Is car sales a stressful job?

Yes car sales is a stressful job. The job of a sales executive or car dealer is considered one of the most stressful jobs you can have. Sales staff and dealers work long, erratic hours spending much of their time showing cars to potential clients, following up leads, dealing with endless paperwork and managing enquires.

Commission-based sales jobs can be extremely stressful, particularly in a downturned economy. Your pay isn’t just based on your performance, it’s also based on the customer’s ability to buy what you’re selling. Meaning commissioned sales people must be extremely independent and self motivates, and able to handle pressures from both their boss and the customers demands.

The most common form of stress found in the motor trade comes from a lack of sales success and the competitively of car sales. In most cases showrooms and forecourts are high pressure environments at the best of times, even if things are going well you will have constant pressure to sell even more. There will be deadlines and continually rising sales targets and quotas for finance and insurance to meet. Pier-pressure from other salespeople and sales managers will cause more stress, with managers being well known for playing sales staff against each other and piling on the pressure to get more sales.

A lack of time off can also be a significant cause of stress in the motor trade. You will typically be asked to work a five day week including every Saturday, you may have to cover some Sundays if the business is open seven day a week. Bank holidays my also be a requirement. The hours for a sale executive are typically 8:00 – 6:00. But you may find you’ll have to have to commit to longer hours if you want to be successful. This again will compound stress overtime and put pressure on your family and social life.

You will need to be prepared to miss out on birthday parties, social and holiday events, as in most cases you will be required to be at work on these traditionally busy sales periods. This can put enormous pressure on your relationships with family and friends.

So it’s highly likely that even highly successful sales executive is going to feel a significant underlying level of stress from both your work and home life, and in some cases more pressure than an average performer.

These high levels of stress lead to lots of sales executives drinking and smoking too much as a means of coping with the high level of stress their job brings. The level stress or stress combined with bad habits may place someone at a high risk of burnout. Burnout can leave you feeling exhausted and apathetic about your job.

Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behaviour, leading to issues at work and home. Stress that’s left unchecked can lead or contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Common effects of stress felt in the motor trade are:

HeadacheAnxietyOvereating or undereating
Muscle tension or painRestlessnessAngry outbursts
Chest painLack of motivation or focusDrug or alcohol misuse
FatigueFeeling overwhelmedTobacco use
Change in sex driveIrritability or angerSocial withdrawal
Stomach upsetSadness or depressionExercising less often

These common effects and compound the levels of stress even further. Resulting in a cycle of high stress situation and bad decisions making. But there are way to handle the stress of the car sales environment.

How to manage stress in car sales

Taking care of yourself and being in good general shape will not only help sell cars but it greatly reduces stress levels. Lots of successful sales executives use exercise to reduce stress by either visiting the gym or going for a run or swim. Meditation, yoga of playing any recreational sports will also help. But whatever activity you choose its important that you have some time away from work.

Even the greatest sales executive car have a bad patch and suffer financially. So to avoid stress a sales executive should build up an emergency fund over time. An emergency fund is simply money you’ve set aside for life’s unexpected events. You just don’t know what’s going to happen in cars sales so having savings to cover a few months of bad sales is important in keeping stress levels low.

If you’re part of a two-income household, then a three-month emergency fund is probably enough. But if you’re a one-income family, single, self-employed, or you earn straight commission, then a six-month emergency fund is probably a better idea. This not only gives you less stress, but gives you a good buffer if you loss your job.

Conclusion

Even seasoned successful sales executives, dealers and sales managers feel stress at work on an almost daily basis. Chasing sale after sale for months and years means you will always have an underlying level of stress, and how this stress affects a person varies greatly. Everybody is different and reacts to stressful situations in a different way. So it’s important that you learn to deal with it in the best way possible.

But for the right person selling cars can be a great job and offers a great opportunity to earn good money without needing lots or any qualifications. You will get work in a clean and fun environment, meet lots of interesting people and develop lots of transferrable skills. You can also move up the ranks to become a business or sales manager as you gain experience.

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