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Intern Advice, Please. (kind of long)

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by bluekawala, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. bluekawala

    bluekawala Formula Junior

    Jan 22, 2004
    430
    Ormond Beach, FL
    I've been a fan of Ferrari's/Lamborghini's since I went to Chicago when I was 8 years old and I saw a red Testarossa and a yellow Diablo. To make a long story short; I'd like to get into the world of exotic cars.

    I'm in Pittstate University studying Automotive Technology with an emphasis in Service Management. I'm currently a freshmen, but got a 4.0 my first semester and am a member of the college Drag Racing Team. I'm interested in anyone in the field that can point me in the right direction or give me some advice for other clubs or organizations I should get into to make myself known. I'd like to manage a dealership and one day own my own Ferrari dealership.

    There are oppertunities for companies like Toyota and Ford, but I'd spend 3+ years answering technical phone calls and maybe get to move up the corporate ladder from there. The problem with that is I'm simply not interested in a corporate job like that.

    So if your in the field of exotic machinery and have any advice you wouldn't mind sharing to a young enthusiast who will devote the rest of his life to these cars it would be much appreciated. Frankly I'm a little lost and am not sure where to turn because I don't know of any such dealerships near me that I could get a job with. Many thanks.

    Joe
     
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  3. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    Get into sales as early on as you can. If you can't sell cars.....you'll never go anywhere in this business if your goals are higher like you just indicated.

    Sales drive dealerships....if you don't sell 'em....you can't fix 'em.....etc......always has.....always will.....service is a function of sales.....and that department forgets it more often than not....unfortunately.

    I have never seen a successful "self made" dealership owner or general manager come from the service side of the business in the 16 years I have been selling cars.

    Good luck....you'll never be happier if you are an enthusiast because every day is like walking into the coolest garage in the world and you never have to write a cheque to drive the stuff.
     
  4. Nibblesworth

    Nibblesworth Formula 3
    BANNED

    Nov 29, 2002
    1,756
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    BillyBoy
    It ain't fun when you're doing it. Trust me.
     
  5. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    I forgot to mention one thing......and Nibblesworth kind of touched on it because I have read his past posts about it.......if your dealership owner is like he said the "Ogners" were like when he worked there....it would probably be no fun at all........but if you have the opposite management and ownership philosophy.....then it's a lot of fun.

    I have worked for both kinds of owners and think this is the major factor in choosing a dealership to pursue for a sales job.
     
  6. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
    4,274
    dusty old farm town
    Full Name:
    Tyler
    Great advice here, KDS is absolutely right. Learn to sell em'. I know owning an exotic car dealership sounds great, but the on paper reality is a bit different. If you love exotic cars, learn to sell Toyotas and Fords. If you can become a GM at a big Toyota or Ford dealership you will be able to afford the cars of your dreams. If eventually you own your own franchise store, you'll be in line to make some serious bank. Since your in KS right now, you're probably familiar with Rusty Eck Ford. Trust me on this, most exotic car dealers would give a testicle to make the kind of money Rusty and Les Eck are making.
     
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  8. redhead

    redhead F1 Rookie
    Consultant

    Dec 26, 2001
    4,869
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    ~Red~

    The way I broke into the High End dealership was by slaving away at an independent Ferrari repair shop after my day to day job, for of course, no pay, but sometimes some taco bell. When i left there, I just turned in my resume at Ferrari of LG, and 6 months later they called. Been here 3 years in June. Is it worth it? Yeah and no. Do I feel that I am held back, since there are only a total of maybe 150 dealers in the whole country that work on the cars that I know?? Yes. If I worked for the big 3, or similar, there is more room to move on the service/parts side. Remember that most service writers are paid on commision, and at a big 3 can write 40 repair orders a day, where here, we may write 40 a month. That is money in your pocket, or out of it, for somehting that you love.
     
  9. Nibblesworth

    Nibblesworth Formula 3
    BANNED

    Nov 29, 2002
    1,756
    Southern California
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    BillyBoy
    I guess I should expound on my reply a tad but... :D

    Just like everyone else on this board, I've had a love affair with F-cars since I was a wee tyke. I started selling cars at a Ford store, moved to Nissan, moced back to Ford, etc etc etc. I went from sales, to sales mgr, to Finance mgr, to General Sales Manager. One day, while still a measly sales person, I did a dealer trade with a Mistubishi store in Orange County. The dealer I traded with gave me a car with ZERO gas, and I had to stop and fill the car up before I headed back to San Bernardino. The gas station I filled up at was directly across the street from Ferrari of Orange County. I saw a silver 550 with dealer plates sitting on the lot, and I thought "Holy Christ, some dude DRIVES that thing back and forth from home to work!"

    Of course, I was wrong: dealer plates on a car at a Ford store usually denotes a car that the dealer has given to a manager to drive for free as a "perk", and I naturally assumed that the mgr at FoC was given this beautiful 550 as a "perk". In reality, it had just come back from a test drive, but I didn't know that at the time.

    Anyway, just the fantasy that, if I were to somehow become a sales mgr at an F-car store, I might be given a 550 to drive around in made my mouth WATER! The next day, I put in an application and sat around talking to the only sales person there. Man, I did EVERYTHING to get that job! I somehow managed to get an interview with the GM. I sent christmas cards around the holidays, just to ensure that the GM remembered who I was in the event that he needed another sales person.

    To make a long story short, FoC didn't pan out. But, about two years later, I saw an ad for Ogner Motorcars in Woodland Hills that was advertising for a sales position. I was there the next day, and I sold my heart out to the GM, essentially begging for the job. I got the job, and was ECSTATIC! Seriously, one of the happiest days of my life.

