What Old Habits and Traditions do you think need to come to an end in the industry?

David Zotti

We always talk about the future of the automotive retailing, and a few times we've discussed how some in the industry haven't adapted to change well. A lot has changed in the past 10 years. From technology, vendor solutions, to even the way customers want to buy cars. Yet I've came across a large number of dealers who have not caught up with the times. Anything from sales processes, marketing, fixed ops, closing strategies, etc.

So with all of that in mind, what do you think needs to finally come to an end in the industry?

Chris K Leslie

I’d really like to see more dealers invest in marketing and creative departments. 

Tori Zinger

I agree with Chris here. Many dealers are still very hesitant to really dive in to the digital world and spend on creative/marketing, but I think you've got to invest in, at the very, very least, a social media manager.

Chris Murray

Commissions.

Tori Zinger

Chris, I'm always interested in the commissions vs. salary discussion! What would be your ideal (but realistic haha) pay plan?

For me, training and work culture has to change in order for dealerships to succeed in the (near) future. Sure, technology and marketing tools will bring you people, but properly trained sales staff will win you those deals. I work with dealerships that have high turnover, and I often ask the GM or dealer principal why they think that is. Oftentimes, I'm told that the salespeople who were fired or ended up quitting were inexperienced or not cut out for car sales. What I find interesting is that a lot of these people end up at other dealerships and become very successful.

Believe it or not, there are still dealers out there that allow their managers to get away with publicly humiliating their salespeople. There are dealers who will drop $20K a month on advertising but won't even buy lunch for their staff. And then there are those who simply throw new hires on the sales floor or in the BDC, expecting these greats results without any formal training. And it baffles me that they're actually disappointed or upset when their employees aren't performing as well as they had hoped for.

Some of the most successful dealerships I've worked with have amazing work cultures. The employees are treated like part of the family. There is one dealer I work with who doesn't have the budget to buy lunch every Saturday for his hardworking guys and gals, but he makes a weekly round just to talk and interact with his employees, to really learn about them and engage with them.

You know what they say: Happy employees are productive employees.

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