Take the Time to Develop Your Salespeople

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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