Has your car salesmen and car saleswomen been infected by this terrible disease? Are they sluggish and quick to qualify and broom their customers? Do they complain about taking Ups unless they believe they have a sure sale? Have they lost their enthusiasm? Do they complain about the lack of showroom traffic? Do they shortcut the sales process? They might have the dreaded Car Sales Staff Disease (CSSD). This disease is also very contagious and can be passed from staff members to newbies quite easily. The longer they have been in the car business the more susceptible they may be and especially if they have been selling cars since before 2008.
Reasons for the Car Sales Staff Disease
The car business has seen a huge amount of changes and events that we never thought would come to pass in these past few or more. From the credit crunch to GM filing for bankruptcy and Ford coming close to doing the same, the Big Three automakers closing and pulling franchises all over the country not to mention the lack of inventory at the Japanese dealers because of a tsunami and recalls for Toyota. Then lets not forget about the economy and the roller coaster ride we have seen in the Used Car Market. Wait there is still more like the increased impact of the Internet including Facebook, car dealer online reviews and social marketing. Buying more ad space in the local newspapers is not a guarantee that you will sell more cars anymore. This is more than enough to cause the Car Sales Staff Disease (CSSD) and it is not just affecting your salesmen it is also infecting your sales managers, general sales managers and the dealer principal.
Symptoms of the Car Sales Staff Disease
The Car Sales Staff Disease has an effect on everyone that works at the dealership. From porters to the GSM, GM and the dealer principal feel the pain when a dealership is not selling up to their potential. When the car salespeople aren’t closing enough sales the F&I department has less opportunity to sell services & products and the porters have less cars to prep for delivery. Pretty soon good sales people are leaving in search of greener pastures because of smaller commissions which can compound the problem and in turn create smaller profits which negatively affects the sales managers, the GM and ultimately the dealership owner. Everyone loses when this disease infects a sales staff.
Possible Cures for Car Sales Staff Disease
There is not any sure cure for the Car Sales Staff Disease. Each dealerships needs to be treated on a case-by-case basis starting with the GM and/or the Dealer Principal, because it needs to come from the top down.
Steps to Rid Your Dealership of Car Sales Staff Disease:
- Upgrade, Overhaul or create a Professional Sales BDC Department.
- Upgrade, Overhaul or create an Internet Sales Department.
- Budget and Invest in Internet Marketing, Advertising and Leads
- Embrace Social Marketing: i.e.; Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Google Places and the many other places on the Internet that will bring your more business.
- Encourage happy customers to submit reviews at Google Places, Yahoo Local, Dealer Rater, Facebook and Yelp to name a few.
- Make videos of happy customers talking freely about dealership and post them on You Tube and your website.
- Tell and show your sales staff what you are doing to help them sell more cars.
- Reevaluate and examine pay plans and adjust accordingly.
- Retrain your staff to work with today’s car buyer.
- Refresh and Reevaluate your sales process.
- Consider more spiffs and performance bonuses for your sales staff.
- Update Your Birddog Program accordingly if needed.
- Update Your Pay for a “Mini”.
These steps should take care of most cases of the dreaded Car Sales Staff Disease (CSSD) help you get back on track, but there could be a holdout or two and then eradication is the only alternative. There is no room for a negative attitude in the showroom today and such a presence could cause a relapse.
Car Sales Staff Disease Summary
Selling cars for a living is much more than a quick walk around and checking credit. It starts with a positive attitude and a commitment of everyone that works at the dealership. The car business is not going away at the dealerships that are around today need to change with the times, we have done it before and we will do it again. The above changes are exactly what are needed to make selling cars for a living fun again and fill our pockets, which is why we are here in the first place. We shall overcome.
Later, Fresh Up on the Lot