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Does or has anyone worked as a new car salesman?

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by UNDR8D, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. UNDR8D

    UNDR8D ...has a job!

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    I have an interview tomorrow morning with a Honda dealership. Commission-only scares me but I'm sure it'll be fine. There's no way I could be making any less than I was previously.

    Anyway, the question is: Has anyone worked as a new car salesman? If so, what was the commission structure? I am trying to figure out what the income potential of this job is going to be.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. endlesszeal

    endlesszeal Senior Member

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    ive know a couple personally and they seem to do alright.. around 35-40k? of course YMMV. and throughout the recession, honda has been one of the few companies that actually opened more dealerships, as least in the norcal area.
     
  3. totalburnout

    totalburnout Well-Known Member VIP

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    The problem with straight commission is that the company then has the means and motivations to put as many people as possible on the floor, because there is very little impact to payroll.

    You can pull in six figures at a successful car dealership. Keep in mind, we're in the middle of a recession and sales overall are slow. Not the best scenario for income potential.
     
  4. invisibledemon

    invisibledemon Bored Moderator VIP

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    have worked at a dealership for a while now.
    tried sales for a little bit.

    1st: are you comfortable with people, you absolutely have to be a people person.
    these people will think of you as a scumball salesman without ever meeting you.
    2nd: are you comfortable working with some of the slimiest, douchebag, greedy, dirtiest people you have ever met?
    i mean guys that will do what they can to get your sale, to make you money.
    not all are like that, but theres always money to be made and some people want it enough to still your leads, and your ups, and take every chance they can to get your customer.
    3rd: as far as pay, most decent dealers have whats called a draw system, so that guarantees you a paycheck every week.

    BUT
    since you arent hourly, you dont qualify for most of the labor laws, they expect you to be there from open to close everyday that they are open.

    its a job that you really have to be able to do.
    you have to be able to sell yourself to the people before you can sell them a car.
    then you have to deal with the bullshit of all the managers and micro-managers that all think they are god.

    and every dealership has that one guy, the guy who is so full of himself that he actually believes his piss is liquid gold, and his shit can power the world. he is the guy that will do every little weasel trick in the book to take every sell he can get. no matter who it belongs to.
     
  5. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    One thing I'd like to add, it's not just being a people person, it's remembering people. My parents bought a Ford conversion van in 1993. Salesman was this guy Drew. I couldn't tell you how many times we have bumped into him since then. He approaches us just to say hi and ask how everyone is doing. When it was time for my older sister to get her first car, we went to Drew first. I went to him, and so did my two younger siblings. He just didn't have anything we wanted in our price ranges, but he got 4 new leads just for being polite and approachable. I wish he didn't work at a Ford dealership because I would love to do business with him.
     
  6. f22b1 coupe

    f22b1 coupe Junior Member

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    If you want some really good insight, a guy that worked for Edmunds went undercover at some dealerships and wrote what is one of the best inside stories I've ever read:

    Confessions of a Car Salesman

    One of the most prominent unexpected observations he made was that knowing about cars means nothing. He told them he just wanted to make lots of money and they were glad to have him! After reading that article, I will NEVER EVER finance through a dealer in the event I decide to buy something I can't pay for in cash.
     
  7. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    yeah, usually you'll have 1 or days off a week, but otherwise, you're working 8am -10pm most other days.
     
  8. 95b16coupe

    95b16coupe New Member

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    there are a lot of jobs out there better than a car dealership. especially if you are about to graduate. hell, i would go work at starbucks before working at a dealership. at least you would get regular hours, tips, and free coffee.
     
  9. eastbxc

    eastbxc Custom User Title

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    I worked as a lube tech at a Honda dealership. The job was not that bad but for all the dumbass people you have to work with. It seemed like everyone there hated there life and the dealership. I get the feeling it like that most car dealerships.
     
  10. invisibledemon

    invisibledemon Bored Moderator VIP

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    yeah. pretty much is.
    if you are looking for just a job, theres plenty more to do at a dealership.
    detailing is usually a good job, if you have a heated and cooled shop to work out of.
    then theres the lot porter job, your responsible for organizing and cleaning the lot, and ensuring the cars are ready to be shown. pretty much anything and everything that the managers want you to do (this was my fav job at dealerships, i basically clocked in, and went to hang out in somebodys office then check in every once in a while)
    also, service jobs, lube tech.
    if you are computer savvy you could try the IT dept of things.
     
  11. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    i did used car sales for an exotic dealership for a while. it was actually quite a lot of fun, but i doubt working for a honda dealer would be as much fun. My commission was 1% of all sales + $10 an hour. I had to wear a suit to work (doubt you will) and I averaged about 4-5 sales a month which made the job well worth the effort for an 18 year old kid who had some in roads with the owner.