    Day one - a senior salesperson took me out in a brand new 550, 360 coupe, 360 Spider, 512 TR, 355 coupe, and just about every other model that was in the store. I was in HEAVEN!

    Three months later, the love affair was over. I came to the realization that selling F-cars was, in reality, no different than selling Fords. The customers haggled just like Ford customers did. The "magic" of the Ferrari wore off, as I was literally surrounded by them each and every day.

    Yeah, it was fun telling ladies that I sold F-cars (great Poon-Tang attractor, by the way), but the money was a LOT less than what I gave up as a GSM of a Kia store, beleive it or not, and I was beginning to look at F-cars as just another hunk of metal on wheels.

    Eventually, I decided that, instead of selling the damn things, I would MUCH rather own and drive them. I quit selling cars alltogether and opted to go to college.

    Was it fun? Sure, for about a month. Was it glamorous? Sure, for about a month. Would I recommend it? Well, unless you've got a BIG NUT that you can live off of for about a year (it takes about that long to establish a consistant customer base that will allow you to survive financially), you may find yourself struggling.

    What's my recommendation? If you love F-cars, own and drive them! If you can't do that now, get yourself a career that'll allow you to do it in the future. Otherwise, the magical Ferrari becomes nothing more than a glorified slab of aluminum with four nice Pirellis attached.

    Hope that gives you a little insight....
     
  10. bluekawala

    bluekawala Formula Junior

    Jan 22, 2004
    430
    Ormond Beach, FL
    ...not quite the answers I was looking for, but better the truth now then later. Thanks guys! So sounds like finding a selling job would help no end.

    The money thing isn't really the biggest problem, as long as there is the potential for 100,000 thats plenty for me. I'm a simple guy and a small wooden boat with a little two room house/hut is fine by me.

    Where the 'cars turning into hunks of aluminum with four Pirelli's' is concerned... don't have an answer for that right now, but I think (for me atleast) it would take a little more then a month or two before the F-car mystique wears thin.

    Racing? Since race teams have and need managers (not the head team manager for the cars; more the behind the scenes guy that makes sure the right parts are at the races etc) I guess that is a possibility. Does anyone know if dealerships and race managers have anywhere near the same type jobs?

    I'd really like to travel and have no problem leaving KS/family, or even America for that matter, I'm in a postition where I could work over seas and would like to take advantage of that.

    Exotic car companies have dealer/manufacturer relations people I'm sure... there are still many things I must look into. Thanks everybody for your sharing experience, everything helps. :)

    Happy motoring!

    Joe
     
  11. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
    5,032
    Northeast
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    Tim
    Nibblesworth gives good advice. Just because Ferraris are expensive doesnt mean you make alot of money selling them.
    On a side note, i also need internship advice, and by 'need internship adivce' i mean 'need an internship.' I shouldnt have waited until 2 weeks ago to start looking. Would anyone who hires or works in the engineering industry field be so kind as to read mine? If so, post here or PM me. Thanks.
     
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  13. Uberpower

    Uberpower Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 6, 2004
    907
    Man- $100K SOUNDS like a ton of money, but it really isn't. Well, lemme take that back... it is a ton if you aren't married or have kids.

    If you do have a family, work harder... make more.

    PS- Jobs suck. Open a business.
     
  14. bluekawala

    bluekawala Formula Junior

    Jan 22, 2004
    430
    Ormond Beach, FL
    "PS- Jobs suck. Open a business." -no355yet

    *the kawala's eyes glow and a grin finds its way to his face*

    Very good advice indeed! (always been a back up plan, but should probably be my primary plan)... all I need is a way to build up some capital. The corporate job. :( This is the dilemma I'm in, I would really prefer not talk on the phone for the next 4 years out of college for probably 35k-45k a year. There has to be a better way to build capital.

    For now a simple internship would be great, if anyone knows of an exotic dealership that would hire an enthusiast for a summer next year or the following year please PM me. Thanks again everyone.
     
  15. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    FWIW.....

    You'll make 35-45K your first year in sales if you are any good at it........you'll make 75K+ by year 3 if you work smart at it...........you'll make 6 figures easily in 5+ years in you stay at the same franchise and continue to work smart.

    You cannot do that in the corporate "job". Eventually you'll sell a rich client your business plan concept and end up someday perhaps owning a dealership.

    I've seen it happen and am working at this myself as we speak.

    Just another perspective. And also...FWIW...selling "regular" cars is hell on earth compared to selling high end cars.....it is not the way to go IMHO. I can drive whatever I want....have for 10 years in fact......it all depends on the place where you work.

    TimN88....the most "I" ever made on one Ferrari sale was $40K.........Nibblesworth said that the Ogner's cut their salesmen's commissions to $6K per car when they started making too much money.
     
  16. bluekawala

    bluekawala Formula Junior

    Jan 22, 2004
    430
    Ormond Beach, FL
    Very interesting indeed. How do I go about getting into sales? Is there a certain degree, or can I make mine work do you think? Also, are there any books on selling that I could familarize myself to this buisness?

    I have zero experience selling so I think I should atleast read up on it to try to find a tip or two on selling smart not hard... though I bet like everything you can read until the cows come home, but nothing happens until you give it a shot.

    I really appreciate everyone's comments! Thanks no end.
     
  17. Uberpower

    Uberpower Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 6, 2004
    907

    Degrees don't matter, if you want the knowledge you have to just do it. This will also help tremendously when you own your own business. Recommended books:

    1. "You can't teach a kid to ride a bike at a sales seminar"
    2. Strategic Account Management
    3. Spin Selling
    4. Swimming with Sharks

    Buy Jim Rohn's tapes. Excellent.

    Nick
     

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