"I know it all don't tell me what to do! I have been in the business before you were born"

Jamil The Carman


The Title: Senior salespeople and managers' reaction when I tried to tell them how to handle a sale or a phone call :).One of the most common issues that I have been coming across when dealing with seniors who has been in the business for so long and think they know it all.Getting into this business in the digital era makes you think differently than the people who got into it before internet ,costumers are way smarter knowledgeable and know what they want.In addition ,Dealers' online reputation play a big factor in customer's decision so the old days are gone your online exposure is what makes you or break you ,But how to convince my senior friends that's the question?

mark rask

That is a tough one.....some people do not embrace change. That attitude has to come from the top down There are still people that will not buy in even then

David Zotti

This is actually a very big problem. It can be even worse if they're in upper management because they will likely make some bad and outdated decisions that hurt your store. I've seen it, some senior managers are still in the mindset that newspaper, direct mail, print, radio, and telemarketing is the way to advertise. And wow it was a waste. It would probably be even worse if OEM's didn't enforce modern marketing standards like they do today.

 Senior sales people and managers have been known to not adapt to change within the industry. They tend to be very stubborn about it and they always play that years of experience card. With me that card doesn't mean anything if the way they're handling a sale is outdated and not producing results. 

In any business when people don't adapt to change, it can definitely put their job on the line. However, in the car business the changes of going into a digital direction is happen throughout the industry, not just your dealership. Which can mean an end to senior sales person or manager's career in auto sales because it can come to the point where it causes lost sales or poor customer experience, which it sounds like it may have already.

To get your Seniors on board with the shift into digital and modern industry practices. It would be best to sit them down one-on-one and discuss this issue. It's important to emphasize that these changes are happening to the industry as a whole and dealership needs to adapt to stay in business. Show them anything you can to prove your point, internet leads, stats, research articles on DS etc. Definitely offer some "update training" to help them get a full grip on the new industry practices. Highlight their long years of experience will make them even more successful when adapting to the new changes. Mentioning the extra money potential is key as well.  Most of the time they will adapt to change if your seriously sit them down and talk to them about it and they actually will do pretty good if they adapt. 

However, if they're still stubborn and refuse to change, you may have to bring up the ultimatum, change or go. Although it would be nice to keep them on, help them and the store better succeed. Your store can't live in the past forever. The ultimatum can definitely hit the head on the nail. Nobody wants to leave their job after years of service, and they'll likely be aware of the fact that they have to adapt to modern industry changes at the next dealership they go to. 

It would be wise to talk with your DP/Owner about this. 

Aaron Berg

Great Post. It all starts at the top and trickles down. Embracing the digital world needs to be a mindset and built into the culture of the dealership. I believe that the biggest problem is training. As dealers, we often complain about bad habits and members of our teams being "old school." The real problem is that we dont provide the proper training and provide insight into the digital age and our expectations on how to conduct business in this new environment. We can not blame our staff for the faults and views until we take the time and effort to properly inform, train, and train some more. As a General Manager, I feel that it is my duty to properly engage my staff. Yes, some people may not be capable to adapting but that is normally the exception not the rule. Step one is to find our who cares about you, your business, your customers, and their fellow employees. If they pass step one I would bet that they can adapt to the rest.

John Irwin

... in the end... the person who should have the biggest say......  the Customer...  ask them !!! 

Ron Henson

@Aaron You are exaclty right.  Part of the problem in many stores is that the managers who are training the team, including the new hires, are set in the old ways of communicating with customers, controlling the customers, and dictating the steps of the sale.  In today's market consumers aren't just expressing a dislike for those tactics, they are rejecting them and finding dealers that know how to engage a buyer in 2016.  Many of those same managers are the one's that reject new training methods as well as new platforms to deliver that training because they are not bought in, or even more distressing, fear keeps them from progressing.  It becomes a downward spiral.

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