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I listened and engaged in many conversations and there was a common theme through out them in regards to finding good "digital people". It's intriguing to me because I think it is interesting that we are still trying to figure it out. Is it possible that we still think there's a difference between "traditional" and "digital" customers or salespeople. Here's the hard truth, you can hire and train what you think is the very best "digital" team around. Give them whatever title you want. Internet Sales Consultant, Acquisition Specialist, Sales Consultant, Internet Manager, Business Development Coordinator etc. It doesn't matter because none of them mean the same thing at every store so even if you hire top talent you still have to implement new processes and enforce accountability.
You can have all the desire in the world to succeed and progress but if you train them and then throw them back into a department that hasn't found a balance between the two worlds they will never be truly successful. We have to change the mindsets of managers and leaders. Dealers can't keep picking the person In the store who knows how to use a computer and slapping an Internet manager title on them. Or hiring talented people only to lose them when they become frustrated with the desk or burn out. Even worse is if they just become complacent, throw their hands In the air, quit following up and stop believing in the opportunities. It's a culture change in a store to be progressive but recruiting and keeping top talent requires it.
Next buzzword on everyone's lips - millennials. I'm a big supporter of molding the next generation. That being said, just because someone is young does not mean they are more qualified than your older staff. Its so frustrating to hear people say that. "Well, it's hard for us because we have an older staff". No kidding? Well just throw in the towel then. Close up shop because with that approach and positive outlook you will be in the next few years anyways.
Here's the deal, Garber Buick has a tenured staff, an Internet manager and a successful sales floor. Garber is a history rich Buick store within a company that has passed through generations of real car guys in the heart of the General Motors state. Some of their best "digital guys" are old dogs. It comes down from the top and the managers are bought in. Its not a secret. You have to transform your team. It's unacceptable to teach someone to follow one process for one set of customers and an entirely different one for another.
Don't train them to respond quickly and with accurate information and then make them wait for thirty minutes to get numbers and say things like "Just Get Them In". Stop telling them to prospect the household and focus on the trade and then look at them like they are crazy when they want a sight unseen appraisal. We tell them to communicate differently but then can't figure out why the can't follow the traditional steps to the sale when they are working a deal. Maybe it's time to create a new set of steps. The model is broken.
The crazy thing is everyone needs to go back and reevaluate the managers on their teams. Figure out who is willing to move forward and embrace a new process in their departments and more importantly the ones who want too. I think that too many dealers step over dollars to pick up cents by not investing in keeping their teams current and well trained. Everyone's allowed to answer the phone? Have you listened to an phone call lately?Most will make you cringe. Train them. Decide today to have an expectations meeting with your teams. Support them in their crazy notions. Go crazy, let them drive a vehicle to a customers work and bring back the trade. Just jokes but seriously, Its time to get on board and be willing to change the culture if your truly going to succeed. Like I said before. #themodelisbroken