Project Atlantis. The return of the Auto Dealership to Customer Service Retail.

Imagine your store without salespeople. Well Kind of. This is the direction I feel like Car Dealerships are heading and honestly I believe it’s the best thing that could happen to an industry that has been decimated with negative press and the barbaric sales tactics that drove that press. In the information age it’s not necessary to go to those dealers anymore. Reviews tell you who they are. The internet provides you the information and pricing you need to make informed decisions without the need of the headache of visiting them. Email and internet departments provide you with the negotiating.  In this day and age where you spend so much money on tools to upgrade your business that are all managed online and that are information driven why would you assume that there was no need to replace your sales force? I mean we switch CRM’s, lead providers, Banks, DMS systems, Inventory Mgmt. Systems etc. Why keep the Commodore 64 on your showroom floor that is the only line of defense between you and the sale? If in today’s age 80% of the work is already done online why would you need to pay for 1/5th of the job sales people use to do? We find them difficult to change and even harder to train. There is a way to keep the top two or three if they qualify to do the job. If they don’t, move on. This program requires that. Imagine a fresh crop of eager to learn, Product Specialist every couple of years. They will be replacing your salespeople by the way. You hire not only recent College grads but Students, Single Mom’s and that person that just needs that part time job. But only those that qualify. Your interview process will be filled with testing and general questions before they are even talked to. You need sharp, young people that are excited every day. Their job is hourly not commissioned. They are to learn your product from top to bottom which will be the job of the Floor Team Leaders to teach. A strict training will be in effect before they are even allowed to whisper to a customer. They will all be Mfg. Certified. Be equipped with answers and knowledge. Their job is not negotiating prices or smoke and mirrors. If price needs to be handled first then the Floor Team Leader for their group will take care of it. Pricing will not be the Holy Grail held hostage until the pencil. Their entire reason for living will be product knowledge and paperwork. The Floor Team leader position is where you might be able to save a couple of your old salespeople. If they are qualified to train and keep up the pace of this position. Basically they become closers. Handling objections, pricing etc. Your dealership can literally go from boring and cold to hip and alive with this switch. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook will be filled with post and check ins and pictures of what’s happening at your store. Vibrance will fill your building that weeks before was desolate with excuses. Your customers when they call are looking for answers. The Product Specialist will give them the answers. The Floor Team Leaders will handle those calls dealing with pricing. F&I will be menu selling, letting the customers choose and the F&I manager explaining features and benefits. Not the cage match that happens in some dealerships today. The Sales Manager is equipped with a new school mentality where pricing is disclosed on the Internet before the customer is even on the lot. Used Car Price buckets control pricing from the day the car hits the lot. New cars are displayed on the internet including incentive discounts that apply to all. Other discounts are shown but not deducted from pricing.  All the reasons customers hated coming to the dealership are erased. You have created a positive, fun, information driven, helpful environment where your customer is served and will be a fan of and continue to recommend customers and return to.

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