Archives For Car Salesman Reputation

Finding Your Style- Commission Sales – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Finding Your Style – Commission Sales

I cut my teeth selling at an early age selling door to door. From delivering newspapers to Fuller Brush to Cash is Best, for which Ted Turner was a fugitive from the US holding offshore on his yacht in international waters for purporting a pyramid scheme, to selling the original wind up fire and burglar alarms for the home.
After having had my foot caught in the door many times I eventually found my way into Automobile sales. I was so excited to have this opportunity because here were people coming to me looking to buy what I had to sell.
I felt like a kid is a candy store and never looked back. This business allowed me to experience owning my own businesses but I always came back to what I always loved.
When I think of all the advice available to train a good salesperson I think of why salespeople would not all be superstars. After years of being around commissioned sales and salespeople both in and out of the Automotive industry it is apparent to me that the art of selling (and it is an art) is a talent that few people ever master.
I have seen so many techniques that salespeople use to make a sale that works very well for them but would never work for me. As a matter of fact, Some I could not even fathom how they even made so many sales with their “Style” of selling but it worked for them.
What worked for them would never work for me or you.. You can only observe and take those observations and find a “Style” that works for you and make it your own.
This “Style” for the fortunate ones something that comes naturally making selling for them almost effortless. Sales must be looked at as a challenge- the more difficult the sales is to make, the more satisfaction you get from the experience.
That challenge is something that the truly gifted crave, need and look forward to each and every day in every aspect of their lives. It is like a game of chess that is played and each move determines an eventual outcome that a true salesperson is driven to win by reading each move of the opponent before it is even made.
We are all actors on a stage in our journey through this wonderful life but only a few can mold and manipulate the parts they play.
There is and always has been a misunderstanding or maybe even a lack of respect for these truly gifted people. Only a secure, talented and gifted manager who driven to hit that next level knows that he must let these salespeople work their craft using their own “style” to make the relationship rewarding and successful.
These are the type of people that one needs to make a business truly successful. The ones who are in it not just for the money but because they are driven to succeed. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Constantly be looking for the people that will take, maintain and always be looking for that next rush that only these people get from their work.
If you have all the tools and have not found your “Style” as an owner, manager or salesperson unfortunately you probably never will. But if you know all this and never stop looking to surround yourself with these truly talented people you will have your battle plan and will eventually win the war.

Automotive Internet Sales 20 Group Composite – Chicago, October 23-25 2012 At The Downtown Hilton

I am proud to be one of the presenters selected to speak at the Automotive Internet Sales 20 Group in Chicago from October 23rd to the 25th and highly recommend this event for dealers and managers who are seeking to improve their Internet sales results. The way Sean Bradley has designed this event, participating dealers will be included in monthly conference calls to review participating dealer composite reporting ala “Dealer 20 Group” style, but specifically for handling online marketing and sales.

Eighth Element of the Automotive Consumer Journey – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Want to Sell More Cars? Then don’t forget Eighth Element in Modern Automotive Consumer Journey from Shopping to Buying!

When I read The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) I think back to my early sales days – with more hair and less weight! – standing in the showroom next to a brand spanking new Dodge Aries. From that vantage point, I’d see consumers who would drive from dealership to dealership, gathering information and brochures while adding or removing cars from their consideration list. In-store sales processes back then were constructed around stopping the shopping, and if we failed to do so, our manager’s idea of constructive criticism and coaching was to call us “weak.” Yikes! What a memorable First Moment of Truth (FMOT) that must have been for the consumer!

We know from ZMOT that seven of the top eight automotive buying influences are online. The “eighth element” is your in-store processes. Sadly though, as I’ve witnessed in too many dealerships, a winning ZMOT strategy combined with antiquated in-store processes equals a recipe for disaster. Digital processes are improving, but what about the 89% of consumers whose First Moment of Truth takes place over the phone or by walk-in? For many dealerships, the eighth element, phone and in-store processes, is as antiquated as a K-car.

