I really appreciate all of the kind words that I get from fans of me, the dealership where I worked, and all of the amazing cars I have gotten to be around. It is a great industry to work in and it definitely comes with its benefits. I apologize that I am not always able to answer every question that gets posed to me through this site, email, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook but I wanted to take a few minutes to answer some of the more common questions that get posed to me.
The most common questions is “how to get into the exotic car business.” This question should be different than “how I do I buy an exotic car” or “how do I prepare to buy an exotic car?” because those are very different propositions. Although I have been fortunate enough to own several great cars and work in the exotic car business, that could be have been facilitated much more easily by excelling in another industry. Having the means to afford a supercar can come from a variety of sources which we can discuss some other time.
The Exotic Car Business is multi faceted and very diverse. There are lots of ways to get your foot in the door. That invites people from diverse backgrounds to have an opportunity for success. You could be a journalist for a car magazine, you could be a designer or engineer for a manufacturer, you could be an entrepreneur for a complimentary business (such as photography, detailing, transportation, etc.), you could be a dealer, you could be a salesperson, or you could invent your own way in. Take that to mean that there is not a clear path for a person but nearly any person can find a place in the industry.
The first step is to figure out what you are good at. Personally I find it easy to retain product knowledge, sculpt the benefits of a car to the needs and wants of a client, and offer the peripheral elements of ownership to clients who want to engage in frequent exotic car purchases. That led me to sales. I also enjoy the creation and encouragement of entrepreneurial concepts related to the car industry which is what led me to start and sell Supercar Rentals, and has helped me to mentor other young entrepreneurs in the space.
Education is important. Advanced degrees are not as crucial as some other industries but the practices learned in college or university will be very helpful. Major is not terribly significant but like most industries, it does earn a level of respect and I do recommend it. I studied Public Policy at Georgia Tech. It is a weak major at a respected institution and it did the trick. It certainly did not put my foot in any doors within the industry but it has been helpful.
If you want to get into an aspect of sales or service you have a few choices. The first is to work your way up. If you are a dominant force within another manufacturer’s dealership that has more turnover and a larger sales force, it is easy to build a resume to get into an exotic car dealership. I developed relationships through the rental business and was able to make a direct transition.
Loving cars isn’t enough. You need to be able to deal with people and develop the social atmosphere that invites this type of purchase. Relating to the client on some level is crucial because of the nature of this type of transaction. The more you know about why someone walks through the doors or picks up the phone to inquire, the better you are going to be at converting leads into deals.
Don’t just think sales, though. Service jobs include management, service writing, and other support positions. Most large dealerships have a marketing staff, title clerks, accounting personnel, etc. There are lots of opportunities there.
Manufacturers also have a lot of fun positions. Their marketing teams are in charge of customer events, auto shows, product launches, and more. They will have people in charge of the logistics to import cars, people to help dealers with allocation and relationship issues, customer satisfactions reps, etc. The opportunities are truly endless and go well beyond what you see when you wander through a dealership.
So what can you do?
- Build connections – be on the good side of everyone you know in the car business. Be polite and respectful when asking for information and spending time with them.
- Build knowledge – read, research, watch. Spend time familiarizing yourself not just with the latest/greatest/fastest versions of what you love but the entirety of car culture. Your first job will likely not be your dream job but if you excel at it, you will find something better.
- Keep a good driving/criminal/accident record – stay employable.
- Use whatever platform you have to contribute to the culture. Whether it is your social media following, attendance at events, or whatever – do everything you can to add to the car community.
- Have fun – if you are excited about the idea of working in the industry, prospective employers will notice.
There are lots of options and hard work is rewarded. Stay plugged in to your local events and keep the goal of an exotic car business job alive. You will find something!