Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Car Salespeople: Complacent and Unmotivated or Victims of Lazy Sales Management and High Priced Third Party Vendors? … The Ugly Truth
I work with dealers who believe that when a consumer from their own back yard calls into the dealership to inquire on a vehicle that they want to talk to a call center representative that’s located 5 states away in a different time zone! Wake up dealers! We live in a ‘don’t waste my time, don’t jerk me around’ society and it’s time to take notice. Get out your broom and dust off your old out dated processes and start operating in the on-demand world you’re attempting to do business with! Today’s buyers want to talk to Today’s sellers, period, any deviation to that is a waste of time.
‘But it makes so much more sense to pay $3000 a month to a third party call center than to train and educate our sales team and expect our managers to maintain a level of excellence on our sales floor’.
Yes, just turn a blind eye and pay someone else to do it. The PROBLEM is that you’re making the customer leap through hoops just to do business with you and sooner or later, they will go somewhere else! GUARANTEED
I am frustrated and disheartened by the lack of faith dealers and sales managers have in their sales force. The sales team is the front line of the automotive retail industry; they are the 'handshakers'. And in an industry who’s reported for decades that the #1 reason consumers buy from you is because they like you; you’d think that the front end sales staff at any retail operation would be the crème de la crème, the most qualified and knowledgeable members of the staff. Still, when I approach a dealer or a sales manager about empowering the sales team, I hear things like “they won’t do it”, “they can’t do it”, and “they’re lazy”…?
It amazes me in a time when the buying process is more personal and more social than any other time in history that the automotive retail community has not recognized that the front end sales team is their key to higher volume and higher gross. Is it because we have lazy managers? Is it because we’ve grown too dependent on BDC’s? Is it because we have grown accustomed to throwing money at our problems by continually relying on third party lead providers to increase and carry our revenue? “If we’re going to sell more cars we need to buy more leads”?
Why isn’t training and polishing our sales team a higher priority? Instead of buying more leads and throwing more money at advertising, why don’t we work within the expertise and talents of the people in our building so we can gain more volume and gross from the business already walking though our doors? I think we should accept the fact that providing our sales team with resources, training and tools will only help them gain more sales and retain more business in a positive way.
A well trained, empowered, knowledgably sales team is a dealerships best weapon. Not only can they close deals at a higher rate, obtain a higher gross but they have the ability to retain business and grow a referral base. It’s time we demand this as entry level criteria for any person wanting a career in car sales. I think that raising the bar and our expectations of cars salespeople is not only a benefit but a requirement for success as we continue to sell in a social digital world.
Sales people can’t/won’t respond to emails
Sales people can’t/won’t follow up
Sales people can’t/won’t ask for referrals
Sales people can’t/won’t ….. Sales people can’t/won’t
WAKE UP DEALERS! SALES PEOPLE CAN AND SALES PEOPLE WILL IF THEY ARE SURROUNDED BY STRONG LEADERSHIP WHOSE GOAL IS TO TRAIN AND EMPOWER!
I’m calling bullshit on the Sales people can’t/won’t philosophy! I choose to call it complacency, laziness, and lack of desire in the management team. I call it a complete dependency on high priced over-rated third party lead providers. I call it poor marketing and sales strategies. I also call it a dangerous plan for the growth of any sales department in 2014 because change has already arrived at our door steps and we’ve chosen to sweep it under the rug by using 90’s style tactics that consumers do not embrace.
The gap between buyers and sellers continues to close at a rapid rate because of social media, online reviews, and the mobile universe! The best investment of a dealer’s time and money is in the people who are the face of the organization. If dealers and managers truly believe that their salespeople can’t/won’t then why do they continue to employ them? <laziness>. It’s much easier to throw pack/advertising money at high priced third parties whose concern is their own revenue not the dealerships success, than it is to be accountable for the talent and knowledge of our sales employees.
A note to salespeople: If you work for a dealership whose management team is not 100% committed to your training and success, GET OUT. Find a dealership that places value in your continued success and is willing to provide you with the tools and training that are necessary to achieve your financial goals. If the dealership you work for is more concerned with throwing money at vendors and paying for high priced third parties as opposed to securing their long term relationships with today’s car buyer by empowering and educating the sales team, go find a dealer who will.
And that is the ugly truth!