 

Tips and Tricks for Creating a Modern In-Store Process

  • Manager Meet and Greet: The Manager T.O. worked great when cars still had retractable seat belts and cassette players, but now consumers don’t want to be turned over to a manager after they have made a decision to leave…or introduced to some mysterious person when a deal can’t be agreed upon. Dealership managers should get out from behind their desks and walk the showroom meeting and greeting customers at the beginning of the sales process, not at the end. This simple change in your sales process creates a friendlier environment for the consumer and injects a feeling of transparency into the sales process. If this is not a standard practice in your dealership today…it should be!

 

  • Customer Qualifying: Let’s start with some good news: if they are physically in your dealership, you’ve already won the Zero Moment of Truth! But you still need to win the First Moment of Truth, and expanding your qualifying process can easily help you deliver a victory for your dealership. Embrace the fact that your consumers will likely have received some serious education by the time they set foot in your showroom. Let your customer know that if they have questions or need access to additional information while they are shopping, that you have a computer or iPad available where they can privately get online. This simple statement provides transparency in the shopping process and helps you remain in control of the sales process. It’s better for the consumer to do additional research in your dealership than leaving to do it at home.

 

  • Negotiating: Consumers want transparency as well as an expedited sales process. They don’t want to spend five hours in your dealership buying a car. As Sales Managers, you control the deal flow. So when it comes to negotiating price, don’t implement a sales process that requires your salespeople to run back and forth negotiating numbers with the desk. Your dealership sales process should allow the sales manager’s first pencil to be directly with the consumer. Remember, your consumers are educated and have the same information in front of them as do you. So get out from behind the desk and go in and close the deal! If your sales process includes the Manager Meet and Greet as mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way to delivering a positive First Moment of Truth.

Do we still want to “stop the shopping?” Of course! But today, by the time the consumer has entered the dealership, they have stopped shopping. They have narrowed their consideration list to a small handful of vehicles and dealerships. With seven of the top eight buying influences occurring online, it’s up to dealers to deliver that critical eighth element that is going to take shoppers from the floor to over-the-curb.

 

Written by Steve Hanson, Cobalt Performance Improvement Consultant

 

THE CAR BUYING JOURNEY

Is Your Job Worth Going To Prison For? – DealerELITE.net

For those that react with “That could never happen to me”, let me attest from personal experience to the fact that over the 30 years I have worked in the car business, I have seen numerous cases where people I worked with have been prosecuted, arrested and served time in prison for actions they took OR SIMPLY ALLOWED TO HAPPEN.  

For example, I worked with a Sales Manager by the name of Dan Mourneau while selling cars in San Diego.  Dan “curbed” a used VW Beetle that he bought from a customer when the dealership would not provide an acceptable ACV… Dan and a salesperson resold the used VW and signed odometer statements that the mileage shown was true and original.  The vehicle had been “rolled back” by the previous owner that traded it in at the dealership.  Dan served 6 months in California State Prison for odometer fraud.  

On another occasion, I saw a Finance Manager create a second contract showing a much higher down payment than the customer had actually paid. This was to allow the customer to get a better loan rate from their credit union… John Downing, the Finance Manager was charged with bank fraud and was put on probation for several years and banned from working in a car dealership.  I could go on and on, but let’s just say that Jim’s article is not an exaggeration, nor is it far fetched… People who do the wrong thing, or let those wrong things happen in dealerships can and will be held accountable.  

Two of the best car guys I ever met, the Daly Brothers (twins) came to work for me in Phoenix in 2005 after one of them was released from prison and both of them were banned from working in any car dealership in California for forging customer signatures on routine documents.  These highly talented automotive professionals made the mistake of doing something that seemed harmless enough, and saved them the time of getting customers back into the dealership to sign ATFI, Demonstrator Statements and other routine documents, but ended up getting them convicted of Forgery, one of them going to prison and both of them basically run out of the highest car sales state in the country.  Yes, it can happen to you if you DO THE WRONG THING!

richard_bustillo_honda_collision_center.wmv Watch on Posterous

Richard Bustillo is the General Manager of Rick Case Honda in Davie, Florida and in the Automotive Management Minute video he explains how he has become far more effective at marketing his dealership’s body shop.

