Why do dealers / upper management continue to rapidly promote employees that are not qualified? Is average or mediocre now considered good?

Dennis Wagner
Is it just me or is everyone seeing that the overall talent / experience levels in dealership management is on a rapid decline? Is this the "Fake It Until You Make It" Era in the automotive industry? It seems the more dealerships I talk with the more evident it is that most managers are not properly trained, they do not have the much needed experience necessary to be successful and they have literally been thrown to the wolves to fend for themselves. This is a recipe for failure. What are we thinking as an industry? Do we strive to be average? Maybe they sold 20 cars a month for a year so lets make them a sales manager or trainer? Really? C'mon! Selling 20 cars a month is pretty average if you really think about it with all of the tools available to salespeople today. Step up and sell 40 units per month and that is a different story in my opinion. This is a huge problem. I personally know of dozens of 5-800 unit per month dealerships that now sell 2-300 units per month as a direct result of poor and inexperienced management. You can't learn to do a job by going to "Magic" conferences. You might get a couple of good ideas, but it won't help you be a complete manager. You can't lead a department by using a software program. You don't become a better leader by chatting with your friends in the business. We know that sub-par trainers produce sub-par employees. Talent cannot be taught and there is no substitute for experience. It is perplexing that it seems to be assumed that just anyone is qualified to be a manager and to lead people. What happened to actually having to prove over a long extended period of time that an employee is the very best at their position before even being considered for any type of promotion? There was a time not that long ago that promotions were a big deal. I think dealers / upper management are doing their employees a huge disservice by rapidly promoting them with little chance of success. I can only assume that it is for employee retention, but they are not looking at the long term damage they are doing to the individual employee and their dealership. What is the solution to this very serious issue? I look forward to your responses.
Stan Sher
As the saying goes "It's not what you know but who you know"
Vincent R
This was something that frustrated me very much when I first started selling cars. Management didn't teach me shit and I was left to only learn from experience or from other sales people here and there. Half the time they gave me bad information as well. This costed myself and the dealership a lot of sales in my opinion, but it didn't matter to them very much because the dealership was still selling upwards of 300 cars per month. I agree with Stan because two of the managers were married to the owner's sisters.
Dennis Wagner
Stan, I would be inclined to agree. It's sad, but usually true.
Dennis Wagner
Vincent, That happens. The really good dealerships will invest in training to ensure their success.
Lauren Moses
Vincent I feel your pain, though thankfully not here yet. That is exactly how it was at my last job. If you weren't friends with HR then you didn't get moved up. I was very close to our CEO and still didn't have much luck because HR didn't think I was a good fit. Anyways. It is sad, but often over looked in todays times. And I fear that it may only get worse.

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