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Finding the right individuals to succeed in car sales remains a challenge for the industry. Too many green peas wash out early and NADA reported in February 2013 that there is a 40% sales turnover rate in the USA. Sometimes they fail because they lack the fortitude and energy it takes to sell the volume of cars required to earn a livable income, which is $59,340 annually at dealerships. All too often green peas quit prematurely because most everyone fails to adequately train today. 

Few things in this business are as frustrating for dealership management as the sales talent revolving door. Training companies and training programs are available to help instill productive sales techniques, attitudes and discipline in green peas. Dealerships would do well to take advantage of these resources when available since the dealer and the green pea are both blessed when training helps both succeed. 

Sometimes training simply isn’t an available remedy, but there is a unique strategy for helping green peas to make greenbacks for themselves and the dealership quickly. This strategy is to use data mining technology to get sales flowing fast, often within 30 days or less. 

An example of this is Friendly Kia, in New Port Richey, FL. It uses this strategy to help green peas make faster progress, gain needed confidence, and start earning commission dollars right from the start. The process, says Dealer John Gilliss, helps his green peas put six to eight deals a month on the board, within 30 to 60 days of starting. 

Here’s how this green pea training works: 

  1. Sell to existing customer prospects lists, derived from internal data mining efforts.
  2. Sort the list according to “very likely” candidates based on criteria like lease or finance contract termination, high mileage, orphan service customers, or specific model and year trade-ins. This helps John to become selective in his outreach.
  3. Provide each green pea with their share of opportunities, based on the different lists.
  4. Have each one telephone these prospects with specific vehicle/equity/customer information on hand from the database.
  5. His presentation focuses on offering these specific customers reasons to sell their current vehicle – (and here is the compelling offer) - if the dealership could put them into a new vehicle for about the same monthly payment.
  6. Equip green peas with trade-in value estimates, and the authority to speak about price and offer ranges.
  7. He provides talk-tracks that guide the green pea through this phone call. The talk-track provides various scripted responses to objections and other distractions so they remain on track and capture the interest of the prospect.

Gilliss notes that it is item 7 of this strategy that gives green peas the confidence to approach these opportunities in a professional manner, since it takes pressure off  to think fast on their feet while yet learning the retail auto business.

Given the extensive volume of fresh customers a green pea would need to engage and then move to the work order phase and finally into F&I, the newbie sales learning curve can be a long and frustrating one. When the dealer’s customer database is mined for hot opportunities (based on selected parameters), a green pea can work more deals by telephone in a day than they could taking showroom ups for a week.

“This strategy is a savior for new people coming into this industry,” remarked Gilliss. “It is invaluable to a green pea because it helps them be successful much faster.”

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 and visit





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Tags: car, green, hires, improve, new, peas, professionals, sales, selling, skills, More…training


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