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Insight: Why don't our managers develop our salespeople?

Yes, I know that working with some of your salespeople is just an absolutely painful experience. Some resist everything you try to teach them, some seem to absorb less information than a rock and some should be chopping trees in a forest instead of selling cars.

Having said that, the group of people you have out there in sales is all you have standing between keeping the doors open and being profitable and having a chain link fence around the place with a ‘for sale’ sign on it. Sure, they’re a pain. Sure, you wish they would take it upon themselves to learn more, but in real life they don’t.

Think about this – if only 3% of all the people are self-motivated self-starters, what percentage are not self-motivated: 97%.

In fact, have you ever taken one of those 97% who wasn’t producing (who every other manager wanted to fire on the spot) under your wing? Most of you have. You said: “Give me that guy and I’ll make him or break him.”

Then after you took that individual under your wing and started working him/her ‘hands-on’ every day, what happened?

Exactly – they got better and better. And now some of them have become great salespeople, managers and even dealers.

All of that happened because they finally got the extra attention they needed to improve.

Yes, it would be great if all salespeople would just line up, learn everything in one or two quick meetings and then get out there and make you proud. But that’s not real life.

Why you should care

Every dealer is paid based on net profit and every manager’s pay is directly tied to production in some form (units/gross). That means you’re dependent on those unmotivated and untrained salespeople for your paycheck.

As I see it, you only have two choices:

1. Take every one of them under your wing, and just like you did with that salesperson everybody wanted to fire, make it your mission to make each one productive and growing.

If you do, every morning when you wake up, you’ll see a beautiful rainbow in the sky and it will remind you of just how much you love working with your crew of professionals in sales.

2. Do nothing.

If you choose this option, you can expect a ton of frustration every day as you watch deals that could have hit the board end up down the street.

You can expect constant complaints from your low achievers about your dealership not advertising enough to put more people on the lot (to make up for their poor skills).

You can expect that your gross on every unit will be low, and that your CSI will always be a challenge.

Most important, based on your history of who you hire and how you train – when you replace each of those lacking motivation, you’re almost guaranteed to end up with another one just like the one you fired.

The solution?

You can’t hire your way out of this problem – but you can train and manage your way through it.

Joe Verde holds workshops across North America and pioneered Virtual Training with JVTN. Mr. Verde is the author of “A Dealer’s Guide To Recovery & Growth”, “How To Sell A Car And Close The Sale Today” and publishes two monthly newsletters; “For All Managers In Sales” and “Selling Cars Today”.

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