You’re 10, 11, 12 years old and you’re at a family get together. Aunt Mary walks over to you pinches your cheek and remarks on how big you’ve gotten, how’s school etc. and then asks the question “So [insert your name here] what do you want to be when you grow up?” Show of hands now and be honest, how many of you answered “Aunt Mary I want to be a Car Salesperson!”
My father was in the car business my entire life and owned a small Plymouth store in the late 60’s and 70’s and selling cars was the very last career choice on my mind. I wanted to be the lead singer in a rock band, closer for the Cleveland Indians, or a teacher. Car salesman….no I don’t think so, thanks anyway Dad, 38 years later and well, here I am in our wonderful business and honored to be in it.
My point here is that selling cars is very few peoples first career choice, usually it’s “If I can’t find anything else, I guess I could always give selling cars a try”
What needs to change within our industry to make this a more appealing choice ?
This picture shows the crazy amount of opportunity!
Craig, you are making a very important point! I have argued for years about this very issue! You and I are old school!
Today straight comission is tough for new people to swallow. Also, declining mark up in new cars makes the old 25%
of the gross an anemic offering as well. The third issue is schedulle. Where in the past we worked bell to bell and beyond,
Today time off is viewed as valuable as the money we earn. Today a dealer would have to have a third more staff, a leaner schedule, realize those that are driven to succede will. Those that are happy makeing 35 or 40 grand will remain at that
level no matter how many hours you work them! What people resist the most is CHANGE. Whats needed to attract a
new generation of salespeople to move a store forward is a fundemental change.
My name Is Gene Diehm....and I aprove this message.
Well Gene,I'm just old but we did both go to the same old school selling school for sure!
Can't disagree with any of your points,to attract top talent we can't have our local McDonalds have a better comp plan than the dealership.
I believe the number of hours and what happens during those hours worked at a store could be the number 1 issue.
Here is an old,very interesting study that could be even more relevant today than ever.
SOMETHING THAT HASN’T CHANGED IN 50 YEARS
Everything changes constantly and rapidly except one thing – what people want. This survey came out in 1946 in Foreman Facts, from the Labor Relations Institute of NY and was produced again by Lawrence Lindahl in Personnel magazine, in 1949.
Here is what employees say they want, starting with what’s most important to them:
1. Full appreciation for work done
2. Feeling “in” on things
3. Sympathetic help on personal problems
4. Job security
5. Good wages
6. Interesting work
7. Promotion/growth opportunities
8. Personal loyalty to workers
9. Good working conditions
10. Tactful discipline
Now take a look at what managers THINK employees want, starting with what they think is most important:
1. Good wages
2. Job security
3. Promotion/growth opportunities
4. Good working conditions
5. Interesting work
6. Personal loyalty to workers
7. Tactful discipline
8. Full appreciation for work done
9. Sympathetic help with personal problems
10. Feeling “in” on things
EXCELLENT points from both of you!!!
I don't think we need to do anything specifically to change.. As an industry the products are getting better. Add that to the fact that the dealerships are being more sensitive to people's family life. They are "easier" to do business with in todays market. And think about the opportunities to make a lot of money without any specific "formal" education. The housing and mortgage industry has lost a lot of luster. We just need to keep doing more things right and people will become increasingl aware of the opportunity that this industry offers..
Most people really only have bad imagines or ideas of who or what a car salesperson is, thanks to movies, TV shows or bad experiences buying cars. We are right up there, or down there with ambulance chasing attorneys. Stereotypes have been in this industry since the days your father was in business and it has not changed, for better or for worst. You find bright spots in the industry and those dealers are doing it, "the right way" but the sleazy ones are still out there and still doing it "the wrong way". I guess the worst part is the ones doing it the wrong way either don't realize the potential for correcting themselves or simply take the path of least resistance and continue business as usual.
Very simply put, DO THE RIGHT THING! If you always do right you can never do wrong. You can not control the reputation of the entire auto industry nor can you control the actions of other salespeople. But what you can do is make sure that everything you do is honest, ethical and genuine. It all starts with YOU!
that is very true.
Coming from someone on the other end of the industry, and understanding the pitfalls of the industry for a salesperson, and not being completely diversed in what the compensation is, a few ideas that I think would attract potential salespeople might be, A car allowance, of the make of the car they are selling, therefore they are driving the car that they sell. SO that is a win for the dealership as well. If they are going to work bell to bell maybe offering a rotating 4 day a week work week? Due to the competitive nature of the salesperson, have a national consordium of the top 100 or so salespeople nationwide to attend a sales/vcacation at a different location each year. Maybe these things would help attract a higer level of salesperson looking for a career not just a job.
good stuff Jodi,driving through a customer parking area at a Chevy store and it's loaded with Nissan's etc isn't a good thing
Attitude, Leadership and Synergy are the 3 obstacles in the way of our industry's Reputation.
Attitude, Leadership and Synergy are the 3 opportunities awaiting bettering our industry's Reputation.
The negative attitudes of consumers comes from negative attitudes from their experiences. Our retention of employees and customers are at the lowest by any measurement. The few positive attitudes of consumers are considered an anomaly.
The negative leadership perceived by consumers comes from poor communication, process and relationship coordination with and between consumers. The few positive leadership experiences come from a few positive leadership excellence trained, coached and expected.
The negative synergy experiences represents the number 1 contributor to negative attitudes and negative leadership. Most dealerships still don't address this obstacle to retaining either employees or customers. The few positive synergy experiences represent more transparent and validating dealerships whose reputation is well known in their community.
There isn't an obstacle that cannot be converted into an opportunity, yet these 3 obstacles have been a thorn in the side of our retail industry for decades. Fix this and the reputation converts to something people want to work within, stay within, recommend and refer. Make sense?
Specialized training programs particularly geared toward students of higher education and skill specific education is a good way to attract top talent. But, the reputation of the industry is changing over time as dealers become more aware of how they are perceived by the public. I think it's just a process that's taking time.