The automotive industry is one of the most demanding yet rewarding sectors of business. For myself, and so many others, this field has taught me so much – be it life skills, career dexterity, or simply giving me lifelong connections. However, this industry isn’t for everyone, and it takes a certain type of person to find success.
How do you know if this is you?
I tell those looking to enter the automotive industry that, first and foremost, they need to be passionate about one thing – cars! While this should seem obvious, you’d be surprised at some of the people who are in it for the wrong reasons. The automotive industry can be a very lucrative sector to work in, but those who are most successful are truly passionate about cars.
You need to be tough skinned. Car dealers work long hours on a difficult schedule. Often, they’re at the dealership Monday through Saturday, dawn to dusk. If you want to make it in this industry, you need to be prepared to work hard and love doing so – and having a solid support system always helps. If you are enthusiastic about what you do, and always have a positive mindset, you will thrive in this industry.
Lastly, to make it in the automotive business, you need to be a people person. Car dealers spend a large portion of their time talking to customers. Whether it’s selling cars, evaluating trade-ins, sourcing inventory, or just talking shop, most of the communication at a car dealership is done verbally. Not only do dealers need to be able to keep customers happy, but they also need to be able to close a sale. If you’re not an outgoing person, or a conversationalist, this might not be the right industry for you.
While the traits I’ve listed all seem specific, it’s not to say that they can’t be acquired if you don’t have them. I wasn’t always a tough skinned, outgoing person – but growing up at a dealership taught me these things. More important than any of the qualities I’ve listed above is, having the willingness to learn. Car dealers aren’t born successful. They learn what’s needed to be successful. If you’re willing to grow, take criticism, and learn from your mistakes, you will most certainly triumph, be it within the automotive industry, or wherever you decide to take your career!
Have you worked in automotive? What are the most important skills that you learned? Comment your answers below!