A Car Sales Question from Jay in Illinois...
Looking for advice to be a car salesman.
Hi there, you seem very intelligent on what you are preaching so I had a few questions for you about being a car salesman. Im 20 years old and in college now planning on getting a bachelors in business, but I want to be a car salesman, I love cars so much!!
Would a degree help at all?? I want a job where I make good money. I know you should do what you love, but I don't think I would ever really be happy unless I was making 75k+ a year.
What advice would you have for me about what it's like to be a car salesman?? I would like to maybe work for a luxury brand Audi/Porsche/BMW/Mercedes/Lexus. Any advice would be great!! I really do appreciate the help.
A degree will go a long way if you want to be a car salesman with some dealers and not mean anything to others. I'd say that for the dealerships you are wanting to work for that it would be a bonus, because they expect professionals to sell their cars as that's exactly who their bread and butter customers are, professionals.
Usually, a salesman will have to work their way up into those types of dealerships with prior sales experience elsewhere, but your degree might help to get your foot in the door right out the gate.
Big money can be made in the car business and from the start you could conceivably earn 100k+, but being a car salesman and the car business in general is not for everyone so I'd highly recommend the degree just in case you find it's not want you want to do.
In addition, your degree could help you to promote faster into a possible GM role (big money, 20-40k month) in the future. I have personally looked into an automotive management degree (they have specific bachelor and masters programs for dealership management), but have not pursued it further.
I'm pretty happy with my role now and am not sure that I want to stay in the car business for the rest of my life.
My advice would be to stay the course with your degree and see if you could possibly get a part time car salesman job. This will allow you to see if it is really a career you'd like to pursue and will allow you to make some decent money while you're in school. Sell 6-8 cars a month and you could find yourself making a nice 2-5K a month...Not bad for a part time gig!
Take a look at my Car Salesman Salary page for even more information about average incomes for both salesman and managers.
Whatever you decide to do, good luck to you and please don't hesitate to ask any further questions.
Thanks for the fast response! Thats exactly why I'm getting my degree, just in case it's not for me and I would like to do something else, but as of now it is definitely something I would like to get into.
Could you explain what this statement means in detail? "In addition, your degree could help you to promote faster into a possible GM role (big money, 20-40k month) in the future" What exactly is a GM role? Sounds pretty intriguing!
What exactly do you do then? Making 300k in one year would be a dream. On average what would you say luxury car salesman's make? What kinds of cars do you sell?
When I was referring to becoming a GM I meant the General Manager of a dealership. The General Manager is one step below the owner and is oftentimes a minority (under 50%) owner as well. They basically run the show from sales to service to parts. They are the ones that review all the numbers, plan where they want the store to go and get to chew out the General Sales Manager when it's been a bad month.
On average I'd guesstimate that luxury car salesman make in the 65-90k a year range. You have to be making at least that or your not going to be a car salesman (luxury anyway) for long. The dealership expects even higher results for luxury salesman vs. standard autos. That's why I mentioned previously that most salesman need a prior proven history in order to get hired on at a luxury dealer, but that's not always the case.
I actually don't sell cars, but am a Finance Manager for a GM dealer. I'm the guy that arranges financing for customers and sells warranties, GAP insurance, etc...
Again, feel free to ask anymore questions you may have.
Ok great, I really appreciate the information on what it's like to be a car salesman.
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