"Why are you here?"
I get asked that a lot. It's obvious that I'm college educated, though I don't think it is for my habit of humming the Michigan State University fight song absentmindedly. I spent a lot of time digging myself in debt to obtain the vocabulary that I possess, and it shows. Most of the other salesmen know I went to MSU, so they're curious.
A lot of the service technicians are curious, as well. They all think we make a ton of cash selling cars; sometimes they're right, most often they're wrong. They believe that ending up at a dealership is a last resort. And really, it is. I didn't plan on being here, but the positives that I've found in working here outweigh the negatives.
I'm working here because I like it here. After a while, the shared experiences from 3 years together in sales galvanize a sales force. But it is both that simple, and more complicated than that.
I'm working on something, and that something is me. The experience of being a car salesman helped me to grow up. Most people graduate and start in some cushy business job. Not me. I graduated and am clawing my way up from the bottom. Working in a dealership is a great way to get to know yourself. You can make a lot of money in a very short amount of time, and that has a way of magnifying your natural impulses. When I was in school, my checks from the cafeteria would average $150. My second check from the dealership was over $1,000.
You get to work with people from all walks of life; I've helped teens buy their first car, elderly people buy their last (seriously, two customers of mine died in 2009) and everyone in between. It is a inelegant cross-section of humanity, one that you would not get to experience outside of the retail or service industry. The person working 9-5 in an office cannot possibly have the opportunity to interact with as many people as I do.
Remember how I said that the service technicians think we make the big cash? Sometimes we do. I've made over $10,000 in a month before. What people don't know is that was preceded by a couple $1700 months. A lot of salespeople are just scraping by, making a little bit more than minimum wage. It's not the ticket to wealth that a lot of people think it is. Now, don't get me wrong; there are salespeople making $300,000 per year. Those poor souls work even more than I do. But those people are the 99% percentile. No one gets in this business to get rich.
So why am I here? Because I want to be. I hope that's a good enough answer for you.