    As someone already said. you MUST be a people person. i'll let you in on a secret that you may not already realize, but the younger you are the harder it is to be successful in a sales environment like selling cars. Age brings with it the perception of knowledge/wisdom. When you're young you have to work a thousand times harder to exude knowledge without being cocky or condescending.

    For example: If a customer asks if the fit he's looking at has a 1.6L engine, completely ignore the fact that he's missed the mark by saying that the fit even has the option for a 1.6L and just say something along the lines of "This model has a 1.5L engine" or expound upon the positives of the 1.5L engine. Never make them feel stupid or find yourself being right for the sake of being right. That's a death sentence in the business. It also makes your customers feel a little bit more at ease when they have actual questions they'd like you to answer.

    The other nice thing about selling cars, as someone else already said, is the fact that you can do it without knowing anything about the product you are selling or about cars in general.

    Most people walk into a dealership knowing what they want to look at. You're job is to sell them on the comps the other car loses.

    Another scenario:

    Dude walks in looking at an Accord and asks you why the accord gets 31MPG when the Malibu gets 33MPG. What's the point in buying the Accord? A chuckle (after you've kinda broken the ice) and telling him something along the lines 'You wouldn't be looking at Honda if you didn't already know the answer to that question. You aren't looking at Honda for fuel efficiency you're looking at honda because at the end of the day and after 4 years, not only will you be happier with the reliability of the Honda over the Chevy, but you're going to love the resale value when it comes time to buy a new one'.

    You can even expound on that by asking the question 'how much do you think you're going to pay in repairs when you're chevy breaks downs? Do you think saving some 100 bucks a year on gas is going to make up for the $5,000 in repairs for the car?'

    It's just a mind set you have to be in in order to sell cars. Not everyone can do it, and fewer still can do it without being a complete and total slime ball. I was lucky to have worked at a dealership where 9 times out of 10 the customer was looking at me to be a friendly person who would escort him from his maserati to a ferrari he was looking at.
     
  12. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    That sounds like the shit. But I imagine they aren't doing as well these days.

    This week I'm actually going to the local dealerships and seeing what jobs they need filled. I'd prefer to detail but I wouldn't have a problem as a lube tech either.
     
  13. Cashizslick

    Cashizslick !i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!

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    Not to mention that everyone in a current sales position now faces an incredibly tough and resilient consumer.

    Rescission or not, some individuals still have the money for new cars . . . and you know . . . there's a reason for that . . . ;)
     
  14. Korax

    Korax New Member

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    I used to be an internet sales manager at a honda/toyota/hyundai dealer, got laid off last year. I did new and used. I was salary + flats + bonus. But floor sales people ussually work soemthing like this. You either get a certain %, a flat, or both. You also get "paid" by the hour but that gets covered with your comission. So if you don't sell enough you still get paid for being there. They would get paid around a $200 flat if you didn't sell it for enough to make more with the starting comission at, I think it was, 10%. Then if you sell so many units your comission scale goes up. 1-5 10%, 6-8 12%, 9-13 15%, or something like that. They will also throw in bonus by selling so many of a certain model, or if your average gross is so high you'll get a better rate. You can make a lot more selling used. There is hardly any mark up in new cars, esp now with the way things are. You'll be making alot of flats. You suck at selling cars if your at a somewhat decent dealer and you don't make 40k a year. You can easily make 80-100k selling Japanese. At least when the economy picks back up.
     
  15. corvetteguy78

    corvetteguy78 Well-Known Member VIP

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    never work a full comission job, get a base salary + commission. your going to have a tough time balancing your bills around
     
  16. UNDR8D

    UNDR8D ...has a job!

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    Good stuff guys, thanks. I have been tentatively offered the job pending insurance approval. In some ways I hope it comes back as uninsurable. I'm not so sure that i want to do this. Of course there are better and other jobs but frankly, I don't know where to go. I have made calls, I have showed up in person, I have gone to a career counselor. Actually, I was told by this guy that the average job search is taking close to three months. I can't wait that long so I need to do something in the meantime. I think this may be a good outlet. Why not at least try it.

    And I did read Confessions of a Car Salesman...it was great.
     
  17. Cashizslick

    Cashizslick !i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!

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    Bah, salary - I've been 100% commission for the last year & 1/2.


    I still pay mah billz :p


    Just a tip. Anyone entering a sales only job should be prepared for 3 to 4 months of discouragement . . . after that things are fine.
     
  18. 95b16coupe

    95b16coupe New Member

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    this post is full of fail. you have your degree, you want to get out of the area, and you have opportunity. WHY THE FUCK DO YOU WANT TO DETAILS CARS FOR $8/hr?!?!?!?!

    if you don't want the job, don't take it. you will quit a couple days into it. you will have missed time out on searching for something you DO want.
     
  19. corvetteguy78

    corvetteguy78 Well-Known Member VIP

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    What do you sell?
     
  20. Cashizslick

    Cashizslick !i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!

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    I rent apartments.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
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