Get paid. What many in automotive look forward to most, followed closely by the last day of the month, and then every Saturday. Let’s face it; when you were in junior high, most of you didn’t dream of a career in car sales. (Not unless your family name was already on the building). Heck, you may not have even considered it as a future job. Yet here you are.
Most get in this industry for the money. No shame in that game. There is a tremendous amount of wealth awaiting you when you apply yourself and open up to improving through education. They say money runs the world and most eager car sales professionals work for the hope of a big fat paycheck. Others do it because they “just love talking to people”, but let’s get real. Money lured the majority of us. We want to get paid.
So you come into work, day in, day out. Bell to bell, in some cases. Give up at least one day of your weekend. Miss out on family events, social gatherings, and sleep. All for the almighty dollar. Those in the Internet departments of automotive retail, those sitting in BDCs, and those tasked with overseeing digital marketing for their stores feel much the same way. They’re held accountable to many of the same sales performance metrics.
In car sales, one thing is certain. Employees of car dealerships try to work their pay plan. Yet, due to the long hours, departmental structure, and overall historical make-up of stores, you don’t always get paid for all that is asked of you to do. By no means am I prescribing to you to do the bare minimum. I succeeded where others failed because I was always willing to bite the bullet, put in the hours, cover the hours, dedicate the time, and throw myself recklessly at a problem until I found the solution. Was I paid for much of what I was doing? Hell no. But it made me stronger.
On some showroom floors, the salespeople dictate much of the policy. In others, salespeople and BDC/Internet alike have duties thrust upon them far beyond the scope of their position. (I find that I write so much content for the leadership of stores, I need to also look out for the boots-on-the-ground guys and gals that are fighting the good fight on showroom floors every day.)
So here are a few tips to understand how you get paid:
Find your job description.
Look over it. Are you holding up your end of the bargain? Are you meeting the demands of the job as they’re laid out? (If you don’t have one, ask for one.) The duties on your job description are your responsibilities. You are responsible for performing these tasks as assigned in your job description. There is no choosing not to. This is what you are paid for. This is both the draw/salary, and the commission. Understand, most of your pay is determined by your efforts, but the dealership is covering the advertising, the real estate, the leads, the technology/hardware, and more. It is your responsibility to follow through with what is asked of you in your job description.
At the same time, those on the showroom floor gets asked to do things all day long. Things that don’t pay any of your bills. Things such as making coffee runs, picking up lunches for others, allowing new hires to shadow you, taking pictures of inventory, calling other people’s sold/lease-end customers because the original salesperson won’t, doing the job of the receptionist when you’re pay is upon sales appointments, and more. These are your obligations. You’re not required to do them, but you are expected to. But this is where I advise you to negotiate, not with customers, but with coworkers and management.
If someone wants something from you that isn’t on your job description, consider doing it, but only after making sure you’re supported. (One of our most popular comedic videos are all about new tasks being dropped on the lap of an employee because there is no one else to do it. If you offer help and assistance toward obligations, ask how they will repay you for your time. A pay increase if they want to add this to your list of responsibilities? Are they buying your lunch if you’r picking up theirs? Will they assist you with a client of your own, or give you a half-deal for your efforts? Will you get a bone from a manager? Heck, will they buy you a coffee? You must operate by a “I’ll fly, you buy” mantra.
You dedicate too much of your time at the dealership to waste it on things that won’t help you get paid. Every minute you aren’t on the lot (or in training) is time you could be improving your chances of selling a car. Make sure there is a reward at the end of every obligation. Or a trade off.
You get paid by the dealership to perform your responsibilities.
You do not get paid by the dealership when you dedicate time to obligations.
So if you know additional tasks asked of you doesn’t put money in your pocket, and it isn’t in your job description, ensure there is something in it for you. A trade. A future payback. Help in another area. Don’t accept obligations unless it is worth your time (financially).
Does this blog sound like a “Only Look Out for #1”-style rant, teaching people to be selfish? Hopefully. Or a “Time is Money, So Don’t Waste It” diatribe? Good, because it is.
I train far too many salespeople, BDC, and Internet professionals that struggle finding the time to perform the job duties that get them paid because they have additional tasks that don’t asked of them. Projects that don’t put money in their pocket. Don’t let the jobs that others don’t want to do fall on your lap. If you allow that to happen, your job satisfaction will decline quickly. Understand your responsibilities vs your obligations – and demand to get paid if it warrants it.
That’s what brought us to this industry in the first place.