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Part of our marketing is to monitor help wanted ads for sales people.  I've seen some that should be very effective, but far too many are less than acceptable.  The only way to describe them is pure laziness.  The only other possibility is that the dealer is still running the sales department on "The Warm Body Theory."  That's where dealers who are stuck in the 1980's still believe that if they keep hiring warm bodies, eventually they'll end up with some "natural" sales talent.


Unfortunately, too many dealers leave the hiring to chance or to a manager who really doesn't care about who applies.  You can see their attitude in the ads they post.  My favorite is "THE BLIND AD."  This is where dealers or their managers are less than confident about where they work.  They don't want applicants to see who is hiring until they show up for the interview.  That's too bad.  They demand the applicant sell themselves on why the dealer should hire them and yet it seems the dealer is too embarrassed to do the same.  Basic selling is to first sell yourself and then sell the dealership.  If the dealer isn't willing to sell their place of business, why would they expect their sales team to try and do it?

For example - This is a dealership in MD. 

If you are tired of dead end jobs that does not pay you what you are worth, THEN YOU NEED TO CALL ME! I offer weekly pay plus commission. We are a growing dealership looking to add a few sales consultants for our growing business.

Would you run a similar ad to attract customers.  Something like this:

If you're tired of bad dealers that charge too much, stop by and do business here.  We are a good dealer and you can just take our word for it.

If you want talent, advertise to attract talent.  Be specific
in what you want and brag about what you offer.  List the type of people who do well for you.  (Veterans, Recent Grads, Time Share Sales, etc.)  Advertise what you are looking for.  Then tell them what they can expect from you.  Don't paint a rosy picture of pie in the sky earnings if no one on your floor is earning that amount.  It only takes about a week to see through that and then you're back where you started.

Be very clear as to WHY they should work for you as opposed to one of the other dealers in the area.  If you can share what makes you so special, you can then demand that your applicants be special as well.  Your ads should be written the same way you write ads to sell cars.  You are selling an opportunity!!!  You tell your customers that buying from you is a special experience, why not make that true for people you want to hire.

Here is another example:

We have more customers than consultants.
We are looking for people who want a career where there is no ceiling to what you can earn.
We offer starting bonuses for experienced consultants, and full training for those with no experience.
WE WANT YOU!! Please come in for an immediate interview and let us show you how you can start a new and profitable career.
We offer an Ultra Competitive pay plan with, daily, weekly and monthly Bonuses, Med Cvg, 401k, Caf plan, Paid Vacation.

Apply in person Monday thru Friday 11am to 4 pm Dressed in Business attire, or email resume.

This is a bit better.  Although they did nothing to tell me why I should work there.  They did nothing to sell me on why they are the best place to work.  It's a Colorado dealer who did include their name and I left it off for this article..  But, if I was looking for a job and interviewed with you on Monday, I'm not waiting till Friday for you to decide.  Limit your interview time to just two days.  Doing so tells qualified applicants that you are serious and will be making a quick decision. 

When we run campaigns our ads do three very specific things.  First, we sell the career of auto sales.  Second, we sell our client dealer as the best place to work.  Third, we are very specific about the type of people we are looking for.  In addition, we make decisions with our client dealer right on the spot.  If we recognize talent, we get one of the managers to confirm that this is a person who they want to work with.  Then, we offer them the position right there.  Why take a chance on them going and getting another job?  But the real benefit to hiring on the spot, you find out how serious they are as well.  Once you ask them for a commitment, you find out who is really serious about the job and who is looking so they can get one more unemployment check.

Last point.  Plan your hiring based on what you need for the dealership.  Just because someone leaves that doesn't mean you need to get an ad up to replace them.  By the same token, if you need to sell 100 cars and only have 5 sales people, you can't worry about their feeling about flooding the floor.  You need to hire enough people to satisfy your investment and not worry about how a few average producers feel.


John Fuhrman is the Senior National Sales Trainer for The Dealer Resource Group.  He has published 10 books and written countless articles in 33 years in the auto industry.  His team of trainers are ready to help dealers bring in the best people and train them for success.  Email for details on how they can help you attract committed sales people with no bad habits.  (c) 2012 The Dealer Resource Group and John Fuhrman.  Permission to reprint this article in its entirety including the attached contact information is hereby granted.


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Tags: 20, Dealer, Fuhrman, Group, John, Resource, The, auto, car, dealers, More…groups, hiring, new, recruiting, sales, training


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Comment by Todd Vowell on August 24, 2012 at 10:09am

John, that's some good stuff right there...

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