Fortunately, I can lay claim to being both an old school "Car Guy" and someone who embraces new world technology as applied to the car business. As the next generation of "Car Guys/Gals" join the industry the clash between their seasoned managers and hardened sales pros on the floor has drawn lines that limit the success of both sides of the discussion.
Sales processes built on old world closing techniques and negotiating skills dependent on experienced sales people seem to be at odds with next generation technology driven sales processes using iPads that deliver consistent sales presentation on the showroom floor, online shopping and appraisal tools that empower the customer to better understand their transportation options and transparent desking procedures that involve the customer in all phases of their purchase. I liken the argument between old school sales people and young people joining the car business to discussions with my previous generation who recanted stories about how they had to walk through 3 feet of snow to get to school and demands to cut my hair and mind my elders were part of the wisdoms they wanted to pass on to my generation to establish the work ethic required to be a success.
This post is to propose that there is no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater as far as valuing people skills and work ethic when selling a vehicle. However, efficiencies and consistencies provided by today's technology driven sales tools coupled with the new social skills required to relate to our present Facebook and Twitter driven society demand that old school car guys/gals accept the change in the way that business is being conducted or risk losing the connection with your customers that was the true source of your sales skills.
Embrace the need to preserve your relationship with your customers and recognize that successful sales processes are designed to assure your customers that your role is to help them make a decision - not to sell them something. Next generation sales people must also accept that people like to do business with people that they like and lessons learned from seasoned professionals are just as relevant today as they were yesterday.
The car business is driven by change, powered by human nature and directed by technology that considers both. Build on what was to establish what is if you aspire to survive what will be!