I am merely put this out there as " Food for Thought. As I talk to dealers a lot of them seem to feel that their management and sales staff are so involved with their texting and twitter and FaceBook that they are losing the art of talking to people face to face. This is a real problem with the younger generation and there is plenty of data to prove it. It is so strange that when I am able to speak to a live person under the age of 35, it seems like they are trying to communicate in 140 characters or less. What do some of you think out there? I strongly believe in Social media but I do worry that dealers are putting too much emphasis on it and hiring too many people that have no people skills to deal with the generation of customers that is still a vast majority of buyers out there. I have found that a lot of the younger closers/ managers out there are not able to close the customer because they are in another world. The young gun that can text like wild fire and bang out 100's of emails, can't form any sensible sentences when it comes to trying to close deals. One manager recently wanted to me write him a book of my closes and how I know when to do a T.O. The more I thought about his request the more I realized that my theory may be right. So what do some of you think? I know that the younger people will disagree and the people my age and maybe a little younger will probably have to give it some thought.
So before you start writing all kinds of slurs and slams, just give it some thought and do some research, there is data out there to support my thoughts and even larger corporations are seeing this a a huge future issue.
Agreed! As a member of the "younger than 35" crowd I feel the same way. I believe technology, when used CORRECTLY, is a powerful (and required!) part of the dealership...but it's not being utilized in that way. As you said, when these people try to hold a conversation it can get a little fuzzy ;) Nicely put, it's time to un-plug and put a little more effort on the face2face aspect of the business. At minimum a salesperson should have great (not just good) phone skills. Bottom line, you can't build a relationship with a customer over internet and e-mail alone. It's still about that personal experience! Ultimately the customer does have to come to the dealership to look, touch and "mentally own" the car they're inquiring about, so if you are not as impressive in person as you are online, the customer will eventually know.
Jessica, you are wise beyond your years, you will go far and do great things in this business. That is exactly the response I was looking for from someone. You give us all hope that there is a future.LOL. I agree that technology is a big part of the automotive sales business, but you still have to have that human touch when dealing with people.
Too many dealers have people playing email tag with customers or doing a 140 character tweet with a customer, and too scared to pick up the phone and call the customer. But even then if the internet sales person does call, if they have no phone or people skills they undo all the work they had put into the customer. I love technology and I love to learn from the younger generation because they do have a much better understanding of it than us 50 over crowd for the most part. Again I sincerely appauld you for having such a keen insight into the business.
I am sure the world will hear more from you in the future.
Thee Process Doctor
The title of your subject alone grabs my attention, and an excellent subject it is!
I will give you my "2 sense" of experience, opinion, and without the statistics or data to back it up.
For myself, having been a young man who started selling cars at the age of 21 years young, I believe there's a maturity level that comes with age, but maturity and ability is never limited based on age. Age is never a factor, rather a youthful mind and a willingness to learn. Maturity is to embrace and appreciate humility of the lesson. I believe this social media issue you are speaking of is more of a business culture, a lack of process and leadership that is ultimately designed and staged to keep the staff engaged, thus leaves people on an island to misuse their time by socializing via social platforms, rather than keeping each player tuned into their prospective rolls throughout the days!~
I don't believe that social media limits one's ability to communicate; actually, I find for myself, it has enhanced and increased my abilities to communicate. I use twitter often, actually more often than not, I post right here on dealerELITE those 140 characters, this forces me to come up with my best words while utilizing minimal characters. My point is a twist of personal observation based on my personal experience. I utilize social media greatly, and believe it is an enhancement and addition to the practice of skill set.
Now, the real issue I believe it comes down to, is the state of mind, the mental preparedness for the very next client. I'm a firm believer in streamlining process, to keep everyone's mind in the game of whatever position it is they are held responsible for. Not only will social media take from one's mindset of performance if this is not their task at hand on the job, but the same holds true for giving an individual too much variety and not enough simplicity in their daily work tasks.
I view social media as opportunity, not only to increase business on some level and another, but to improve communication skills. Now, to combine the use of social media with in house roll play, continual coaching, I believe is a winner for all.
I believe it's really about simplifying the means and ways to communicate with people. The more diverse and available an individual can be by utilizing different social mediums, as well as other marketing and advertising platforms, is a WINNER. I believe it's in embracing the avenues of communication, this is being technically sound and available to clients based on their comfort level of communicating. Some clients prefer to text, other message via social platforms, while others prefer the good old fashioned phone, but always ends with a face to face conversation and a handshake.
I love your topic, and appreciate you bringing your views to the forefront.
EXCELLENT WORK MY FRIEND!~
Bobby that definitely not a 140 Character response:) Just kidding my friend. Bobby I like your thought process and response on this. It is so refreshing to get honest feedback and having an honest debate about a subject that there are so many different opinions on. All of the points you made a very valid and true. I would like to go back to Jessica's response that in the end we do have to meet the customer face to face. It is clear that the two of you understand what needs to be done, but sadly there are so many dealers out there that just do not understand and that is why their internet dept and social media is not working for them the way it should. Now I am more of a face to face person myself and what I am finding is that too many sales managers and sales people and upper management seem to be losing the art of conversation with a face to face customer.
But again, great response, very intelligent and I am sure that you will continue to be super succcess in whatever you do in life, the car business or anything else you choose to do.
Bravo to you
Now you've gone and given me a great idea, maybe I should start creating entire paragraphs based on 140 characters. LOL
I believe it is social platforms like dE that affords us all the opportunity to collaborate and - BECOME BETTER. I learn so much here, this is the sharpening process of skill set for myself, as well as can be for the rest in the industry.
Keep it coming my friend, I like your style!~
I am sure that if anyone can do it, you are the person. Hey maybe you can start a whole new industry of consultants on short yet effective communication. Now me being from the south and I love to talk, I know nothing about short conversations.LOL
Keep up the good work
Tom you are correct, good training is how to solve this problem. Now the real problem is getting dealers to let consultants train their people. Listen I am a avid diehard believer in the "Road to Sale" but we have to teach these younger generation of sales people how to sale, how to commiunicate. They do not understand that not every one lives in Video game or twitter mode 24/7. I don't know, maybe I am too old school, but I see it time and time again, when people are brought into the car business because they have computer skills or social media knowledge and dealers just throw them out there to sink or swim. I believe that most people are coachable and want to be coached, but sometimes are too afraid to ask and dealers do not want to spend the money to help their employee reach the next level.
Thank you Tom for your thoughts and wisdom. You are absolutely right, OEMS can not train the dealers sales staff and their managers eithers. However to defend the managers if they are in a busy dealership they do not have time to properly train, even if they knew how. But to also defend dealers, a lot of dealers have been burned by so called consultants and or trainers to the point that those of us that are sincere and only want to see the dealer succeed, we have a harder time now convincing dealers that we can and will help them reach the next level.