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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Jim Bell

Jim Bell Performance Manager

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Your Diamond in the Rough - Facebook's Instagram

This week, Facebook acquired Instagram for 1 billion dollars.  So what is the significance of this in the automotive industry or any industry for that matter?  Take a look at it in a different way.  Look at a dealership as Facebook in this role and Instagram as a newbie wanting to be successful in a different profession.  Instagram came out of nowhere and is not a money maker by any means.  It has been one of the fastest growing social networks in the last few months.  It has made zero dollars in the 500 days that they have been available on the market and now a billion dollar business.  So what did Mark Zuckerberg see in Instagram?  He obviously saw something that we didn’t since he just paid one billion dollars for it. 

We have been actively looking for that diamond in the rough and have found that hiring outside the automotive industry; we have had some success and grooming that person to what we want them to be.  Take a bartender that is liked by a lot of people at a local establishment.  If you train them right, he just may be a top salesperson in the nation for Honda.  Take another restaurant manager that is liked by all of the lake goers.  He just may have the highest CSI in the store and is consistently selling 12-15 cars a month.  Take an appliance salesperson that you have kept going to for your fridge, dishwasher, washer and dryer, and TV.  He just may be your Gold level salesperson with Honda.  So how does this happen and how do you find that diamond in the rough like Mark did and we have?

  1. Be observant when you are out and about.  When you are at a restaurant, take notice of the hard worker and the server that is personable and up selling you on the dessert that you didn’t want. 
  2. Have a good training process in place.  You are bringing this person in and you want them to be successful, so you have to be with them everyday making sure that they are doing the right thing.
  3. Keep their attitude up.  This could be one of the biggest challenges there is.  They may get a little frustrated if traffic seems to be down for a week or so.  Have them in front of those service customers that no one else wants to talk to.
  4. Give them the encouragement that they need.  When something doesn’t go right, coach them.  When it goes right and smoothly, give them that pat on the back and say awesome job.
  5. Make sure that they feel that they are part of the team.  If they don’t get that feeling, they just may leave on their own.  It must be a team environment and the other salespeople have to give them that encouragement as well.

I came across a definition for diamond in the rough from the Urban Dictionary.  It says “Someone or something that has hidden exceptional characteristics and/or future potential, but currently lacks the final touches that would make them (or it) truly stand out from the crowd.”  Where are you looking to find that diamond in the rough?  They are all around you and you just maybe overlooking them.  They may be serving your steak tonight at dinner at the steakhouse. 

Chris Costner
Jim this is spot on. Perfect. I definitely look for anyone that may have potential. My wife also does that same thing whenever she is out and will give me a heads up on someone she thinks I may want to visit with. I think dealers should have the mentality that no matter where they get their talent from, this new person on the roster will not fail, because you just paid $1B for them. Too many times, new sales staff are added, pumped up for about a week or so and then left on their own to ultimately fail. They cycle continues. If dealers switch their mindset and go to all lengths to ensure the success of their "investments", more "rough diamonds" will ultimately show their luster. Thanks for sharing Jim. Great post.
Jim Bell
Thanks Chris. Interesting that your wife is keeping her eyes out as well. Guess that shows her commitment to you being in the car business.
Chris Costner
Every now and then she will have a business card or give me a heads up on someone I should get in touch with. Pretty cool.

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