There is one question that seems to be on the mind of so many people that are considering a career in car sales and I have not talked much about it up until this point, but it’s time for me to speak out. It seems everyone wants to know about the downside of being a car salesman. Well since you asked I going to tell you want I think. You may need to take this with a grain of salt and my intentions are not to offend anyone, but I am sure I will.

There are negative aspects of every profession and that includes being a car salesman. However it seems that there is more focus on the car sales profession for some reason. I don’t know why, but I am tired of hearing about it. If you are more focused on the downside of being a car salesman than the upside I am not so sure you are right for the job. Do people spends endless amounts of time researching the downside of being an attorney, dentist or accountant? Not usually, they focus on the rewards and the potential income.

Unemployed is the Downside of Being a Car Salesman

The downside of being a car salesperson is much like any other vocation and that comes down to one thing, if you suck at your job you will be out of a job. I don’t care if you shine shoes or you are the CEO of a major corporation. If you can’t do the job you will be on the street and that is the way it works no matter what job you have. The turnover in the car business is typically higher than it is than many other jobs, but the reason isn’t because the job is extremely difficult or nearly impossible, it is because of the people that become car salesmen and saleswomen and their attitude.

The Downside of Being a Car Salesman

Through the years the one thing that I have found to be common among Green Peas when I asked people why they decided to be a car salesman was that they heard there was good money to be made selling cars and they thought they would give it a try. So here they are giving it a try, no commitment, no determination, no goals and a half assed attitude.  Thirty to ninety days later they are complaining about every single aspect of the job because they are expecting the worst rather than expecting all the great things about being a car salesman. They create their own reality because of their lack of commitment, after all they were only giving it a try. Since when do you take a job that can pay you more than you have ever been paid and just give it a try? The downside of the job is not the job, it is their lack of effort to succeed. Practically anyone can do this job and do it well if they would set their mind to it and do the work they need to do to learn the profession.

Maybe people don’t appreciate the opportunities that the car business has to offer because they didn’t spend four or six years studying to be a car salesman. Maybe it is too easy to get the job even without experience so they naturally assume the worst. Yes, selling automobiles is a profession that is easy to enter, but there is a price to pay. You have to do the job, but many people fail to recognize that fact. The industry is full of people that gave it their all and they are now making a six figure income and enjoying the fruits of their labor, but they didn’t give it a try, they did it!

Every Job Has a Downside Including Selling Cars

I know many people that have successful careers and they can tell me all about the downside of their particular profession, but they also love to tell me all the good things about their position. There is always a downside to every job, but there are very few careers where you can make great money and have fun doing it like the car business. One of the common complaints I hear about auto sales is the hours, if all you are concerned about is working your forty hours and going home then you need to look for a job in a factory where you punch a clock.  People that make a six-figure car salesman income work more than forty hours a week and so does almost every other profession that makes that kind of money. Stop thinking about the downside of being a car salesman and start thinking about the positive aspects of being a car sales professional. Don’t give it a try, do it and succeed or get out!

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot


You can be a Successful Car Salesperson with Car Sales Training


Sebastian · June 10 at 12:02 am

Dear KB

I am looking to becoming a car sales pro! I have been working in the hotel biz for sometime now and a change is needed! I really just want to thank you and this wonderful blog for making my decision so much easier! I am in the hunt for employers in the Orlando area but have my sights pointed at Nissan.

Wish me luck and thanx again.


KB · September 5 at 6:08 pm

Hi Jessica,

You have some valid points and it is very true that some dealers are much more committed to helping their new sales people succeed.
Don’t let this experience ruin the business for you. Try sticking it out and if you can’t do that then try another dealership.


Jessica · August 29 at 3:08 pm

I definitely understand your point of view on the lack of committment of Green Peas because I am one myself. However, my issue is the lack of committment from management to make sure that the people they hire succeed. I am approaching 90 days and I am completely frustrated with the lack of feedback, encouragement, and ongoing training that my dealership has. You would think that they would want the salespeople to be successful but that is not the case. EVERYTHING I have learned about selling cars has come from this website and other online sites. Maybe it is the dealership but I know that I have done everything under the sun to ensure my success and it seems as if my efforts have failed me. My advice to anyone looking to sell cars, please do research on the dealership that you apply for and ask about training, earning potential, and turnover rates.

KB · June 20 at 8:19 am

Hi Doug,

Working with the public is almost always a challenge, but the rewards make it worth the effort.
People lie to their car salesman because they think it is acceptable and not really lying.
Even people that are very honest and never tell lies will lie to a car salesman.
I sold a car to priest once and he lied to me. After the deal was done and he was taking delivery I called him out on his lie and he said that people don’t consider it to be lying when they are dealing with a car salesperson.


Doug · June 11 at 2:09 pm

I have been a salesperson my entire working life. Mostly B2B for technology firms selling software solutions to vertical markets and then also being very successful as a real estate broker, till the housing market crashed here in Florida. I have worked for about 6 different dealerships over the past two years first for Toyota right before the recall, then Lexus where we ended up not having any inventory because of the Japan disaster. What I find most interesting about all this is I have had a hard time understanding why people lie to their car salesman, and why the desk managers are never happy. Guess if I go back into it I do need an attitude ajustment dealing with the general public is definitely challenging.

Steve · May 17 at 10:49 am

Thank you for that very inspiring and long overdue rant KB! I’ve been a skeptic on the sidelines like many others but somehow I’ve also remained intrigued by this profession and its income potential. Now, after reading this, I have no more reservations; I’m going to quit my job and apply at a dealership right in town and then dedicate myself–all out–to becoming a car sales PROFESSIONAL! Damn the downsides! I already work WAY more than 40 hours and despite positive reviews and recommendations, I only receive whatever tiny raise my cheap boss wants to dole out. The time for a new career is NOW–while the American Auto industry is on the rebound! I will trust in Providence and do my absolute best to succeed–I fear nothing! Thanks again Karl!

“Some people see things as they are and [ask] why. I dream things that never were and [ask]–why not?”

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