Enjoying what you’re reading? Sign up now.

Subscribe
Search

New Hire Success Starts With 8 Simple Sales Steps

Article Highlights:

  • Start with the fundamentals of selling to set new hires up for success.
  • "A strong sales force is the key to having a healthy business..."

According to NADA’s 2017 Workforce Study, total dealership turnover in 2016 was 43%. For sales, that number jumps to 67%.

With millennials accounting for 61% of dealership new hires, it’s evident dealerships are turning to younger and inexperienced hires to fill sales positions. Often, these new hires aren’t getting the proper sales training. Not only does this lead to dissatisfied customers but also dissatisfied employees, resulting in increased turnover.

My advice to managers is to coach new hires on the fundamentals of selling before anything else. This will set new hires up for success and increase the likelihood they’ll stick around for the long term. All salespeople, not just new hires, should regularly revisit these eight simple sales steps.

  1. Setting the Appointment – knowing how to make the appointment appealing is a skill that takes time to develop. Offer the customer enough so they want to come into the dealership to finish buying the vehicle.
  2. Vehicle Selection – By asking the right questions and actively listening, you’ll help the customer select the right vehicle. A good salesperson is smooth at conversing and will have superior product knowledge.
  3. Vehicle Presentation and Test Drive – I like to combine these two because they should be seamless. Begin with a thorough vehicle walk-around and continue the presentation while the customer is inside the car. Assume they want to take a test drive, instead of asking. When you ask, it gives the customer more time to think, decreasing the likelihood of doing the test drive. Conclude the drive by asking the customer to park next to her current vehicle. A good presentation paints a sharp contrast between the new vehicle and the current one.
  4. Deal Write-up – Ask the right questions in order to have solid information for the manager writing up the deal:
    • What was your last purchase – loan, cash, or lease?
    • Are you trading in or just adding an additional vehicle?
    • Do you have a payment range?
    • How much money down?
  5. Requesting Credit – Ask this question at the right time and in the right manner. Asking too soon runs the risk of turning the customer off. Always be in a position to allow the customer to apply online.
  6. Purchase Commitment – You’ve gotten the customer to agree on a deal. Getting there takes persistence, but you also need to know how to keep things low-pressure at the same time.
  7. Manager Turnover – When there is no commitment, always have a manager talk to the customer. Knowing how to effectively hand the customer off to a manager is a skill that isn’t learned overnight. Even with a commitment, it’s best to introduce the manager so the customer knows all the key personnel at your dealership.
  8. F&I Turnover – This step could occur after the commitment to deliver the vehicle and complete the paperwork or after the manager turnover, if the customer is still not convinced.

Part of being a good manager is equipping your team for success. When your salespeople have success, they’re more content with their job, which leads to higher retention rates. A strong sales force is the key to having a healthy business with continued growth.

If you need more convincing that employee retention is important, here’s a statistic from a 2016 article in the Harvard Business Review: Dealers with the highest retention rates yield gross margins 3 – 4% higher than dealers with the lowest retention rates.

If you want a customer base and a sales staff that enjoy coming to your dealership, emphasize the sales steps!

Share this Article

Reynolds Consulting Services

Steve has been part of the Reynolds Consulting Services team since 2000. He consultants on CRM for sales and service, desk management, BDC improvements, and reporting. With 23 years of automotive retail experience – including owner, general manager, general sales manager, and F&I manager – Steve is well-equipped to help dealerships cut costs and increase profit.

Related Articles:

How often do customers leave your dealership to shop elsewhere because your pre-owned vehicle selection wasn’t quite right for them? When these situations occur, do you

In today’s fast-paced world, consumers want quick buying experiences that give them exactly what they need. But a fast car buying experience does not always equate

Many dealerships would agree, the most obvious benefit to selling accessories is the profit potential. You might even be able to picture the added OEM

Our fifth and final accessory myth is a major deterrent when it comes to setting up an accessory department… “I don’t need to sell accessories; we