Any advise on how to move up the ladder in the dealership for sales? I've been a sales associate for the last three years now. I've been the new car salesman of the year two times in a row. Are there training classes I can take to become a sales manager or finance manager? It's like a catch 22 around the industry, nobody wants to hire an unexperienced manager. I'm peeked out at my dealership and I'm the kind of person that can't settle for that and needs more. Any suggestions?
Congrats on being Salesman of the year 2 years in a row, something to be said for those who can pull it off on the line like that.
I can totally relate to you, I started at a very large and fast paced dealership. Long story short, I achieved salesman of the month among 70 plus others, and against one who held the salesman of the month plaques for years in a row. It's a catch 22 being good on the line, some Managers will actually like to keep you there just due to the fact that you know how to sell, almost as if being a great salesman is the downfall of professional opportunity for growth and to further your career. A little off the subject, I'm not privy to your circumstances where you are.
My story is that I moved up the ranks at what I consider a fairly fast pace considered to some others. On the flip side of this, I was also passed up on being promoted 2 times although I was top dog on the line, they promoted a few outsiders who were suppose to be so called killer closers. My message, I was ready to quit that job early in my career, with a little patience and a more tactical approach to the Managers above me, I was finally promoted to Manager and the rest is history.
I would highly recommend that you speak with your supervisors, G.M. the actual shot callers. Sometimes you have to be ready to move on before you're ready to move up! I would express your loyalty to the company and your desire to grow your career.
I suppose my first question should be, what have you done to express your desire to move up thus far?
I get excited when I see an A player like yourself chomp at the bit to move up and learn the business, great job my friend.
Congratulations, that is a definite achievement. I would say that the secret of making it to the next level is doing what you are doing now which is being pro active. You definitely want to voice your goals to those that matter. Continue to allow your immediate manager and superiors know your interest in different managerial positions. I would also look to invest in yourself as well. There are many F/I classes that you can take, that will give you the exposure you need. I have been in the business for 17 years. And I am now a GSM. It takes time, but overall be patience it will happen.
Chake, are you in a single point store or a dealer group with multiple locations? As you can imagine it is harder to move up in a small store where all positions are called for. Keep voicing your desires to your GM/Owner. The fastest way to get there is to be a leader where you are. Treat your store as if your name was on the building. It took me three years to get to the next step and then seven more to become a GM. You'll get there. I would suggest to get through the F&I first. It helped me a ton when I became a SM. Good luck!!!
I started selling cars when I graduated High School. I was attending college and it was walking distance from the dealership. I managed to make salesman of the month much of time even though I was part-time. I was a kid and took advantage of the situation. I knew that I could leave early and come in late. On Saturday mornings, I would show up having no sleep and just a shower to wake me up. I took advantage knowing that as long as I sold cars, nobody would say anything.
That was back in 1967. I did graduate after a stint in the military and I was a GSM at thirty.
I'm not suggesting that you are that type of salesperson, but if you have any of those characteristics, nobody is going to promote you. You have to look and act the part. Do you follow the rules. When you bring a deal to the desk, do you have everything that it required? Most top salespeople are not team players. Are you? Do you help mentor salespeople that are struggling? How are your leadership skills?
Some stores have a hard time promoting their top salesperson. They know that they will miss the production. Have you sat down with the GM or GSM and explained your aspirations? Your desk manager might influence the decision but is not the decision maker. Honestly, some times you have to go to a store where there is upward mobility. Be cautious here. Many stores will tell you anything to get you there.
I say stay in sales and build a juggernaut of a business. Most management positions are one foot from being out the door. If you’re good in sales, and have the drive to build a book of business that will turn into all your sales coming from repeats and referrals, then you’ll have the best job in the dealership.
You can make more money than the managers and come and go when you want. Obviously it takes a little time to do that, but when your business is on autopilot and you’re selling 30, 40, 50, vehicles a month you’ll be much happier than the pressures of management.
You have to be in a store that fosters education and growth...Though I am on the service side, my dealer is conctantly training, promoting from within and providing opportunities. I have been put through Dale Carnegie, I was sent to a conference geared toward sale managers. Every time i turn around there are more opportunities..Look for a group that fosters this..
Great job on being tops in sales for two years in a row. The fast answer to your question is "yes" both Joe Verde Group and Grant Cardone offer Leadership Training programs that are excellent...but neither one will guarantee a position in Management.
The big question to ask yourself is 'why do you want to be a manager'?
Typically, the sales manager will work more hours, make about the same as a good salesperson, and have twice the headaches. Plus, a great salesperson doesn't always translate into a great leader.
Quality Sales Managers are the ones who are great at helping other people get better. If you want your GM to see you as leadership potential, look for other folks in the dealership that you can help succeed.
Is there a new hire that needs your help? Is there someone with similar time in the business but maybe they need some 'motivation' from a rockstar like yourself that can remind them that they're capable of success?
If you want to be a leader in the dealership, and not just 'manage' the problems that arise, focus on helping others succeed. Then when they're growing and the GM asks what's changed they'll gladly say "Chake has been working with me and it's been turning my career around."
If you're interested in finding out about those leadership classes check out Grant Cardone's Leadership Bootcamp http://www.cardonegroup.com/cardone_institute.html
Joe Verde Group http://joeverdegroup.com
Congrats again on your success so far and congrats in advance on your outstanding career!
Helping the best get better,
Good for you having that desire to move into management. My word of advice is to talk with managers before you really pursue this opportunity. I was in the same situation when I first started working after college and had the desire to do what I thought was more. I ended up ultimately taking about a $10,000 a month pay decrease because our sales commissions were never maxed out. However, travel and depending on my teams performance soon made me long for wanting to be my own boss and sell for a living.
Ultimately, starting my own company was the way for me. It has allowed me to create a culture that I desired when I worked for someone else. Unless you work for an organization that truly Empowers its Employees- management may not be what you think it is.
I'm not saying moving up the ladder is a bad thing. I'm just saying make sure it really is something you want and you will be great at it.