Advice for a recent grad from a dealer's perspective:

Neale Martin
I'm a recent college grad starting off my career in sales for an automotive marketing vendor. I want to be able to understand specific dealer needs, and provide effective solutions. I do not want to be just another vendor who just blabs about their product and gets hung up on. If I called you, what questions would you want me to ask? How could I prove that my products are a solution to your real needs? Any advice would be appreciated!
R Lamb
go work in a dealership and figure out what they are actually like. otherwise no one will care what you have say, and to be honest, nor should they.
Neale Martin
Already done that! It hasn't been an easy transition though. Selling cars to consumers prepped me with the right skill sets, but selling to dealers has proven to be a whole new beast.Fortunately, our offering isn't the problem. We have awesome products that deliver (and over deliver) on our promises.It's more about trying to get into the mind of a sales manager, dealer principal, or internet manager to figure out how the like to be sold to. I would appreciate more of your insight!
Lauren Moses
Neale, One of my main pet peeves when vendors call is not knowing the market we are in. If you are a vendor and are calling me and giving me numbers from a dealership that has an average inventory of 300 and talking about how much you can boost our sales, when we have an average of 70 (new and used) inventory....I am going to laugh at you. I know it sounds harsh, but it's the truth. There is no WAY you can compare the two and say you can give us the same numbers you got for them. Do your research and know what size dealerships are in the area. Look at different things like businesses in the area, things that can have an effect on the number of sales a dealership might get a month/year. Also, don't call and bug me every other day. If I say I'll call you...that means...I'll call you. Robert makes a great point. The best way to know what a dealership needs/wants is by working at one. If you have worked at one even just in sales then it's a start. Experience is going to be your best friend and you will find what works for you and what doesn't. And just remember, everyone is different, so there is no One way to sell to everyone. And your not going to win over everyone. Do the best you can and learn from your mistakes.
Neale Martin
I appreciate you both taking the time to reply. I've been trying to get into a dealership to shadow a sales manager, but it's difficult because they're 100% busy at all times. That's why I decided to put up a post here.
Evan Brown
Interesting..... for me it has to start with the product, I'm only really interested in talking to a vendor if I love the product so hopefully you are really confident in what your offering. Usually most conversations I have with vendors are from me reaching out and trying to get a conversation going with them because I want to check out their stuff. If you are prospecting though, work your ass off to understand the dealership and who at the dealership is the right person to talk to. Don't just call the sales manager, find out who at the store is using what your selling and start there. Also get in the store and get your face in front of someone, I think you'll get a lot more respect and have a better chance of selling if your in person. Goodluck!

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