Like a Johnny Cash song, “I’ve been everywhere, man.” I’ve been to countless car dealers in hundreds of cities, and I’ve found there to be some universal truths associated with them all. This isn’t so much an educational blog, as it is an observational one, but I feel you’ll know these ring true in your dealership as well. I started banging these out, one dealership lesson after the other, on my Twitter account, but figured it’s easier to combine them here.
(Are some of my lessons from the road jaded? For sure. Are they accurate? You be the judge.)
Dealership Lessons I’ve Learned
Dealership Lesson #1:
Did you know it’s a prerequisite to smoke cigarettes at least once an hour if you’re an automotive finance manager?
Dealership Lesson #2:
If a Sales Manager doesn’t like something they’re tasked to do, they’ll tell a salesperson to do it, even if that salesperson SHOULDN’T be the one doing it. This includes everything from getting breakfast to T.O.ing customers.
Dealership Lesson #3:
“The boss is coming. Look busy” is the first skill taught to salespeople and BDC agents.
Dealership Lesson #4:
If you’re a salesperson at a dealership that has been given a nickname, that is how you will be summoned over the PA system.
Dealership Lesson #5:
If you’re at a dealer in the Deep South, at least 25% of employees have a handgun within arms reach of them at all times. (Yes, even today)
Dealership Lesson #6:
On any given day at a dealership, non-automotive YouTube videos are watched more than walk-around videos are made.
Dealership Lesson #7:
If a salesperson is tasked to make a phone call to a customer from a CRM that has the ability to text as well, that customer is getting a text.
Dealership Lesson #8:
At least 35 times a day, a salesperson will ask a sales manager if a vehicle is available.
Dealership Lesson #9:
If you’ve sold vehicles for less than 3 months, you’ve been asked to drive and get a manager his morning coffee at least a half dozen times.
Dealership Lesson #10:
If a salesperson has their best month ever, the first half of their next month will be abysmal.
Dealership Lesson #11:
50% of the work you estimate you need an A tech for can be done by a B or C tech.
Dealership Lesson #12:
Even though a BDC agent sets more appointments in a week than a salesperson does in 2 months, the salesperson believes they are superior to the BDC agent, as if that agent couldn’t sell just as many cars.
Dealership Lesson #13:
Every dealership has a new hire orientation that includes taking 16 hours of online OEM courses in their first 4 days of which they will retain 5%.
Dealership Lesson #14:
After a salesperson’s first 6 months in the business, they’ll believe they don’t need to get any better than they are at that exact moment.
Dealership Lesson #15:
More time is spent discussing what to get for lunch than training or role-playing every day. Salespeople and managers start these discussions shortly after finishing their breakfast.
Dealership Lesson #16:
Once a month, an Internet Director will have to reset the CRM password for a senior salesperson that forgot it.
Dealership Lesson #17:
A BDC agent would rather poorly handle 100 inbound sales calls than role-play one time with a manager or trainer.
Dealership Lesson #18:
If the note in the CRM says “LM”, know they probably didn’t.