Why Can't We Find Sales Consultants?

Ron Henson

What they hear:
"Dear potential new hire at our dealership, yes our margins are evaporating and yes we pay on commission." ‪#‎CantFindStaff


H Gregory Gershman

Most dealerships have been trying to improve the quality of who they hire, and are moving past the idea of taking anyone that can answer, "sell me this pen".  This is a huge positive for dealerships and clients.  The downside is we have moved into an employment market with a higher quality of competition.  Now instead of competing with low end retail for employees we graduated to vying with real estate, insurance, investment, and software sectors.

Ron Henson

Great points @H Gregory!  I also believe that dealers have recognized that the work force has moved it's prioirites with the millenial generation, but the businesses haven't adequatley adapted to those priorities in order to capture the cream of the crop.

Ken Gregson


I believe we need a fundamental change in both compensation structure and scheduling.  With many dealers going to Market-Based pricing for new vehciles, continued margin compression from the OEMs and the hard reality that many volume vehicles in the largest markets are selling below commisionable gross profits sales associates have less and less influence on gross.  Combine that with the huge shift in the workforce to millenials, the best of which just don't want to work on 100% commission or for 50-60 hours per week and it results in the increasing turnover the industry is currently facing.

A salry base of $2000 - $3000 depending on the Market plus bonuses either based on volume or on executing the right behaviors coupled with a more traditional retail traffic-based schedule for 35-45 hours per week replacing our decades old A/B shifts.  There is software available that can tie into your CRM and accurately predict eLead, Phone and walk-in traffic then produce a schedule to cover that traffic and "have your peope there when the people are there."  They way many dealership currently schedule is bads for both the associates and for effectively serving the customers.


H Gregory Gershman

Good points Ken.  My company has conducted a lot of surveys on why top candidates apply to and accept jobs.  Top reason our highest scored candidates apply to a job is the reputation of the business.  #1 reason a top candidate turns down a is a lack of clarity of the job description, and income.  Goes back to your comments on commission and traffic.  The dealerships cannot adequately describe to a new employee where their income is going to come from, how they will get clients, and the number of hours needed to succeed.

Tom Cole


Do you have an example of or a current salary type pay plan for consultants? 

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