Best Answer: At 18, I doubt if any of the major manufacturer's dealers will put you on the sales floor unless you REALLY wow them.
You need to go into the dealership dressed in a nice coat/tie, and ask for the general sales manager. Let him know you are very interested in joining his/her's sales staff, and ask for an interview. Be as professional as possible. Having an "interest in cars" means nothing, having an interest in making a good living and serving your customers means everything.
Do you need a degree? Absolutely not. I was in the minority as I had a degree (worked in a Lexus/Toyota dealer my last two years of college. this was where I got my start in the biz).
There is no such thing as a "base salary" or such in this job. You are paid a percentage of the deal on what you sell. This will vary from dealer to dealer. You need to familiarize yourself with the pay plan very quickly. If you do not sell enough to cover commission the first few months, you are paid hourly wages at minimum wage. A month of two of this, and you're probably not going to be employed there.
1) Each dealer will always have some "old salts" (experienced "lifers" in the car biz). Common sense might tell you to learn their ways, but my approach was to avoid them. Why? They've seen newbies come and go, and usually do not want to help them. They are there to take customers and put money in their till, not yours. You need to own your customers' experience, not pass them off to someone else.
2) If you find sales folks who are constantly negative, stay away from them. You'll spot them right away. they usually stand off by themselves waiting for "ups" (folks coming on to the lot),
smoking like chimneys and poppin' TicTacs. They usually watch the clock like madmen, too. They float from lot to lot, burning through many contacts in the biz and finally ending up out of the biz altogether. They will leave a dealership at the drop-of-a-hat. always looking for "greener grass".
3) If you get hired on, and are greeted by a sales manager (or "tower" manager) who makes you watch the Alec Baldwin scene from "Glengarry Glen Ross", walk out of there immediately and never look back. If you find the sales manager to be a total hardass who raises his voice and manages through intimidation, then walk. You will be better off.
4) If you're not ready to commit yourself to long hours in order to establish your business, then go find something else to do.
5) Don't worry about stupid arbitrary things like "wonder if I'll get my own desk" or "wonder if I'll get to drive a demo" (the answer to that is NO. that is a thing of the past). If you find yourself surrounded by a bunch of newbies who worry about little things like that, then GET AWAY FROM THEM. They will be gone very soon.
6) Know your product. what sets it apart from the competition.
7) Have a good, firm business greeting, dress nicely every day. If you don't remember your customer's name after a test drive, and have to ask for it, you've proven to them that they are unimportant. When they tell you their name, repeat it and commit it to memory.
Most importantly, LISTEN. Your customer will tell you what they want. Find their needs, sell to their needs, and you'll always do fine. I find that the biggest mistake a new salesman/woman makes is they want to show off their product knowledge first, and lose sight of their customer's interests/needs.
Source(s): Former F&I manager