It takes work and your best results, whenever possible, is to prospect for the best producers outside the dealership and find them yourself. Cell phone sales people in the malls, shoe, suit, furniture, electronics such as computers & TV's, home appliances, insurance, real estate, marketing reps such as B2B, Mary Kay/Avon, and telemarketing sales people who sell memberships, credit cards, time shares, etc. are among some of the better choices. The products they sell require the sales person to work with different types of people, learn a variety of product features & benefits, sell value, and close.
Other people who normally make good sales people are teachers, HR Directors, food servers, military vets, and if you like college graduates, alumni graduates have proven to be a good choice. If you are an outside-the-box thinker, consider hiring your customers (especially retired people -good for prospecting AARP members, business managers, teachers, corporate manages, HR directors, etc) as independent sales contractors and train them on product just like your full time sales people. It's easier than you think and in this economy people need the money, and within a few months, you can have 100+ outside sales people networking for your dealership. The long therm goal is to assist them in selling at least one car per month- normally within six months. If, within just three months, you have 100 people who only sell a car every other month, that's about 50 extra sales a month.
Consider each manager spending about an hour a week outside the dealership recruiting and start building an highly effective sales team. (“Build it, and it WILL come”)
Work to hire sales people with specific niche' backgrounds
Why? Because they can quickly develop business outside the dealership and become 20-40+ Car-A-Month producer within around 6 months.
A couple quick examples: I wanted to double my truck business while reducing my advertising budget, so.....
Our team profiled our #1 truck buyer and it was the construction industry. We were able to find several people who had been in the construction business for over 15 years, and they fit our sales profile. They drove and knew trucks, knew how to equip them for the construction worker, and could walk the walk and talk the talk to other construction workers. Instant rapport & a goldmine market for all parties. We accomplished our goal within 12 months. (over 1,000,000 construction workers in this example marketplace- 1,000,000 construction workers = 2,000,000 cars when considering their wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, children, grandparents, etc) Their niche'.
In another example, we found a school teacher of over 10 years who fit our sales profile. She knew all the important people in education and principals in the local school districts. The school district had 22,000 teachers(approx 44,000 cars same formula as above) with over 500,000 students. (Do parents help high school and college grads buy their first car? FYI- graduation is NEXT MONTH) Working just this market resulted in this sales person averaging 40+ sales a month, EVERY month. Not an overnight process but took less than 6 months to put together an effective sales plan with the school districts and graduating students. Her niche'.
Another success story- we hired a telemarketer who had been selling credit card subscriptions and time shares and was a dynamo on the phone. He started the day at 9:00am and dialed 300+ numbers a day, set several appointments a day from the calls, enjoyed it, and sold 1 to 2 cars a day. He couldn't do B2B to save his life; but, this was his strength, his niche'.
We hired a military vet who worked in a large military town. Can you guess his niche'? Took a little time but he was able to parlay his military contacts at the base into an average of around 30-40 Cars-A-Month. Geo-targeted niche'.
What about the medical industry- Doctors, Nurses, Hospitals? Hired a pharmaceutical sales rep that wanted a change so we assigned him the medical community. The Doctors, Hospital Employees, and the Nursing Groups totaled over 500,000 people (1,000,000 cars) in his market. It's mathematically impossible not to sell 30,40, 50+ Cars-A-Month to this niche' if worked proactively. Also hired an attorney who preferred selling cars. He worked a leasing plan which gained access to over 20,000 attorneys (40,000 cars). Do the math. His niche'.
How about this one- a young man who grew up on a farm, knew farmers, cows, and horses. He started washing cars at the dealership in a small town that if you blinked 3 or 4 times driving through the town via the interstate, you would miss it. He later starting selling Trucks to the farmers, ranchers, and horse breeders he had know all his life; but, he knew how to reach 1000's in this niche' (ie just 1 of his associations had several hundred thousand members and they all buy trucks). Bottom line, a lot of hard work over about a year and he started selling over 20 Trucks-A-Month in a very small town. He now averages 50+ trucks month, just trucks, and loves his job. His niche'.
We decided we wanted to increase our Hispanic business. We made a commitment to hire more Hispanic sales people to strictly develop this market. As of the latest census report, there are approximately 55,000,000 registered Hispanics in the U.S. We developed specific geo-targeted business plans and within a year, we increased our Hispanic business to 30% of our total dealership sales. Cultural Geo-targeted niche'
What about the women's market- now one of largest demographics and powerhouse markets in the U.S. Women sales people with a good geo-targeted business plan have a goldmine in every market in the U.S. Geo-targeted niche'
Don't discount our seniors! We wanted to develop the “baby boomer” market. We hired a 70 year old gentleman who had owned his own business for over 30 years, was retired, knew how to network the “right” senior market, was tired of sitting at home, and had 3 times the energy of the younger sales people. Well, in about 6 to 9 months, he was averaging 18-21 Cars-A-Month. Okay, not 40 a month but he was 70 years old when he started and stayed with the dealership for nearly 10 years. He passed away recently with cancer but taught me a very valuable lesson about the senior market. Geo-targeted niche'.
These are just a few of hundreds of real examples. We developed a written business plan for each sales person and focused on their strength, knowledge, their previous jobs and contacts, vs their weakness, utilized the 3 to 5 hours of “non productive down time” during the day and turned that time into “productive” time. Most of these sales people were averaging 20-40+ Cars-A-Month within 6 to 12 months. Just 10 sales people with individualized niche' talents, business plans blessed by management and permitted to execute the plan, can increase your sales at least 100 vehicles a month. This is not an overnight process, takes time to find the right people to develop; therefore you have to believe in creating retention, personnel development,, and long term growth.
What we all do is simple math. Simply touch enough people and we all sell more product. And, with the right people and plan, there are PLENTY of people to touch, every day, in every market.
Next Blog, Strategies to Double Your Sales Within 6 to 12 Months , Part 4 “Top Procedures of Top Producers to Maintain Sustainable Results”