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How to Become a BMW Salesperson

So, you want to be a BMW salesperson. While the job can be challenging at times, it does have its perks — the chance to make a decent living and spend a significant portion of your day talking about BMWs.

The pay for car salespeople varies widely depending on where you work and how skilled you are at selling cars since a significant portion of your pay comes from commissions. According to payscale.com, the average pay is $41,768.

Most BMW salespeople, however, make between $89,000 and $171,000, according to glassdoor.com. On top of that, most automobile salespeople sell between 200 and 1,000 cars every year and average more than one each day.

Being a car salesperson isn’t for everyone though. You need to be great with people and have skills in sales and customer service. You also need to have knowledge of cars and financing options.

Plus, you have to be prepared to be on your feet all day and work long hours, weekends and some holidays. If you want to work at BMW, you should also have a passion for beamers.

If you think you’re up for the challenge though, being a BMW salesperson can be an excellent career. Here’s how to make it happen.

Gain Experience

You don’t need a college degree to become a BMW salesperson, but you should have completed high school. It can be helpful if you’ve completed some sort of commercial or technical professional training related to sales, marketing or a related field.

You could take a few classes at a local college or enroll in an online training program. If you hope to move into a management position, a bachelor’s degree in business may be helpful.

BMW also prefers that you have some sort of experience in sales or customer service. You might start in a retail, sales or customer service position unrelated to cars, or you could get a job at another car dealership before moving up to BMW. The dealership you apply to will also consider your personality, skill set and enthusiasm for BMW.

Apply to Become a Junior Salesperson

Once you feel you’re ready, you can apply to become a junior salesperson at BMW. Simply search BMW’s website for open positions or look in the classifieds section of your local newspaper.

Complete the BMW Training Program

If your application is accepted, BMW will automatically enroll you in its car salesperson training program. The program is modular and will adapt to your experience and skill level. It will take a maximum of 12 months to complete. The program consists of several phases:

  • The introductory training will teach you about the BMW brand, the product lines, the BMW technologies most crucial for sales and the steps of the sales process. This will take about one week.
  • The basics module takes about two weeks and involves learning the essential consultation techniques and putting them into practice. It concludes with an exam and oral test.
  • The advanced modules will help you to improve your existing skills as needed. You’ll look at real-life cases and work with BMW retail organizations.
  • The specializations modules will teach you additional skills depending on your department, the size of your dealership and other conditions.

Check License Requirements

Depending on the state you live in, you may need a license to become a car salesperson. Check the requirements for your home state.

In California, you need to submit an application and pay a fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In Colorado, you need to pass an exam in addition to submitting an application and paying a fee.

You can also choose to participate in voluntary certification programs through organizations such as the Society of Automotive Sales Professionals (SASP) and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

Move Up

Once you complete the above requirements, you can become a BMW salesperson. If you do well and decide to stay in the field, you may eventually want to move up. Junior salespeople can eventually be promoted to more senior sales positions.

If you want to become a sales manager, you may need to go back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in business if you don’t already have one. After some more time in the industry, you may even decide to start your own dealership or buy an existing one and run the whole operation.

The requirements to become a BMW salesperson aren’t extremely stringent, but the job can be demanding and requires a specific set of skills. If you find success in this field, you can have a rewarding career as a BMW salesperson.

Slump in Sales Could Drive Minis to BMW Dealerships

Miniature sales numbers could soon force Minis, which currently have their own dealerships, to share space with BMWs.

The Mini marque, which is owned by BMW, has had stand-alone Mini stores since 2008 as part of its efforts to maintain a unique, independent image. Today, there are 127 Mini stores. Mini dealerships, though, appear to be struggling to sustain this independent dealership model due to lower-than-expected sales numbers.

Mini projected it would have 100,000 in annual sales by 2017, but it hasn’t yet topped 66,500, a number it reached in 2013. The brand’s sales decreased by 10 percent in 2017, and through the first 10 months of 2018, Mini sold only 37,359 cars.

This has led some Mini dealers to request an integration with nearby BMW dealerships to reduce overhead costs and increase efficiency. Sharing costs associated with real estate and operations could help the brand stay afloat.

“We want to focus on dealer profitability so that they are properly represented in the marketplace,” Thomas Felbermair, vice president of Mini Region Americas, told Automotive News.

