Take the Time to Develop Your Salespeople

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By Joe Verde

Yes, I know that work­ing with some of your sales­peo­ple is just an absolutely painful expe­ri­ence. Some resist every­thing you try to teach them.

Hav­ing said that – the group of peo­ple you have out there in sales is all you have stand­ing between keep­ing the doors open and being prof­itable, and hav­ing a chain link fence around the place with a ‘for sale’ sign on it.

Think about this – if only 3% of all the peo­ple are self-motivated, self-starters, what % are not self-motivated?     97%

Have you ever taken one of those 97%’ers who wasn’t pro­duc­ing (who every other man­ager wanted to fire on the spot) under your wing? Most of you have. You said, “Give me that guy and I’ll make him or break him.”

Then after you took that 97%’er under your wing and started work­ing them ‘hands-on’ every day, what hap­pened? They got bet­ter, and bet­ter. And now some of them have become great sales­peo­ple, man­agers and even deal­ers. All of that hap­pened because they finally got the extra atten­tion they needed to improve.

Why You Should Care

Every dealer is paid based on net profit and every manager’s pay is directly tied to pro­duc­tion in some form (units / gross). That means you’re depen­dent on those unmo­ti­vated and untrained sales­peo­ple for your paycheck.

As I see it, you only have 2 choices:

  1. Take every one of them under your wing, and just like you did with that sales­per­son every­body wanted to fire, make it your mis­sion to make each one pro­duc­tive and growing.
  2. Do noth­ing.
    • If you choose this option, you can expect a ton of frus­tra­tion every day as you watch deals that could have hit the board end up down the street.
    • You can expect con­stant com­plaints from your low achiev­ers about your deal­er­ship not adver­tis­ing enough to put more peo­ple on the lot (to make up for their poor skills).
    • You can expect that your gross on every unit will be low, and that your CSI will always be a challenge.
    • Most impor­tant, based on your his­tory of who you hire, and how you train – when you replace each of those 97%’ers, you’re almost guar­an­teed to end up with another one just like the one you fired.

So what’s the solution?

You can’t hire your way out of this prob­lem – but you can train and man­age your way through it.

Joe Verde, pres­i­dent of Joe Verde Sales & Man­age­ment Train­ing, can be reached at jverde@automotivedeal­er­snet­work.com. Read the full arti­cle here.

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