to be yelled at, and disgusted with the human race. Still do the right thing!

Just because you have 5K in the bank, don't get lazy and pass up on folks that are looking.

Never judge a book by it's cover, but know when to cut the cord as well.

Training never stops, I recommend getting some books on tape by Zig Ziggler, and Brian Tracy, they will make you money and make you vomit occasionally.

Good Luck, I am in sales, and while not cars, it's not that much different.

#5 Brokenbad

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

I like to think I am a very charismatic people person, and I had a job at a fancy dealership.

I sold for one month and absolutely hated it.

In my experience, the customers were assholes and my coworkers were even bigger assholes. That is just my experience though, I hope it works out better for you.

#6 Kevin Greene

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:17 PM

The car biz is a rough gig. You better be prepared to be nomadic and ready to take rejection and a rough work environment. One bad month and a new GSM will blow you out the door.
The good times salesmen pocket a lot of cash for very little effort, the bad not so much.

#7 panther4life

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:16 PM

How about Hell to the NO!!Don't do it. I have sold cars since I was 22(29 now). Got promoted to management at 23 and was "desk manager" aka the wizard of oz who controls the price and manages the sales people. Got so sick of the politics and 10,000 hours a week that I quit and swore off the car biz. After finding out that making the same kind of money I was previously making was damn near and in my case impossible to replicate I went back to the car biz. Unfortunatey I had already committed myself to a new standard of living(bills wise not vacations and fun in the sun) that I was forced to get back in.

I have been promoted back into management 2 more times, quit 2 more times, bounced from a couple dealers trying to find a better environment(finally have at a family owned lot).

BTW, working for a big corporation is actually worse than working for a private owned dealership because of all the dumbass rules and polices.

The hours suck and will drain the poo out of you when slow and finding a way to kill the downtime can be brutal(this is why I personally spend so much time on the huddle).

There are good times and very bad times. You may think you control your own destiny in a straight commission environment but there's so many outside factors at play that this is not true.

So if you are looking for a job while your in between careers and you absolutely must do it then go ahead as the 6 really good months(march thru august) are around the corner. But me doing my duty as a decent human being, I am pleading with you to not do it.

If you want more details about the good and bad sides of the biz let me know.

#8 cookinbrak

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:06 PM

If you have a degree in social work, look for a job as an activities director at a nursing home. Very easy work with good pay.

#9 Carolina Husker

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:04 PM

2. Can sell water to an eskimo


Is this difficult?

#10 sunbunny

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:04 PM

My hubby just said don't do it. He was in the car business for 17 years. He's been everything from a salesperson, to manager and f&i, to strictly wholesale. Lots of backstabbing goes on. Bunch of snakes, too (another salesman will snake your deal). Some dealerships he worked 6 days a week, sometimes 7. There were many nights he didn't get home until after the kids were in bed. Maybe he got one weekend off a month. You will have a quota/month or you're fired. There's lots of pressure.

The good is that you can make great money. My hubby always had a demo, and I got one several times. We always got free tickets to the panthers when we wanted them, too bad we only go once in a while because he couldn't get the time off.

#11 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:07 PM

Is this difficult?


I thought it was suppose to be "sell ice cubes to eskimos" :)

#12 Carolina Husker

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:34 PM

How much can a successful car salesman make in a year?

#13 sunbunny

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:09 PM

Salesman? In 96 my husband was making over 60K at a used car dealership.

#14 pstall

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:59 PM

im pretty out going and can talk to anyone on any level on any topic. all my financial advisor buddies are constantly wanting me to join them and get back in the broker game but i can't do it.
i could sell cars but the bang for your buck isn't the same.

lady p. you should consider real estate. it's similar but you could do better because the relationship building part is much better than the quick sell of cars.

sure the hours could add up but, if you build right, it becomes a legacy of making money. like fuzz said, you call after a sale or check in with them and down the line, they send biz to YOU. not the other way around.

as your unpaid Life Coach, I say go for Real Estate.

#15 h0llywood

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:19 AM

My sister in law is the Sales Manager for Land Rover here in Pasadena, CA. Makes over 150k on a bad year. However, she hates it. Then again, I personally believe 9/10 people hate their work.

High end car dealerships you do not have to worry about financing like a Honda dealership would. People who go there already have money for the most part.

Long hours and rarely sees her husband and kids. Depends if you would prefer money over family.


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