With 2019 upon us, many dealerships around the country are making adjustments. These dealerships are making changes in their systems, providers, vendors and staff. One of the major changes many dealerships are making or have made recently is their sales staff.
Automotive sales, as we all know, is an industry that on average has a high turnover rate with sales staff. Is this high turnover rate in automotive sales a coincidence? I think not.
Here are three key ways to analyze your current new automotive sales hires as well as a look at past hires and analyze where they failed or succeeded in their sales career.
Many salespeople, in fact over half, surrender within the first 90 days of selling vehicles. There are many factors that make this disturbing fact a reality. Most salespeople surrender or “quit” within the first 90 days because of lack of guidance and training. When your staff doesn’t know what to do, when to do it or how to do it effectively, they often fail. When salespeople continually fail, their confidence is low, the pressure from management is intimidating and objections and rejection from customers is gut-wrenching.
So what’s the solution to keeping the salesperson who you’re not wanting to surrender?
Hire right the first time, hire on personality and potential. Next, delegate daily tasks and explain the reasoning for and importance of those tasks. Train your staff how to do their job, why what you train is important and what they need to do to reach their objectives. Last, “inspect what you expect.” You must have oversight and accountability.
Salespeople surrendering is always going to happen — sometimes it’s the employer’s fault and sometimes it’s the employee’s fault. It hurts the most when a talented salesperson enters a viable position for both parties and squanders this opportunity.
When you as a leader are allowing sales talent to squander their skills, you are only adding to the problem. It’s a great leader’s job to keep all of their talent focused and producing the best way they know how. There is nothing worse than wasted talent and if you are squandering or letting your talent squander, you are wasting valuable resources.
Every car dealership in America always says, “Noel, where can I find salespeople like you?” I always enjoy this compliment. The reality is, these dealerships already have those salespeople who are ready to soar. Yes, yes, they probably have their top one or two salespeople who are productive month in and month out. The big question is, how many do they have that can do this consistently?
Dealerships are filled with raw talent. Finding and cultivating this talent is the job of leadership. When you have salespeople who act fast, listen well and are truly passionate about their job, customers and company pride, you need to put in the effort and help them succeed. Oftentimes desire will out-perform talent, so when you have a salesperson with little talent, yet a whole lot of desire, utilize your leadership skills to cultivate their talent.
So, with the new year upon us and hiring new sales staff is on our initial adjustments to 2019, remember three things — whether it’s with your recent sales hires or when you hire new salespeople — are you going to make them surrender, let them squander or help them soar in 2019?
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