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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Jim Bell

Jim Bell Performance Manager

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How Do You Keep That Green-Pea Drive Alive?

Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about the last 15 years or so that I have been in the Automotive Business. I think back to my first days on the sales floor and how stoked I was to be there and have a job even though I had NO idea what I was doing. You want me to talk to people about cars and get paid for it? Sure, sign me up. Then, we start to learn things and habits, and the production seems to go down a little.  We go from kindergarten to 7th grade in a matter of months and we know everything.

So why is it that a 'green-pea' in the business can do so well and how can we keep that fire going? We all have them and highly recommend hiring someone green so you can mold them how you want them.  In our store, we have two salesmen that are green in the business. They never really were in sales and in the last two months, the two of them have sold 54 cars with a combined closing rate of 39% (they do log everyone as they do things to the T). So I posed the question to them, "What do you attribute your success to in such a short time in the auto business?". Here is their short list that they came up with.

  1.  "Stupidity." I asked him what he meant by this. He said that "I have no idea what goes on in that office with numbers and how to get to certain payments. I just go and have fun with customers and sell them what they need."
  2. "I come to work to work. I'm not here to socialize and hang out with the guys." I will attest to this. He is there to work and rarely if ever do I see him just hanging out and talking in the circle that we have in all of our stores.
  3. "Management."  The management team at the dealership has been great.  They don't just throw you out in the lions den and work with you every day to improve skills.
  4. "A great Sales Team to work with."  Everyone has been 'willing to show the ropes of the car business and offer plenty of encouragement.'
  5. "Talk to everyone, even service customers."  How many times do you say to a salesperson, "There's a person out there on the lot" and the ir response is "yeah, they're just in for service."  The new guys will always go out and talk to those people.  You have to talk to people.  The more people you talk to, the more successful you will be.
  6. Product Knowledge.  "I spend a great deal of time learning the product.  If I don't know the answer, I tell them I don't know and will find out for them."  Honesty is the key.  Knowing your product and the competitors is the key.  Also, know what the others in your local market are doing and handling their customers. 
  7. Knowledge of the staff.  The knowledge that the managers and work associates share is monumental.  Learning from the best in the business huge. 
  8. Coffee.  It's the caffeine that keeps me going. 
  9. Hard Work.  Work ethic is key in this business.  You can get sucked into all of the circles and just shooting the breeze with the guys.  When you are here, you need to work for the success that others have had in this business.

If you keep your eye on the ball, it will come to you and hit it out of the park and be successful.  To keep that green-pea attitude does take work and we all know that and sometimes we all have to be reminded of it.

What do you hear from your "green-peas?"

Bryan Armstrong
Although I don't agree any longer with the adage "The dumber you are the more money you'll make", because I believe that knowledge is power. I think that staying open minded and disciplined is the key. Green-peas make more because they simply have not yet become jaded and prejudicial as many salesmen do. I wake up and shake my head hard every morning, and like an etch-a-sketch...TAHDAH! Fresh outlook! Lol. Great read Jim, Thanks!
Charles Gomes
Great post Jim, I think that the key to this is because what they are told to do they do because they do not know any better! That no fear mentality you know, at the same time Bryan I believe you are right about knowledge is power. You cant play "dumb" if you are not but being honest with your clients is a big thing. Being a new sales person can be a leg up because you can tell your clients "hey I am new to this" I believe that the clients will respect that more because they will feel like they are not getting screwed over by a "car salesman". I sell training for sales people and managers and I believe that the most important thing is to get these guys a good training program. I know that a lot of GM put the green pea's with vets but can we honestly say that our vets are not short cutting the sale and teaching these new guys the wrong thing? Charles -

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