Thinking about Sales:

Pros and Cons of being a Car Sales Executive.

You have many factors to consider most you will find outlined below.


Profit per unit.
The finance penetration.
A low basic salary.
Performance against targets.
Anti-social working hours. (You will almost certainly be asked to work Boxing Day)
Unstable working environment.
You will be working almost every weekend.
You will encounter some work colleagues who will try to steal your customers.

Sometimes very good money, if you can sell cars and the market is buoyant.
A shiny new car that is replaced at least every three months.
The possibility of moving on to sales management and eventually a general management position.
The possibility of developing your career through to senior management, directorship or owning your own operation.

Questions you need to ask yourself:

Which franchise would you like to work for?
Can you get a job within that franchise?
Can you sell?
Do you like long hours?
Are you able to work long hours?
Can you risk earning a low basic pay?
Do you want the tax responsibilities of driving an expensive company car?
Do you want to work for PLC or an owner operator?
Can you sell?
Can you sell?

Some points you need to consider :
When applying for position, if you apply to a prestige franchise and you have little or no experience, it is unlikely you will be offered the position. Not because you could not sell a prestige car but because other contenders who have worked within a volume environment or middle franchise, such as Volkswagen or Saab will inevitably get the first shout for the position. If you are not very comfortable in hard sell environment, you will not be comfortable as a new or Used Car Sales Executive.

Most Car Sales Executives will find themselves working most Saturdays, one in two or four Sundays. You do however get one day off during the week.

Currently (2006/7) basic pay for Sales Executive is between £8000 and £15,000 dependent on location, franchise and employer. OTE (on target earnings) can reach £50,000 to £60,000 but this is exceptional and normally only within prestige franchises. A more realistic salary will be somewhere between £25,000 and £32,000.

Most Sales Executives don’t have the option of not driving a company car. You need to consider your tax liabilities as these can be quite high up. If you opt to work for a PLC the rewards tend to be higher but the pressure to sell units is also that much higher. However if you opt for working for an owner operator it will be very dependent upon who this individual is as to what you will encounter with reference to expectations and salaries. There are advantages, if you a good, in both PLC and owner operator businesses.

One distinct advantage of joining the industry as a Sales Executive is that this route is known to be the fastest route through to general management and senior management however on your way you will need to become very conversant with how profits are generated, or lost, within the Aftersales environment.

If you are reading this and are new to the motor industry then you will be surprised at the low level of profitability a car dealership runs at. A good one will return a bottom right-hand corner figure which is approximately 2% of its turnover. Most people consider the big shiny car dealership at the end of their road generates profitability figures of around 25%. The truth is far from that.

To conclude.

The most simple two questions you need to ask yourself before you take the first steps towards a career within Car Sales is…”Can you sell and do you mind working weekends?”

If you answered no to either of those then sadly, Car Sales is not for you...