Behind the Salesman in Rockaway, NJ

Behind the Salesman

Mopar Mike's Blog | Behind the Salesman

I decided to write a blog a little different this week.  Most of my blogs are auto-industry oriented, or sales-oriented based upon what vehicles we have great deals on, or even awesome nuggets of knowledge about Mopar history.  Recently though, there were a few opportunities through Facebook where I was able to open up to individuals about the life of an automotive sales professional.  I thought it might be a little different to open up about it in a blog article and touch upon the many facets of our daily lives.

I would first like to mention that I absolutely love my career.  I am truly happy being in the automotive industry.  I love what I do, I enjoy helping people attain their dream vehicles, and I get to drive awesome vehicles at the same time!  But the infamous dark cloud that is always haunting the car industry still manages to find its way over us.

What do I mean by that?  Many individuals think that automotive sales professionals are nothing more than a bunch of liars that care nothing more than just selling a vehicle, so I would like to break this down for you.  Yes, we want to sell cars, and yes, there are some scummy people out there in our industry, but for the majority of us, we are family-oriented individuals that want to provide for our families while legitimately helping other people.

Personally, I have to make mention that I am blessed to have an amazing support system.  At my dealership, we have an amazing group of people who are are team players who are always there to help one another out.  Our management teams are always there to help us out also!  Whether it's adjusting our schedule to cram in that doctors appointment, or reworking deals to try to figure out how to make something happen.  Overall, we all work very well together.  Personally, working at Nielsen has been very rewarding.  At home, I have a very understanding and supportive wife who wants to see me succeed.  She rarely gets to see me with the exception of a few hours at night before we go to sleep, and we only have one day together as a family, on Sundays.  

Why is a good support system in the automotive industry so important?  Because we practically live our lives in it.  We work many days 9AM-9PM in a field where we are mostly paid on a commission basis.  Considering we work in a commission based field, we do want to make profit on our deals.  And in my opinion, profit isn't a bad word.  I have a family to provide for, just like anyone else who wakes up and goes to work in the morning.  If we don't make a profit, the business can't continue running either.  Now that doesn't mean that I don't want my customers to walk away knowing they got a great deal either.  

I have been in the automotive industry for over two years now, so I am no veteran in the industry.  With that being said though, within these two years, I have done a pretty good job at marketing myself as "Mopar Mike."  I legitimately have a passion for my brand and believe in the vehicles that we sell.   As such, it makes it easier for me to create an enjoyable experience for my customers.  Why am I telling you this?  Because if I don't treat my customers right, I won't see them again.  Not only will I not see them again, but I am looking to eventually retire in this career.  It is my hope that not only will I leave a standing impression on my customers and they see the value in working with "Mopar Mike" so much so that they will want to refer their friends and family to me.

To me it's all about the customer experience.  I want each customer to have a great experience.  Maybe even have fun while purchasing a vehicle.  If they can do this while getting a great deal, then their experience was a success.  It's not so easy though in today's industry.  People are shopping online and at least in the north-east, customers price shop dealers against each other to the point that we would have to lose our shirts in order to sell a vehicle before they are even willing to step foot through the door.  And trust me, the world isn't ready to see Mopar Mike without a shirt!  In all seriousness though, it's a vicious cycle. 

Customers have been accustomed to thinking that dealerships are the scum of the earth, and therefore they would rather get a root canal than go to a car dealership and as such, they want to negotiate prior to coming in, on a car that they most likely won't even leave with because once they arrive they will physically touch and drive the cars, and make adjustments to what they thought they wanted.  Because they feel that the auto industry is dishonest, they feel they need to be dishonest as well in order to get a good deal.  Customers will tell us that "this dealership is offering this", and "this brand over there is offering that."

Being in the automotive industry, we have aquaintences and friends that work at other dealers and for other manufacturers, so most of us know what our competition is selling for.  So just like buyers feel dealerships are dishonest, the dealerships feel the same way about the customers, as we have an industry-wide saying that comes up in almost every training seminar ("Buyers are Liars.")  Personally I wish that we could get rid of all the smoke and mirrors from all aspects of the car buying process from both sides.  Believe it or not, as much as we want you to enjoy the car buying experience, we want to as well (you do it every 3-5 years, we do it every day!)

Like most individuals out there, I have a family.  I have an amazing wife and two beautiful girls that I need to provide for.  I wake up almost every day to getting a "Macho Man Randy Savage" elbow to the throat by my two little girls jumping on me, only to realize my wife has already left for work (she works in the healthcare field as an ultrasound technician.)  Each morning I get my kids ready for the day (feed them breakfast, get them dressed, do their hair, and get my older daughter on the bus.)  I then get myself ready for work, and then leave my home, dropping off my younger daughter off at daycare.  I arrive at work, only then getting to drink probably about a gallon of coffee while starting my 12 hour day.  When I leave work around 9PM, I get home between 9:30-9:45PM to find my children already in bed, but just in time to help my wife pick up after the two little tornados that destroyed our home after they got home from school while playing to their childhood delight!  While I'm cleaning up their toys, my wife is usually getting everyone's food ready and making sure everyone has clothes ready for the next day.  By the time we are done, it's usually around 11:00-11:30 at night at which time we sit down to have a cup of tea together to say hello, talk about our days, discuss anything pertinent regarding our children's day or situations, and then we go to bed sometime after midnight.  We both work very hard for our family and for our children.

Therefore, as a husband and a father, I have a duty to be honest and loving to my wife, while teaching my daughters about honesty, integrity, and how to treat those around them.  My point is, I cant be these things for my wife, and I can't teach these things to my children if I am not these things myself.  I'm not saying I'm perfect, because I'm far from it.  But that doesn't mean I don't strive to be as close to it as possible.  I, like most people out there, want to make an honest living.  I have a family that I am raising and want my children to be upstanding, honest people, that contribute positively to society when they grow older.  

So I urge you to look past the dealership signs and stigma.  Next time you are looking to purchase a vehicle,  look at the person on the other side of the negotiation table and remember that we want our customers to love their car, to be happy with their experience, and we want our customers to feel like they were treated fairly.  Likewise, please remember that we have families and that we are people also!  

#Mopar #MoparMike #AutoIndustry #Honesty #Integrity



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