Secrets of The Best Automotive Sales Consultants !

Successful sales consultants in the automobile industry do the following:

1. They plan their day the night before in writing or in their CRM. This means they can hit the ground running with a well thought out plan of action and purpose.They don’t waste time during the day stopping to think or decide "what do I do next ?" 
2. They show up for work early, and do a walk through the dealership to say hello to fellow team members. While doing this, they:
A. Look for opportunities to do business.
B. Preview new inventory.
C. Looks for trades brought in the night before.
This way they have the latest information they need to share with customers.

3. They spend ½ hour to an hour on product and/or skill training. It could be one or more of the following:
A. Participate in the dealer’s sales training online.
B. Get certified on new products.
C. Do online skill building.
D. Read a book on selling techniques.
E. Role play with another sales person.

4. Keep in touch with customers and prospects.
A. Call customers and prospects to let them know about any specials going on at the dealership.
B. Send every customer they’ve sold a car to, and every prospect, both holiday cards and birthday cards. Then they follow up with a phone call to wish their customers the very best – whatever the occasion.(Facebook,Twitter,Email Newletters are great ways to do this)  

5. They are proactive in assisting the customer’s entire family, or anyone living in the household. 
A. They call customers to update information on the other vehicles in the customer’s household. – Asking questions such as:
i. “Besides the car you bought from us, how many other vehicles do you have in your household?
ii. “What are the makes and models of other vehicles in your household?”
iii. “What is the current mileage of each of these vehicles?”
iv. “When do you see yourself replacing each of these vehicles? In a month, or three months, six months?”
B. They put this information in their CRM,I phone,Blackberry, Day Timer, etc., and then call the customer in 3 months, 6 months or whenever it is appropriate to follow up.
C. They offer assistance with the objective of making life easier for these customers and members of their households – letting them know about any dealership specials, or particular pre-owned cars that might be of interest to them.

6. They hand out 3 to 5 business cards every day outside of the dealership. (The average sales consultant only hands out 1 or 2 business cards per week outside of the dealership.) Successful sales consultants pass business cards out at every opportunity:
A. Outside of work -- at the mall, the drycleaners, church, at lunch, etc.
B. With this message: “Here’s my card if I can ever help you out. Even if I don’t have a car you want to buy, I can give you advice on buying a car.”

7. One or two days a week, they schedule themselves in the Service Lane with the goal of greeting current customers and getting them to drive and evaluate new vehicles. In todays market there are several tools that dealers can use that will  link to their DMS that share which customers in service have equity.
8. The best sales consultants tell everybody about the history of the company. They explain why they chose to work there. They speak well of the dealership and other team members inside and outside of work.
9. They follow the specific Sales Process of the dealership where they work, and they don’t fight the process.

10. They possess a strong sense of urgency in making the sale. They have a competitive nature, enthusiastic drive, positive attitude and passion. (These are personality traits you can NOT teach.)

11. They generally only associate with other high achievers when at work! They don’t associate with the sales people who are only selling 7 cars a month. Like top athletes and millionaires, they associate with their peers.

12. They ask for and insist upon daily one-on-one with a manager or other top performer who will critique them and give them excellent advice for improving their techniques. They understand they need support to grow,improve and stay on top so they do not want to be left alone. 
13. They have a backup plan/vehicle to show the customer.

14. The best sales consultants always keep their managers involved:

A. Introduce every customer to their manager early in the process.
B. Ask the manager to call customer when customers are not responding or returning calls.
C. Challenge managers – “I think we are close to making this happen. I know if you talk with our customer, you could come to an agreement!”
D. It’s about the sales person, the manager and the customer all working together as a team to help the customer.

15. They act as if they owned their own business and reinvest in that business. They spend 5% of their own commission income in marketing themselves. They usually:
A. Create their own business cards.
B. Create and send out newsletters.
C. Create their own web site.

16Use Social Media tools to put their name before the public. (Facebook,Twitter,Linkedin,dealerElite,etc...)

A. The Best  Maximize technology tools available at the Dealership - this includes CRM, outlook, Facebook and others. These tools offer loads of automation - alerts, signatures (with your phone number, dealer link, social media link etc.)  If they need training get it or pay for it. 

B.  Social media is one of the easiest ways to have an authentic connection with their customers - Facebook alerts you when "friends"/customers/prospects have birthdays. The best Allow a consistent amount of time to their social media efforts - interact with other peoples pages, share content from the Dealership, comment on the Dealership page or at a minimum - build up connections.   If you need you need training, there is free training available and if your dealership is utilizing social media - ask if the vendor offers training. When selling a car the best snap a quick picture and share on facebook. (ask your customers permission).

C.  The Best ask to be "rated" by their customers.  Online ratings and reviews is a Dealers online brand.  They leverage the free rating tools available and encourage every customer to provide a rating for you.  Whether it's Google, Edmunds, Women-Drivers, DealerRater or others ~ the best increase their personal online brand and that of the Dealership. This should is a part of their sales process.

17. They sometimes become prominent in the community, as a volunteer, town official, or in some other capacity, so people already feel comfortable with them when they meet them in the dealership showroom. "They are positive ambassadors for the dealership and the community"

There is no quick fix to being the best sales consultant in the automotive industry. Everybody is looking for the silver bullet, but there’s isn’t any. The best sales consultants do all of these little things listed above on a consistent basis.

And when they do, these are the consultants that become the leaders in sales in their dealerships, and move forward in their careers to become general managers, or dealership owners. Ultimately, they enjoy the highest levels of financial success and achievement.


Chris Saraceno

Vice President/Partner

Kelly Automotive

Co-Founder of DealerElite

Views: 8347


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Comment by Kyle Disher on March 21, 2016 at 3:59pm

Great stuff Chris! 

Comment by steven chessin on March 15, 2016 at 8:41am

I want the book this chapter is part of.   

Comment by DealerELITE on March 13, 2015 at 2:39pm

Agree, This is a good overview for someone who is interested in entering into Automotive Sales

Comment by Dewayne Pearson on March 13, 2015 at 2:36pm

As Michael Jackson put in a song IT STARTS WITH THE MAN IN THE MIRROR. Well said.

Comment by Martin J Logsdon on March 13, 2015 at 2:28pm

Uncommon COMMON Sense...  

Comment by Pat Kirley on April 29, 2014 at 6:34pm
Enjoyed that, you get out what you put in. Totally agree.
Comment by DealerELITE on April 17, 2014 at 2:02pm

Michael I agree that they are the tenacious characteristics of the successful Sales Consultants.

Comment by J. Michael Zak on April 17, 2014 at 9:47am
Chris, as the Operating Manager of an in-house finance dealership I wholeheartedly agree with all of your statements above. While not all apply to my dealership those that do apply should be followed and are encouraged to do so daily. The top sales personnel that I have seen over the course of my career, regardless of the industry, have used many of these secrets. The humorous / sad part is they are not secrets, but rather tenacious characteristics of the successful.
Comment by DealerELITE on April 14, 2014 at 11:29am

Thank you Joe,William and Craig

Comment by Craig Lockerd on April 14, 2014 at 10:42am

Love it!!

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