BMW and Mini, however, want to ensure brand differentiation should the two merge dealerships. To accomplish this, they’re considering creating separate Mini showrooms at BMW dealership locations. Dedicated Mini salespeople and service workers would staff these showrooms. Mini is also working with some dealers to reduce their requirements for showroom space to facilitate the move.

Mini has also indicated that it’s exploring other ways to support dealerships that would remain independent.

Challenges Facing Mini

The sales slump is the primary challenge facing Mini, but another issue is the lack of new product. Mini introduced the redesigned Countryman in spring 2017 and a plug-in hybrid variant later that year. A full-electric model is expected to arrive next year, but some Mini dealers have expressed worries that there isn’t enough new product on the horizon to keep customers interested.

“We’re in a development phase,” Felbermair said. “There’s a number of longer range projects that you will see come to fruition.”

Some dealers have also expressed concerns about a lack of consumer awareness caused by inadequate marketing funds.

Perhaps the biggest threat, though, is the fact that the company hasn’t been able to convince Americans to buy premium small cars. The U.S. market for SUVs and light trucks is strong, but that of premium compact cars continues to struggle. Mini also hasn’t been able to attract the young drivers it originally that would be its core audience.

“As a dealer and a manufacturer you have a vision of where the brand is going, and you have to prepare for it,” Jason Willis, a member of the Mini National Dealer Council, told Automotive News. “In this case, the vision now isn’t what it was when some of these stores were built.”

However, BMW and Mini still have hope that things will turn around. The marque is going through a bit of a rough patch that’s left it unable to maintain its independent dealership model. Although the company hasn’t made a final decision yet, reducing costs by moving in with BMW dealers may help Mini hold on until conditions improve.

Tips for working at a BMW dealership

Building your own cars in your garage can be a great way to learn the ins and outs of automotive engineering, but it usually won’t get you close to any new luxury cars. If you want to get closer to your favorite car brand, try getting a job at one of their dealerships. If you love luxury cars but worry you’ll never afford one, getting in on the ground floor at a BMW dealership is a great way to make that dream a reality. Plus you’ll get to spend all day around your favorite cars.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you land a job at a BMW dealership and how to succeed once you are hired.

Remember Your Job Interview Class

Applying for a job at a BMW dealership isn’t something you can do by walking in off the street and asking for a job — especially if you slum around the city in cargo shorts, a t-shirt and sandals. Think back to your high school job interview class — if you were lucky enough to go to high school before they got rid of those life skills classes. Some things that will make a huge difference are:

  • Your Appearance — They say dress for the job you want, so if you want a job at a BMW dealership, you need to dress it up. Take a peek inside the dealership to get an idea of what the average person there wears. You’ll want to go business professional — suit and tie — to create the best first impression even if you end up working as a porter in cargo shorts and a polo shirt.
  • Your Resume — Have a neatly printed one-page resume handy, even if you had to submit one during an online application.
  • Your Knowledge — Most of what you need to know for a dealership job you’ll learn on the job — but don’t walk in without some knowledge of the brand or the different models available. Take the time to study up.

Don’t be unprepared if you do manage to land an interview.

The Interview

An interview at a BMW dealership will be pretty straightforward. You will receive questions regarding your work history, your professionalism and work ethic, and your knowledge of the brand. Most interviews will be a one on one between you and a hiring manager. In addition to two interviews, you will likely need to complete a personality assessment and, depending on the position you apply for, a skills assessment as well.

As with most modern jobs, a career with BMW is also contingent on a drug screening and criminal background check.

It’s a good time to get into an automotive-adjacent career — car sales and other automotive services were an $862 billion industry in 2015. This is a nearly seven percent increase from the year before.

Expect to Start at the Bottom

Don’t expect to walk in the door and immediately start making over $100,000 a year. This is one of the few industries you can start at the bottom with the ability to work your way up — so expect to start at the bottom. You may want the role of a BMW salesman, but the best way to make it into that position is to start small — apply for a job as a lot porter or a car detailer. This is a great way to showcase your work ethic and professionalism. Impress your immediate supervisors, and you may find yourself on the fast track to sales or even management, depending on where your skills lie.

Working for a BMW dealership is a great way to be around the cars you love while still building a profitable career. Be professional, dress for the job you want and whatever you do, don’t peel out with a customer’s car in the parking lot — at least not where anyone can see you.