Its safe to say that most men are motoring enthusiasts to some degree. We all see cars and think “Damn, that’s a nice car!” or “How would I look driving that?” Something in us churns when we see what ever car it is that strikes our fancy. For some people, it ends there. For others, well, we take it a step further.
When I started to enjoy cars, I was around the age of 8 or 10. Walking through the airport with my father, I grabbed a duPont Registry and drooled over the pages. This became a tradition. Every month during my travels, I would grab the latest edition of the Registry. I couldn’t get enough of the exotic market. My room quickly became plastered with photos of exotics, one-offs and car concept that I had so artfully crafted with pen and paper.
I thought to myself, “ I could do something like this for a job.” I thought automotive design was where I would end up. Then I realized how much I hated math and decided to take a different approach. Selling. Now, I dislike people almost as much as I dislike math, but the iota of difference was all I needed to shift my focus. I set my sights high for a luxury dealer in my area and went for it.
Fast forward a few more years and I’ve landed a job in Business Development at that dealer. Don’t let the title fool you, all I was really doing was making cold calls. But, it was my first “real job” and I got to talk to people about cars. I couldn’t complain one bit! I’d get to work early, and work as late as they would let me. This blossomed into sales, and then to working at the #1 dealership in the country for the respective manufacturer.
People say that when you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. Those people are wrong, and have never had to sell anything to anyone. Ever. Selling cars is a perfect example of that. I ran the gauntlet of selling cars for just over 4 years before I decided to hang it up. At the end, I was a little bitter and just kind of over the lot of it. The act of selling had taken something I loved deeply, and turned it into something I was quickly coming to loathe. So, before I lost my passion completely, decided to bow out gracefully.
The biggest thing I learned from selling for was that I didn’t enjoy “selling”, but taking the time to truly educate the consumer. I didn’t want the buyer, I wanted the fan. I wanted someone who was as excited to listen and eager to drive; someone who would call me for anything they needed at all with their car (or dinner, or advice on anything they trusted me with). Most people could tell that when they met me. Aside from the number of awkward questions that every transaction has, I wouldn’t talk about business at all. That was something that I longed for and was able to provide with a number of clients that I encountered in my selling stint.
Before I get off on some existential tangent about careers and such- I should answer the question at the top of the article. “Why Cars?” Because cars provide me the perfect medium do everything that I am passionate about doing: I use the physical object help people. At the end of the day, that is all I care about- helping someone accomplish a goal. Be it your first car, or your last car; the latest and greatest piece of automotive sex appeal, or the aged classic that will sit in your garage until the last Sunday of every month- you have a goal in your mind, and I want to help you accomplish that goal with a car. That is why cars did and still do it for me today.
So, the next time you are at a dealership, really think about what it is you are are looking to accomplish. Sure, there is a simple goal of buying a car, but I urge you to consider expanding that thought just a little further. What do you want your car to do for you? Think about it.