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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Bryant Gibby

Bryant Gibby Used car manager

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    One of the biggest problems that I and most sales managers face is turnover with salespeople.  The cycle of a sales floor is pretty consistent and predictable at most dealerships year in and year out. Generally most dealerships have a core of 3-5 great salespeople that do what they are supposed to, 3-5 guys that are your average salespeople that don't do a lot right or wrong, and 3-5 guys that are your "newbies" that don't get it and realistically will probably never get it.

 

     I actually have it pretty good at the dealership that I manage and can confidently say that we have an above average sales floor.  The group that I want to focus this post on is the group that all dealerships care the most about, which is your 3-5 "top dawgs".  We actually have a group of about 6 people that all have the talent and ability to be our top dawg on any given month.  So, what should a manager or GM do to keep their top dawgs happy and more importantly, keep them at their dealership? 

 

    The reason I am throwing this topic out there for discussion is that we have had a couple of issues with our top guys in the last month.  Salesperson # 1 has all the talent in the world, will do anything you ask of him, and if he committed himself every single month would probably lead our board at least half of the year.  He accepted a new job and was supposed to start last week because felt like the grass would be greener on the other side and "wanted to try something new".  Luckily we slapped some sense in to him and we were able to convince him to stay here.  Salesperson # 2 used to be our 2nd best guy for about 3 years but has struggled big time lately due to family obligations and having to be more available to his kids.  He actually ended up quitting last week despite our attempts to keep him here.

 

    So...... Should a manager give special treatment or do something special with regard to compensation to keep your core group of top dawgs at the dealership?  Is it fair to throw them extra spiffs or regular commissions to ensure that they don't leave?  Is that fair to the rest of the sales crew that doesn't produce at the level that they produce at? Let me know what you guys think. Any input or previous experiences would be great to hear.

Tom White Jr.
Spend the most time with your best people... Being a manager is not about equal time for all of your people... Life isn't fair and if YOU want it more than certain of your people do, your time would be best spent on the people that WANT to be better... The grass isn't greener provided you are spending time and developing your people. If they want to leave, at some point, you have to look at yourself as the leader. Having said that, the fact that you have brought the subject up leads me to believe you car about your folks. People by and large will work for the personal recognition for a job well done as opposed to a paycheck. Those that only work for a paycheck will move on just as soon as someone pays them more money... Lose some (which you should) and gain some (which you should).. Make sense?
Bart Wilson
I think you need to make sure you train your new people so they have the opportunity to become a "top dawg", but at the end of the day the Pareto Principle is in effect. 20% of your salespeople will sell 80% of the cars.
Jared Hamilton
Yea you have to treat the top guys like they are your top guys, no doubt. Its important to let every team member know of their worth, especially when they are that valuable to the organization. Where this gets difficult is when the top producers also produce the most headaches. Thats when a managers job becomes difficult and you have to start weighing the full picture to keep things in line.
Mico Mlodzinsky
I am the top producer at my dealership, and my managers don't have to do anything special to keep me there, because I know that staying in one place is one of the major keys to success. All my manager has to do is to support me, not to count me out of spiffs and not to piss me off. My advise to manager would be to encourage repeat business, which will show people that going from one dealer to another will only hurt them in the long run. Also I agree the recognition goes a long way. All positive results should be acknowleged in front of the rest of salespeople.
wally hannum
We have so many "top dawg" sales people at our dealership that several years ago, we developed an "Elite Team". This team is a 6 month program that is based on a specific criteria of excellence. You must average the store average of sales people whom have been at your store over 2 years, which is 11 at our store. You must also be Master Certified, and attend all sales meetings and Training oppertunities ie. Like Grant Cardone siminars Web based training and speciality training such as Leasing and so forth. Then we reward the top 25% of our New and Used staff. They compete using a reverse score as in golf where the lowest score wins. First, ranking position of total new and used Volume. Second, viewpoint score on "Overall Sales Satisfaction". Third, % of deals financed in-house. We use income as a tie-breaker. These are figured on the previous six months numbers. The reward is a 6 months of car payments, up to $500.00 per month, 5% of their previous years salary as a bonus, special designated parking, and shirts that say "Elite team" on them which can only be worn if you are currently on the Elite Team. This makes every one of your employees strive to be on the elite team and recognizes them when they are. We make a big deal about this because many people excel from pier recognition as apposed to just throwing a few extra bucks in their pay check.

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