Does this sound familiar? As an ISM have you work a lead, set an appointment and then it appears the guest didn’t show as promised… then hours later you see their name on the deal board next to another sales persons name? You approach the sales person and get the response, “They didn’t ask for you, how am I suppose to know they were an Internet customer? I’m not giving you half a deal now since I’ve done all the work, all you did was send them an email.”
Lets face it, this happens. A lot.
The tensions between Internet departments and retail floors are real. ISMs feel skated by their retail counterparts and the retail sales person doesn’t believe that an ISM deserves part of the deal “for just sending an email.”
With over 80% of the population using the web to help their purchase experience, these disagreements are not going away. What ends up happening is you dampen employee moral with the bickering. Managers get involved and an employee is left feeling like their manager doesn’t support them. It’s a downward spiral. The consensus I get in talking with ISMs around the country is that the number one complaint is their managers don’t support what they are doing. If arguments over split deals are prevalent in your store you run a high risk of losing your ISM, especially if they are good.
My question is, why are the Internet and retail floor separated? Generally a dealership has 10 retail sales people to 1 ISM. Doesn’t it seem backwards to have 90% of your store is focused on retail deals yet 80% of your customers are focused on Internet transactions? Better yet, if over 80% of your customers are focused on the Internet, why not just do away with the separation of the floors all together and train everyone to work with the “Internet Buyer?”
The excuse I hear the most is that dealers are afraid of losing gross. However, the facts are you are more likely to lose the customer by not treating them right, especially if they are armed with information (as 80% plus of them are.) When more than 80% of your customers are on the web and using it to direct their purchase experience, it does not make sense to dedicate any less than 100% of your staff to serving the this once “niche market.” Its not 1998 anymore when people were questioning if the internet was a fad… its for real and ALL your staff better be involved.