Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
“I play a doctor on television”……………..
……..would you let him operate on you? Probably not- yet we still see
time and time again people holding “Internet Marketing, Management,
Director and/or Guru” titles in dealerships who have absolutely no right
being at the helm of the Internet Sales Department ship. He or she
interviewed well for the job, threw around the right buzz words and was
convincing enough to get an offer letter. He or she talked a good talk,
but once on the job they struggle to walk the walk.
Why is that? How does this happen and more importantly what can you do
to make sure that when you are hiring for your Internet Department’s
Manager you know what you are looking for?
You need to know and document (job description) what experience and
skills you need for the sales end of things within your internet
department and then identify what experience and skill you need for the
technical, operational and promotional aspect of your Internet
marketing- 2 separate individuals and/or skill sets. More often than not
a store hires an Internet Manager with the expectation that the manager
These expectations are a very tall order for one person alone to pull
off. The reality is that it will be like finding a needle in a haystack
to fill a job description that lists all of those performance
requirements. To fill that would mean finding someone who has the
ability to deliver soft skills (sales, negotiating, communicating,
rapport building –people skills etc) along with hard skills (vast
technical knowledge, computer skills etc.)
Don’t get me wrong, it can be done, but it is very tough to find a
candidate that possesses all of the skill sets necessary to fulfill each
one of these requirements. Usually if a person is strong in soft skills
they have a tendency to be weaker in the hard skills and vice a versa.
Not impossible, just unlikely.
We have a tendency to do what I call “easy hires” in dealerships. Here is the scenario;
we like a particular sales guy or girl, she or he is just not quite
cutting the mustard in the sales department, they have a knack for
computer knowledge, you find yourself going to him or her when there is a
“technical issue” with your network or something computer related. What
do you do? Well a lot of stores take someone like this and place
them at the helm of that Internet Department ship or the BDC- you give
them the scalpel and sutures and tell them to get to work. Best
intentions are usually at play here but a set up for mediocrity at best
for the employee and the department.
Your Internet Department cannot thrive with mediocrity. If you want to own your segment of the market you have to do what everyone else isn’t doing.
If your hiring for the department is an outside job be careful that you
are not looking for the “Geek Squad” guy or girl to come cruising in
with a pocket protectors, radiation burns from their computer screens
and a plethora of Internet Marketing and technology buzz words they
throw around……this is not a sound criteria in which to decide to offer
them the Internet Department Manager position either. This type will do
well with your technical and operational end of things but typically
fail miserably when it comes to people skills necessary for sales.
The most successful Internet Departments I ever worked with had 2
captains at the helm. They did not necessarily share “captain” title
either. The Internet Manager was the driver of the department- the people driver and his or her “assistant” was the technical guru.
A good Internet Manager will see to it that his or her department is
structured that way. A good Internet Manager (or any manager for that
matter) knows exactly his or her weaknesses and hires and develops
people around themselves accordingly.
I recommend when interviewing, that first and foremost on your
interview question sheet is how the candidate plans on creating a fine
oiled machine. This will help you to determine with all that is needed
to be done well in your Internet Department if this person has the
leadership qualities necessary to identify deficiencies and find or
develop their people to support them..