Climbing the Ladder of Success in a Dealership


There are many opportunities for career growth in a dealership. Stories abound of managers who started out washing cars. If you know what you are doing, climbing the ladder is easy and should be expected. In many organizations, managers tend to move around often, and changes happen frequently. This can create fast opportunities for the right candidates. Here are a few keys to success when climbing the dealership ladder:

Show Accountability

The first step in getting promoted in the car business is to show accountability. Show that you have the ability to set your own schedule, make your own appointments, and plan Sucessyour time efficiently. This type of behavior will get you noticed. Equally important is your ability to own your mistakes. Don’t blame others for things that you can control. Good leaders don’t find fault, they find solutions.

Demonstrate an Aptitude for Learning

If you want to get promoted, you have to show the ability to learn new things. You have to show you can adapt and change as you grow and learn. We live and work in a fast-paced, ever-changing world. As new technologies and techniques develop, you need to show the ability to grow, learn and adapt.

Be Creative

If you can demonstrate the ability to solve problems and come up with creative solutions, you will get promoted faster than other, less creative candidates. However, don’t let your creativity evolve into unmanageable behavior. If those above you sense that your creativity gets in the way of your ability to follow directions, you will be tagged as a risk and will be looked over for promotion opportunities.

Close Deals

If your desire is to someday manage a department or a dealership, you need to demonstrate that you understand how to close deals. This is a fundamental part of managing a sales, service and parts, as well as fundamental to a dealership as a whole. If your background is in sales, this is easy to prove. Show steady, consistent sales performance and you will get noticed.

Earn Trust

Earning the trust of your supervisors and managers is a crucial step to getting promoted. While earning trust requires accountability, there is more to it than owning your work. Earning trust means showing you can be relied upon to look after the best interest of the dealership, and the best interest of those over you. Managers want to see that you have their back and care about the success of the dealership.


There are many career tracks within a dealership. You can rise from lot tech, to salesman to sales manager, or service porter, to technician, to service advisor to service manager. In the parts department, you can learn the art of inventory management and parts operations which will help you rise to the position of parts manager. Each of these opportunities mean greater responsibility and greater income. If you can learn the workings of each department in a dealership, you will be in a great position to someday become general manager of an entire dealership.