Transitioning Verteran Looking for Advice...

Ben Wilcox
First off I wanted to thank you for allowing me to connect with you all! I have found the forum to be very informative thus far and am excited to get to know you all. I am transitioning out of the military after about 14 years of service. Even though flying attack helicopters is pretty awesome, my true passion lies in sales. I spent about four years as an Air Force Recruiter, my last year being my most successful... I am reaching out to you all for advice, I have never sold a car but consider myself a "car guy". I have a ton of marketing ideas and definitely tapping into the military market is my primary priority but I'd love to hear from you all. (tips, tricks, secrets, things you wish you would've known) Thanks in advance! Ben
Dustin Lyons
Ben, first off THANK YOU for your service! I would love to be able to help anyway that I can, sales is an awesome fun career, and the car business can be a tough but can also be a blast. There is a lot to know about the car business and I would deb happy to share what I have learned, probably too much for a single post on here, so feel free to contact me with any questions or to have a continued discussion. But just some quick things to remember, get in front of as many people as you can, create more value for your customers than you are asking them to give up, and make sure they like and trust you. Have fun, be confident, ask a lot of questions with good follow up questions so that you know what your customers actually value etc... I used to be a team ladder and did a lot of sales training and now I do marketing for dealers and salespeople (not as cool as flying attack helicopters I know) so I would love to talk about marketing ideas with you and help with sales if you would like.
Lauren Moses
Ben, Same as Dustin, Thank you. 14 years in the service is a long time and I'm sure your ready to start your newest journey. Dustin had some great ideas. But, before jumping the gun, have you found a job at a dealership (new, used, or both)? Work on promoting yourself through social, promotional items, business cards, etc. Anything that will help people remember who you are and what you do. I would definitely say work the fact that you are a veteran and try to get yourself a good customer base built up of military customers. They may be on the move a lot, but they will keep coming back if you make the right impression.
Ben Wilcox
Dustin, Thank you for your comments, all of which are great! I think I will reach out to you just to bounce some things off of you as I value your experience. My concern is about cornering social media... I have seen some reviews on dealership websites and no follow up from the dealer to rectify the complaint... Thanks for your comments! Lauren, Thank you as well for your comments! I have been extended some career opportunities, so there are options. I am trying to be careful and gather as much information as I can about a dealer before I take the leap. I am looking to sell new and used cars but prefer new. I am trying to use my experience as an Air Force Recruiter to think creatively about marketing and community events to get more people through the doors. I am very customer service minded and hate the perceptions people have about car salespeople... How do we overcome these perceptions? How do you get your fellow salespeople on board too so they aren't ruining the progress you're making? How do you guys use social media to get leads and brand yourself? Thank you guys so much! Ben
mark rask
Ben Thanks for your service! Your interest in this site tells me that you are on the right path
Lauren Moses
Ben First off, you have to have a place to sell cars from. Do your research but most places to just get some numbers under your belt will work. If you get there and start to see bad practices start looking for some place else. Social is a whole other ball game. Promote yourself as much as possible. Work with management to get some specials on vehicles and post photos with the special prices (work up some payments with set down payment, interest rate, term, etc. and post those as well for your payment chasers). Make new friends find facebook pages and join them. Never stop selling yourself! Get business cards and if your state allows for referral fees be sure to have that on your business card and hand them out, take them to doughnut shops, boutiques, car washes, etc. There is no limit to what you can do with social to draw in business. Just because they don't' immediately buy from you doesn't mean they wont in the future. Work for the long run not the quick sell. As for perceptions, all you can do is be yourself and DON'T be the sleezebag salesman they make us look like on tv. DON'T let other sales people ruin your sales. If they offer to help say thank you, listen, but you don't have to put their advice into play unless you think it will really help you. If they try to give you numbers say "Thanks I'll get the SM or GM to verify then show them to the customer." Always follow your gut, if it seems too good to be true it probably is.

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