There are several things I learned during my time as a car salesman, one if which is a devoted work ethic. If you are in sales, you know that you have to dedicate yourself to the customer. This actually means long days and long nights, regardless of the weather outside. I also learned how to swallow my pride. Once I earned my four-year degree, there was quite a bit of a stigma selling used cars. So I used the opportunity to improve my self-confidence.
I was in car sales for twenty-four months and it went really well. Then one day I was speaking with my father and my accountant, and I decided to purchase a house. The next time my father came up to visit me, we went together to a few open houses, where I met a Realtor. Long story short, eventually she stood me up. As you are imagining, I was not very pleased. In fact, I took it as a sign to not purchase property at all. But then the next customer I had at my car dealership was a real estate agent, and I realized it was time to purchase my first house.
Four months later, I was purchasing a home and enrolled in a real estate course. I was aware that if I had issues purchasing a house, there were many other people in a similar situation too. This is when I made the decision to jump into real estate.
It’s been eight years since I have entered the real estate market, but there are some things from my time working as a car salesman that I won’t forget:
I’ve sold both houses and cars to so many people, and there are so many people I still have wonderful connections with.
There are many people you met through your life that will follow you into the next adventure of your career.
When you are selling a car, you need to understand what the person needs. This lesson goes for real estate too. You cannot sell them what you think is best for them, but what is truly best for them in the long term. At times those conversations are easy, but sometimes they are really difficult.
These are some lessons I learned from the experience:
1. Listen to the customer
2. Sell yourself, not the car, to the customer
3. If you are not able to exactly meet the wishes of the customer (sometimes it’s simply not possible), look for an alternative method to at least meet as many of their wishes as possible.
I want to talk a bit more about real estate vs. car sales. There are a few parallels between some types of sales professionals, for instance a real estate salesperson and a car salesman. I have heard sometimes that the easiest person to make a sale to in the world is another salesman, but I disagree. The truth is nobody wants to be sold. It irritates us. The only people who don’t find it irritating are the ones who don’t realize they are being sold.
Aside from a few key connections, the main parallel between a car salesman and a real estate or letting agent is that both involve individuals in the sales process. However, there are people who do not like dealing with a real estate salesperson because they consider the agent has one goal in mind — selling and closing on a house. And they do not trust agents for this reason. There is frequently a conflict when it comes to money.
Yet, there are obviously ethical agents and salespeople in the business, both in the real estate and car dealer markets. There actually are gents who focus uniquely on their clients and do what is best and right (and legal) for their customers.