Is losing a top sales person or losing a top technician more costly and troublesome to your business? Why?

Denim Simkins
Is losing a top sales person or losing a top technician more costly and troublesome to your business? Why?
Tony Wood
I will give a resounding yes to this question. In my current Toyota store, our top Sales Professional switched to another dealership because he was unhappy with a few things. To be fair, promises were made by corporate and upper management that were not fulfilled for well over a year, and still haven't been. His leaving somewhat impacted morale. However, being a 20 car a month guy and with us being slightly behind the 8 ball for the year, it was concerning. Right after he left, what was probably our 3rd best Sales Professional left as well as a Sales Manager. Granted, the Sales Manager wasn't that big of a loss, but that 15 car a month guy was. We had one of our other 15 car a month guys step out and put out 25 a month. However, then we lost our other Sales Manager. Losing our other Sales Manager was a huge deal as he was phenomenal. The GM started working the desk and being a bit slow in the process, lost a few sales for some of our guys which greatly decreased morale. Our new top guy (Mr. 25 a month) then left. Unfortunately, all of our 10 car a month guys haven't really stepped up. Well, one of them is at 15 this month, so I guess he's amping up his game a little bit, but for the most part, nothing impressive. To boot, they've brought on a bunch of green pea new hires. So, it's not a pleasant situation. We also just lost a Service Advisor, a Service Tech, and a our best Body Shop Tech. Needless to say it's been crazy. So, will losing just the top Sales Professional be troublesome or costly, potentially. However, it's more or less the loss of morale that comes with it that can impact you. The biggest problem here, if I'm being honest, is that promises aren't kept, and no one is assigned value or kept happy. For instance, we have a manager who was promised a certain pay plan, and that still hasn't been implemented for him, and it's been over a year. It's not a good way to do business.
Tammy Anthony Baker
@Tony - That's quite a storm you're riding out. Imagine if what your saying reaches the ears of a potential customer. If corporate / management doesn't keep promises to the staff who is earning them money, what a kind of response will the customer get if there's a problem with their purchase? I hope corporate and management take note and make some changes, either in the promises given or their keeping of same.
Tony Wood
My problem is that I'm loyal to a fault. I keep hanging on, doing my best, hoping things will change. We shall see.
Steve Tuschen
It may hurt a bit, if you are in a culture like what Tony is describing it will hurt as you don't have the culture to keep performing. If your bench is staffed and trained with the processes it shouldn't be a major impact, the people will step in where they need. If it is a salesperson, make sure a veteran gets those customer's and works them, you may have to give up a little if they went to a competitor so they stay loyal to the dealer and not the salesperson. An advisor can be the same way. The important thing with a customer facing person if there next contact with your dealership has to be better than what they were getting than with the person that left, they know what they get when they deal with that person, but if you provide better service then they will stay loyal to the dealership. The worst thing is when they don't get as good or worse service, you have given them a reason to leave. If a technician leaves even your most productive it will hurt a little if you are running at capacity, otherwise you will see the techs will pick up the slack the important thing is to ensure you are not ever at an extreme where you can't get things done if someone is gone.
Clint Jones
In my own experience, you don't really want to lose either! When you lose a top performing sales person, you lose customers with him. We want to believe this isn't true, but it is. These guys have lots of customers, they know who they are, and they have their own system in place that enables them to keep track of these customers. When you lose a top performing tech, you lose all of the money that you spent certifying and training that tech. No, you won't lose business with him. You simply lose what he produced. Often times, the technicians that are left can pick up the hours that the top guy was getting...but not as efficiently or with the same expertise that the top tech had. The top technician is in that position for a reason. He is educated, experienced, and hungry. If I had to sacrifice one of the two, I would sacrifice my tech if I had more than 4 techs that were at an "A Tier". If I was in a small shop leaving only 1 other "A Tier" tech, I would sacrifice the sales person. Good question.

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