You are paid exactly what you are worth.
We don't mean to burst anyone's bubble (or maybe we do) but your boss has almost nothing to do with how much money you make. Many of us fall into the trap of looking to external factors to blame for our dissatisfaction with our income. A sales career in the retail automotive industry can be extremely rewarding both personally and financially – if we know what it takes to be successful. The typical dealership is a microcosm of a pure capitalist marketplace. The level of our pay is in direct proportion to the level of service and value we provide.
The dealership pays for your service in selling the car with a portion of the transaction gross profit. After the typical new car department pays its overhead, inventory costs, and rent factor very little (if anything) is left as departmental net profit. The dealership spends as much on salesperson compensation as it is able to. There are more dealerships looking for salespeople than there are salespeople to fill the jobs – this competitive job market is to your advantage. But is the percentage share of gross profit the largest factor in your income? Not by a long shot.
The amount of money you make selling vehicles depends on only two factors: how many did you sell and how well did you build value during the sales process. While it is true that sales management is ultimately responsible for gross profit – there can be no gross profit without your skills in building value.
So what can you do about those two factors that determine your income? Start by recognizing that you work for yourself. Earl Nightingale said: "think of yourself as a corporation". No corporation could survive by simply sitting back and waiting for a prospect to come along. Yet in many dealerships we see salespeople waiting around for someone to come in. No corporation could survive without marketing. Yet many salespeople do virtually no personal marketing to build their client base and create their own traffic. No corporation could survive without research and development. How much personal development and training do you invest in? How many books do you read for profit rather than pleasure? No corporation can survive in the long run without growth. Do you have a personal conviction and expectation that each new year will be better than the last?
So what actions will you take now that you recognize that you are the president of your personal corporation and totally responsible for its results?
Don't be satisfied with being merely a "presentation expert". Start thinking of your role as a marketer.
Recognize that prospects have low expectations about the quality of salesperson they will encounter at the dealership. That's great! It's easy to exceed low expectations – show them professional service and lead the buying process.
Invest in research and development. Read books on psychology, sales, service, marketing, and management. Get all the training you can.
Build a client base. Implement a systematic approach to client follow-up, referral, and networking activities.
Don't settle for the same sales volume and income as last year. The market will pay you more but only if you do more! Increase the quality of your personal service and more people will buy.
If you're waiting for management, markets, or new product to deliver higher incomes… be prepared to wait. The most successful people in our business prosper though good economic times and bad because they recognize that their success depends on only one thing – themselves.
"All of the money you are ever going to have is currently in the hands of someone else."
- Earl Nightingale
Automotivaters is highly recognized and one of the most respected automotive training and consulting companies in Canada. Since 1987, the company has acquired an international client base throughout Canada, the United States, the Philippines, Indonesia, French Polynesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and New Zealand.
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