Sales is an occupation that, in general, has a higher turnover than most other occupations. This is largely due to the tough learning curve and competitive nature of selling. Not surprisingly, the industry with one of the fastest turnarounds is automotive sales.
With the job market lean on available talent, now is as good of a time as ever to secure the right candidates. This is easier said than done as finding capable employees takes so much of your time and resources. Knowing this, here are three steps to secure the right hires and, more importantly, create a culture of longevity and success with your newly hired sales staff.
1. Hire for Personality, Not Skills
Dealerships are excited when they hire in a seasoned salesperson. Oftentimes, they are so excited they just assume the salesperson’s success elsewhere will carry over to their dealership. The problem is, the hiring manager didn’t think about how their personality would mesh with the store culture. When this happens, you get a culture shock in which other staff members are upset and the seasoned salesperson does not put up results and, in most cases, doesn’t last long at the dealership.
When you are hiring for personality, whether the new hire is experienced or completely new, you are hiring for the personality that will fit in your store’s culture. I once talked to a GM when I was doing training and he said, “You can’t teach drive or ambition.” This is completely true, so if you want driven, ambitious sales people, hire salespeople with those personality traits.
2. Be Clear on What You’re Looking to Hire
With the job market as thin as ever for qualified candidates, many dealers are hiring whomever they can to fill sales slots. While this is a temporary fix, it is not a staffing solution.
Your leadership and management teams should be clear about what you’re looking to hire, whether it be someone new or someone being promoted from within the dealership. Every dealership should focus on hiring for the long haul, and not a temporary solution to their sales staff needs.
3. Explain, Train and Maintain
• Explain what the tasks and roles are with
each new hire and how they can complete them effectively. Show new employees how to reach the objectives that are expected of them through your dealership’s process. Demonstrate the value of utilizing the desk, CRM, DMS, inventory and support staff. Empowered employees who are aware of their roles and tasks are confident employees, and confident employees are productive salespeople.
• Train your new hires on the skills they need to succeed. Training your staff how to prospect — service leads, the CRM, orphan customers, the BDC and every other prospecting opportunity in your dealership — will give them the opportunities as well as the hands-on learning to grow in their skill level. Keep the saw sharpened with your new hires and don’t allow them to get rusty and inherit bad habits. Overcome this by training in your meetings, in-house training, online training platforms, manager sales training team and individual training sessions — all ways to keep your team confident and current.
• Maintain the right staff by: hiring for personality, not skills; being clear on what you were looking to hire; explaining the tasks and roles to new hires; and training your staff how to prospect and continually learning.
Through doing these initial steps, you will maintain more of the right new hire salespeople who will grow their careers while growing your customer base and dealership. Be clear on what kind of personality you’re looking to hire and hire accordingly.
Click here to view more solutions from Noel Walsh and NW&A Sales Training.