What’s It Like to Be a Car Salesman

What's It Like to Be a Car Salesman

For the most part, car sales as a job is a bad rap, but most dealerships have more candidates for these jobs than they can hire.

Something is amiss here, and maybe we need to look a little deeper at the benefits of being a car salesman or saleswoman. While pop culture and older generations try and tell you that people who sell cars are slick-talking silver-tongued devils, the simple fact is, the best people to sell cars are those who love to hustle, love to talk, and know how to engage with other people.

Very Few Requirements for the Job

One of the reasons that dealerships have more applicants for the car sales job than they can hire or handle is the lack of requirements to do the job. You don’t need a formal education, a list of certifications, or any experience. This position is one that can be taught on the showroom floor as long as a person has the right personality. This is a job that requires a positive attitude, good people skills, and a drive to succeed. Everything else can be taught once on the job, which makes it a great job for someone who doesn’t have a degree or a lot of experience.

There’s Money to be Made as a Salesperson

The average annual salary of a salesperson at a dealership is $40,000. This is a great salary for a young person with no degree and no experience. This salary includes commission payments per vehicle sold, which averages $250-$300 to the salesperson. For someone that hustles and sells a lot of cars, the salary can increase to as much as $60,000. The amount a salesperson makes is completely dependent upon the number of cars sold, which is why you have to hustle to do this job.

The Schedule Can be Brutal

To make the desired salary in the car sales world, a person needs to be committed to being at work whenever the dealership is open. This means you’re going to pay 50+ hours per week, be at the dealership on nights and weekends, and you’ll have a lot of downtime where cold calls and lead follow-ups will help with sales. To make the desired salary, an average salesperson needs to sell 8-12 cars per month. There is a lot of work that goes into the hours between customers.

An Environment that’s Different at Every Dealership

Some people in car sales love their job; others hate it. The common factor between these two is the environment that’s created by the management staff of the dealership. When a salesperson has the tools and support needed to be successful, they usually are. When expected to deal with mean, ruthless managers and coworkers, this can be one of the toughest jobs a person could ever have. Many people in a bad situation will never sell cars again and point to the single experience they had at a dealership as the reason why.

Should You Be a Car Salesperson?

If you’re considering a job in car sales, you might want to understand some of the things that salespeople look for when you arrive at a dealership as a customer. If you think you understand some of these signs and situations, you might be a good fit.

Salespeople Read Their Customers

What someone says with their voice and what their body language and actions say are two different things. A person pulling up to a car dealership is usually already interested in a vehicle, but are they ready to trade the car they have, are they just kicking tires, or could you close a deal with them?

Coworkers Can be Cutthroat

There have been many cases of sales starting with one person and ending with another. That first salesperson could have done all of the leg work and brought the customer all the way to the point of decision only to have them sleep on it. Then the customer comes in the next day, and another salesperson takes the sale.

Sales Can be Slow at Times

There are long dry spells at some dealerships, sometimes even causing sales to be slow on weekends. You still need to have money to survive and pay your bills, which means you might need to borrow from your dealership against future commissions. This can cause a stress level unlike any other you’ve ever felt before.

A Ton of Strange Tactics to Entice Customer Activity

Some dealerships to believe putting out balloons is a great way to bring customers in; others think that moving all of the cars around and changing the front line will create customer interest. Being in car sales means you’re doing some odd and strange things at times to try and get customers to the lot.

The Job has Gotten Harder and Easier at the Same Time

In today’s market, those in car sales don’t have to make a sales pitch for a vehicle as much as they used to. Many people arrive at the dealership with their minds made up, ready to buy the vehicle they saw on the website. Online avenues are assisting dealerships by reaching more customers.

Your Friends Might Not Trust You Any Longer

Even your closest friends will wonder if you’re still an honest person when you become a car salesperson. The old reputation of slick selling tactics is still prevalent today, which tells you how long a reputation, even one you didn’t perpetrate, can still linger.

Are You Ready to Sell Cars?

After reading the job description, the pressure environment, and the need to perform non-sales activities at times, are you still ready to get out there and sell cars? The world of car sales, like many other professions, will have some times when everything is going great and other times when nothing seems to go right. If you’re looking for a job that gives you a clean environment, time with people, and products you can get excited about, selling cars just might be for you.

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