There are many important components to a successful job search in car sales. However, in addition to getting a job, part of the goal is to find a position you can enjoy and invest in for many years.
While finances, scheduling, and location are all important factors for your final decision, finding a company with a thriving culture should also figure high on your priority list. Here’s why.
Job Outlook for Car Salespeople:
Car salespeople in the UK work around 40-50 hours a week and make between £20,000 and £30,000 a year. Because of the nature of the job, many of these hours are worked in the evenings, on the weekends, and during bank holidays.
Some car companies pay per hour of work, while others pay by commission. There’s room for growth with both of these models, but hourly pay is more dependable for employees. Car dealerships should also offer their employees benefits, including health insurance and a paid holiday.
This career is merit-based, and employees who put in effort and demonstrate initiative can grow their salary and reputation. There are usually opportunities for promotion if employees are interested in moving into management.
Every company is different in terms of compensation and growth opportunities, so it’s important to investigate carefully before agreeing to work with a certain company. You should also consider how your personal values intersect with each company. For instance, selling a reduced-emissions EV is not a priority for every company.
How Important is Company Culture for Car Salespeople?
Company culture refers to how a company communicates and operates. Culture stems from a company’s core values and how those values are expressed in the workplace. For instance, companies that say they value transparency should show evidence of that transparency between employees and toward customers.
Specific aspects of workplace culture include a company’s stated core values, the quality of relationships between management and employees, clear expectations for employee effort and compensation, the language employees use to describe work, and how conflict is managed and resolved.
Because so much of an individual’s time is spent at the workplace, a healthy culture is essential for employee mental and physical wellbeing. Many people decide to leave their jobs purely because they can no longer stand the culture in their company. Over time, unclear expectations and poor leadership can make life unbearable for even the most dedicated employee.
To set yourself up for success in a sales career, consider company culture one of your top priorities while job hunting. Decide what you’re looking for in company leadership, supporting networks, and expectations, and rate each company you consider to see how they measure up to your standard.
Signs of a Strong Company Culture:
Here are five ways to spot top-notch company culture in a car dealership.
- Present, Engaged Leaders
Quality of leadership may be the most important factor in overall employee wellbeing at any company. Gifted leaders care about their employees and do all they can to support them and promote their continued growth.
A strong leader is direct, honest, and firm but never arrogant. Trustworthy leaders do what they say and involve themselves in every part of the business, from working the sales floor to engaging positively with receptionists and janitorial staff.
Look for this kind of leadership, and you’ll find car dealerships that demonstrate resilience during economic crises and have a focus on long-term success. Working for this kind of leader will feel like a privilege instead of daily punishment.
- Firm, Clear Expectations
Although it may seem counterintuitive, companies with strict rules are better for employees over their careers. Clear expectations reduce stress by eliminating awkwardness and uncertainty. This benefits staff relationships and makes it easy to engage confidently with potential customers.
Transparency enables employees to come into a new job with a full understanding of their compensation, benefits, and any possibilities or requirements for future growth. Initial, clear communication reduces employee bitterness and feelings of underappreciation.
Clear policies around conflict resolution, underperformance, and firing policies can also give employees confidence about the security of their role. While reading these policies isn’t always pleasant, clear expectations give employees direction and the safety of understanding how company culture works.
- Genuine Concern for Customers
The way company leadership and employees engage with customers is very revealing about internal company culture. Car salespeople who are just in this business for the money short-change themselves as well as customers and co-workers.
The same is true for leadership. While revenue is essential for business, making money should never be the single most important goal for a company. Leaders who genuinely value their customers and maintain a high ethical standard will grow their businesses organically by building a reputation of trust and quality service.
By contrast, leaders who are fully focused on revenue can quickly make work unbearable. Their scarcity mindset will transfer to you and other employees, creating a culture of competition and a sense that you are only in favour with management if you meet increasingly high demands.
The best way to get a sense of a company’s culture is to go to the dealership in person and observe the interactions between employees and customers. If stores are closed or too far away for a quick drive-by, research a company’s online reputation to get a sense of how they treat their customers.
Plan for Success:
You may not realise how important company culture is until you start work – but after you’ve experienced toxic work culture, you’ll never undervalue it again. Look for quality leadership, clear expectations, and genuine customer service to increase your chances of having a long, healthy relationship with your future employer.
Oscar Collins is the founder and editor-in-chief at Modded. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates from the Modded team.