Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Drive For A Career In Auto Sales

I sat down with my management team on New Years Eve to discuss the opportunities for improvement and growth that our company had in 2008. As usual, one of the biggest challenges facing the automotive industry is hiring and keeping good Sales Professionals. Since I grew up in selling cars and getting paid strictly on commission, I'll be the first to admit that I am not the person to figure out this dilemma. Personally, I can't understand why anyone would not want to sell cars. So I guess here is the proper place to quote master sales trainer, George Dans: "If selling 20 cars a month was easy, everybody would be doing it".

We adjourned our meeting with no solutions to our employment "issues". Please know that I DO NOT like to be defeated and this felt like defeat to me. So I went scouring the internet for answers that I never found. I did find a great article by Ron Coxsom on Monster.com about entering into an auto sales career. I am posting it here in the hopes that someone reads this that has not been happy at their current JOB...(remember that JOB stands for Just Over Broke). Or maybe you feel that you are not getting paid what you are worth. It might be a family member or even your spouse that you want to try and help out in 2008. If any of these people sound like you or someone you know, please don't wait another day to make the decision that might change your life forever and speak to someone at a local car dealership about a career in automotive sales. Happy New Year!

Drive For A Career In Auto Sales

The lure of a challenging and well-paying opportunity -- along with a new car -- may have piqued your interest in an auto sales career. But before you get revved up about those big commissions and new wheels, consider whether your personality is a good fit for the business. You'll also want to take some time to research the many brands out there to find one you'd be truly passionate about representing.

With the right mix of motivation and enthusiasm for your product, you'll be on the road to a successful new career. These guidelines will help you stay on course.

Know Your Personality

What kinds of people do best in auto sales? Ken Bratz, owner of Leadership Resources and Consulting in Palestine, Texas, says "top performers have a utilitarian trait, which is a value that separates the good from the great."

Mike Sadler, pre-owned sales manager for Beaman Toyota in Nashville, says that "before venturing off in our game, a salesperson has to be very disciplined, self-motivated, team-oriented, driven by self-achievement and have an ownership mentality."

Some dealers now use personality tests to help them hire the best people and devise training programs for them. Bratz points out that such tests also help salespeople focus on what drives their best efforts.

Pick the Dealership

Seek a manufacturer and dealership that fit your personality -- those you can represent with professionalism and honesty. Do your own research, and then apply for a job if you feel you would be proud to represent the dealership and brand. At the interview, be sure to ask your own questions:

How often does management train its staff?
How does the dealership measure performance in its salespeople?
What traits does a salesperson need to have to be a top performer at the dealership?

Also ask a sales manager at the dealership if he would allow you to sit in on a sales meeting or watch a salesperson in action. This will help you know what to expect on the job.

Learn to Believe in Your Product

Once you've picked a dealer and brand, you need to learn everything you can about the product you're selling. If you aren't interested in learning about your product, why should your potential customer care about it? By learning about the autos you're selling, you're not only building your knowledge and showing your resourcefulness, but also conveying your passion for the brand.

One thing you can do to keep learning about the brand you are selling is to take a brochure from the dealership home every night. Read it from cover to cover. Include this knowledge in your presentation to customers, but remember to sell the information, not just repeat it. Customize the information to fit your individual selling style and personality. Remember, the very first sell you make to a customer is you; you need to allow the customer to trust you.

You Are What You Do

"You must look at auto sales as a career and not just a job," says Eric Carr, general sales manager for Gary Force Toyota in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Invest in yourself, and be loyal to your team as you learn your trade.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF "MINDLESS MUSINGS FROM THE MAXX" - Tracy Myers is the owner of Frank Myers Auto Maxx (Winston-Salem & High Point, NC) and Uncle Frank's Auto Approval Center (Winston-Salem, NC). He is a Certified Master Dealer, the National Quality Dealer of the Year and one of top 28 dealerships in the Nation. He is also the author of "Eight Keys to a Better Car Deal" and the best selling book "Car Buying Secrets Exposed - The Dirty Little Secrets of a Used Car Dealer", both available at Amazon.com

Visit Frank Myers Auto Maxx on the internet at frankmyersauto.com

Recommended reading : The Toyota Way By Jeffrey Liker Release date: 17 December, 2003

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