Move from Independent to Franchise Dealer in Finance

by Elena
(Somewhere in A Finance Office)

Question: Looking to move from a smaller independent dealership to a franchise dealership in Finance.

I've been working at a small independent dealership (20-30 sales/mo) for 2 years. I know how to do EVERYTHING, but I specialize in financing.

I started looking for a job in a bigger dealership (better hours, more organized, benefits, etc.) and they'll hire me but they want me to start from the bottom (sales) and be paid on commission.

They'll guarantee me $2500 for 90 days but after that I'm on my own. I'm getting paid about $3000-$3500 right now where I am at.

I am not sure if I should take the risk of leaving my job and going to a bigger dealership (Hyundai) to start from zero.

What's your advice?

Answer: Hi Elena,

I have been in this situation before and have mixed feelings on what you should do here.

Since I don't know you personally, the dealership making you this offer and their reputation with their salespeople, it makes it even harder to give advice.

What I'll do is throw a few scenarios out there and give you some things to think about that may make your decision easier.

  1. You have a job now that you are familiar with and know roughly what to expect month in and month out regarding pay.

  2. The pay you currently earn is higher than their guarantee and their guarantee only lasts for 90 days.

  3. How aggressive are you and how confident are you in your ability to sell cars. It can be difficult to transition back from finance to sales.

  4. What if they flood the floor with salesmen and it becomes a dog eat dog environment just to get an up? Are you good on the phone and can you generate your own business?

  5. What if you do take the job and look back 2 years from now and are still stuck in the same sales spot they told you would only be temporary "until you learned how they like to do things"?

  6. Can you wait and continue to see if other F&I jobs open up where you'd be able to get right in to Finance?

    You may need to start at a smaller new car store, but it will build your resume for future endeavors.

    How things are done at new car stores vs. used car stores can be a real eye opener and a smaller new car store might be a better option.

  7. Have you considered using a head hunter service to find you F&I jobs?

    I've found two jobs this way and most new car dealers will either hire someone they know or use these services when it comes to hiring management personnel. This could be a solid option for you.

  8. Have you considered getting some professional F&I training to help boost your resume? I did this and graduated from the College of Automotive Management. This helped me break into my first new car dealership (in F&I anyway).

    The school didn't necessarily teach me that much as I had a pretty long and strong F&I background when I went (I actually could have taught the class), but it looked great on my resume and showed that I was all about taking the steps on my own to grow my career.

I can't think of any other scenarios at this time, but I hope that gives you something to think about before you make the change.

If you change and regret it later your current job might not be available to come back to.

I'm not trying to discourage you, but please do yourself a favor and think very carefully before you make any changes.

The grass is not always greener on the other side and in a tough economy there may not even be any grass on the other side.

Hope this helps,

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