Death of a Salesman, has the day arrived?

The furniture and carpet retail industry’s pay commission only, BUT their salespeople get a percentage of the GROSS SALES REVENUE, in many cases 6% to 8% with an average being about 7%.  The key there is that the salesperson’s percentage is based on transaction amount and NOT on gross profit.  When there is a slow moving line of furniture or carpeting, it is not uncommon to see a retailer put a 10% commission on that product line to get the salespeople fired up.

There is nothing FUNDAMENTALLY wrong with automotive sales professionals being paid on a commission based system, but when the pay structure was established in 1972 and based on a gross profit margin that was, as a percent of the transaction price, 2 to 3 times what it is today, then there must be adjustments made in order to ensure that a sales professional position in the car business is still a high paid job.

When I started selling cars on Friday, February 13, 1981 my commission plan paid a similar commission as a percent of gross profit margin as many dealerships pay today.  This is ludicrous and counter intuitive! My first dealership felt compelled to put a CAP on sales commissions because we were selling diesel VW’s for $2,000 to $5,000 over window sticker… My first year of selling cars, a 10 month years in 1981 I made over $84,000 as a car salesman.  Let’s put that into perspective in today’s 2012 dollars… Can a first year car salesperson make $175,000 today?  And, don’t say I was anything special, because there were at least 4 or 5 people in my dealership that outsold me.

If you give an entire class of professionals a pay cut ever year for over 30 years, what do you suppose happens to the quality of who we have available to hire and the turnover in that professional category?  Yes… It is as obvious as it seems and a lot less complicated than people want to admit. Until the entire automotive distribution system in the USA allows for sales professionals to earn a living commensurate with the skills required for them to do a great job, we will be relegated to lousy salesperson performance as an industry average.  This is not just a dealer responsibility… Every time an OEM strips gross margin out of the MSRP on the window of a new car, and puts that money into dealer cash that is paid separately, they are in fact reducing every sales professionals income from selling those cars.  I personally believe that there needs to be more gross profit margin in the MSRP shown on the window of most new vehicles sold in this country.  And based on what most consumers seem to believe we have for profit margins in those Monroney sticker prices, they agree as well!

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

January 18 – 20 in Atlanta, GA with:

Ralph Paglia

Larry Bruce

Jim Ziegler

Ralph Paglia Larry Bruce Jim Ziegler

OUR MISSION:

In today’s fiercely competitive retail environment, every dealership must be operating at maximum efficiency. Every profit center must be synergistically integrated with every other department in the dealership while, at the same time, producing their maximum profitability. Your only choices – Grow or Die.

Ralph Paglia, Larry Bruce, Jim Ziegler and Special Guest Speakers will demonstrate numerous techniques, word tracts, strategies and real life examples of dealerships that are dominating their competitors with technology-enabled marketing and Internet techniques and programs. This is hands-on ‘real-world stuff, not theory. We’re doing it in the real-world, in real dealerships, with real customers.

You and your managers will leave with a step-by-step “Battle Plan” that will dramatically increase your sales and profits… immediately.

If you have questions, or to register via telephone please call:

800.726.0510

Weekdays, 8AM – 5PM

YOUR TROOPS WILL LEARN:

  • How to Ensure that your Dealership doesn’t Waste a Single Opportunity to do Business
  • Methods, Programs, Marketing and Advertising Secrets to Drive Floor Traffic and Phone Traffic
  • Video Search Engine Maximization
  • How to turn your dealership into an Internet Sales Powerhouse
  • Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn… the guys will show you how to create dealership Social Community marketing programs that yield incredible returns
  • Tips, Tools and Techniques that Produce Immediate Results
  • And Much More!