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Jeff Cotton

Jeff Cotton President

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Encouragement for the New Sales Associate

According to the Center for Automotive Research, the U.S. auto industry contributes about 3.5 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and nearly 15 percent of total retail sales in the U.S. 6b06280794cfaa47fa0f9c2312d60902.JPG?t=1

The average local dealership spends, most of it locally, nearly $3 million in payroll, and a little more than $400,000 each in advertising and rents, reports NADA. 

Contributing greatly to this abundance is the automotive sales associate. The more than 195,000 men and women who sell both new and used cars at auto dealerships are at work to meet consumer demand and generate profit for their employers. The average first year income exceeds $60,000 so there is much incentive to succeed. 

Too often, the industry and its watchers point out turnover in the auto retail business. Yes, this is an issue, at 60 percent. However, perhaps different hiring strategies, commitment to sales training and use of selling support technologies can reduce or virtually eliminate turnover in the dealership by focusing on giving its sales associates every opportunity to succeed.

Perhaps the new sales associates joining the dealership this week deserve a better introduction and acclimation to their job. Let’s stop handing Green Peas the latest model brochures and direct them to an empty and bare desk to “study up.” 

Instead, give them the sales training basics they need to properly greet and engage customers. Drill them on the necessary basics, including the meet and greet and walkaround. Hook them up with proven winners they can observe and learn from. 

Spend time on the floor and lot to observe, encourage, and instruct all sales associates. Only then can their good results be recognized and encouraged. Only there can misfortunes be noticed and they be uplifted and shown other, more effective skills. 

Furthermore, are we providing and insisting on the use of technologies like mobile, database marketing and CRMs that can help them to reach out, prospect and remember today’s consumers?  Only when managers truly manage new hires to succeed will they make a livable wage selling vehicles and making a profitable contribution to the dealership and to its local and national communities. 

For some great help getting Green Peas (and seasoned professionals alike) up to speed selling and retaining more vehicles sooner, Click for a helpful eBook

About the author: Jeff Cotton is Vice President and Co-Founder of AutoAlert, Inc., a leading customer database analysis and sales strategies company. He is a former sales professional with Fletcher Jones Motor Cars. Contact him at jeff@autoalert.com and visit www.autoalert.com

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