CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
One of the issues I hear about frequently from my client dealerships is that of sales staff retention. Let me venture out onto the limb to suggest that, just perhaps, the requirements for a sales position in your organization need to be reviewed.
The sales people, the floor staff, the lizards, studs, newbie, - whatever name you apply to them - are incredibly important to your dealership's ongoing success. They need to be happy with the sales opportunities that can enable them to earn a decent wage. They need to feel that they are supported by you, their dealer. Most important: They need to benefit from the incentive of compensation for performance.
If your showroom has a problem with a continuously changing roster of sales staff, maybe it is time to look at how you qualify prospective personnel.
A sales person has to offer more than a pulse and the ability to remain vertical. Remember the task: The goal of each salesperson you place on the showroom floor is to lead prospects to the decision to buy a vehicle from your dealership, and hopefully, to set-up aftermarket product sales like window etching, clear bra, upholstery protection, etc. Such a purchase represents a substantial cash outlay or financing arrangement for most customers, and is not usually made without some resistance.
To assemble a sales team that can excel in overcoming sales resistance, closing deals, moving inventory, and ensuring a continuing inventory of attractive product, look for the person who exhibits the following traits:
The ideal sales staffer:
As the dealer or manager you need to ensure continuity in your sales staff, because most sales are conducted over a period of weeks, or even months. Your sales staff needs to know that you are aware of this process, and that you support the sales staff in their protracted efforts to close sales.
These observations come from my own experience, as well as anecdotal accounts from dealership managers who I trust implicitly. Consider these observations as you evaluate new hires to your sales staff... and as you evaluate your current sales force. Remember - your near term objective is to sell units, but over the long term, you have to build a customer base that will generate repeat business as well as generate quality leads.
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