The automotive industry is one of the last business opportunities around where you can walk in with absolutely zero experience, and be making a quarter of a million dollars a year within years. Sounds amazing right? Well, it is, and there’s more. Not only can you make a very decent living in automotive, but there are many career opportunities in the business with growth potential that can offer challenges and an overall positive working environment if you work towards your personal professional goals. Here are some paths that may work for you.
Well, when you’re young with little experience, there’s the possibility to walk in and grab the job as a front desk person or receptionist. This is a very important job considering that you are the eyes, ears, and face of the dealership. You’re the first thing customers see when they walk in and the last person they experience when they walk out. This seat can lead anywhere in the house depending on your effort level and skill set.
The most common place to start would be in auto sales. Again, think about the opportunity. You don’t need a college degree to jump in and start making money pretty fast. If you work hard and have the personality for it, you could be making six figures faster than most. It’s basically like owning your own business. You put in the hours and work your leads. You also have the opportunity to self promote and make yourself a star. From this position, if you have experience in the digital marketing world or are interested, then you could eventually transition to internet sales and internet sales manager. This is another very lucrative area, and the future has endless possibilities. In fact, in most cases, dealers see this as the future of vehicle sales. Not that dealerships are going anywhere soon, but leads are coming in via the web, and there’s a need for technical support.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have the service department. You can go hands-on working with vehicles and eventually work your way into management there, or work in service sales. There’s a wealth of knowledge you can bring to a dealership about the systems in vehicles, their parts, different types of oils, tires and anything else that needs to be explained to each customer with kindness and patience. This is just as important as selling a new vehicle to a potential customer. When those reviews come rolling, it’s important that each and every customer was handled with the care and patience they deserve. The dealer experience is in your hands.
Next, we have Finance and Insurance. Most think the finance manager is the bad guy that gives you the high-interest rate on your loan and that’s about it, but there’s more. First of all, they do their best to get you a good rate and driving out as fast as possible. Then, they can offer all kinds of add ons to the deal, and they can get a piece of the action. This is the department where those extended warranties come out of, and those warranties are a win-win in most cases. Some will sell you service contracts and even life insurance believe it or not.
We didn’t even touch on Used Car Managers, General Sales Managers, General Managers and of course owners. There are so many paths to choose and ladders to climb, that anyone looking for a change in career should at least take a look at this ever-changing industry. It’s a challenging and very competitive one, but the opportunities are there.
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