It’s not the wand that makes the magic happen, but the magician who wields it. All of the tools, solutions, and leads in the world may be necessary to stay competitive, but it is the people you employ that make you profitable. If a dealership is only as good as the people speaking to their customers, we must make sure we have the right people representing us in the first place.
One of the fundamental problems on our sales floors is that it is just too easy to get a job. Candidates walk in, fill out an application, prove that they have a pulse during an interview, and are hired on the spot. This has to change. This builds no value in our dealerships, our profession, or our industry. We must require applicants to earn a position rather than just getting it.
As a trainer, dealers always ask me “What is the magic bullet out there? What will help me sell more cars?” They are likely looking for a solution/tool/CRM/website/campaign, but the true magic bullet is a great employee. One forward-thinking person (especially in your Internet Department) can yield endless profitability. You are the magic bullet. The people around you are the magic bullets. Your growth will be determined by the people that work for you, with you, above you, and beside you.
We develop intricate processes to bring a prospect from lead to appointment to sale throughout our showrooms, but we rarely have a process to recruit, interview, hire and train the employees of our stores. I was able to achieve success while in the retail side of the automotive business, but I know I wouldn’t have been near as successful if it hadn’t been for the people I surrounded myself with during my time at my former dealership. It is only because of the work I put into preparing them for success and the work they, in turn, achieved, have I been able to parlay my career as an automotive internet expert into starting my own consulting business. Selling cars, not on the floor, but online, is a TEAM environment. It is high time we begin focusing on acquiring a solid team.
One question I’m often asked is ‘Who should run my Internet Department/BDC?’. There are only three choices, each with a different monetary tag attached.
1) You can hire the best (otherwise known as ‘stealing an expert’).
2) You can promote from within.
3) You can hire a newbie and train (i.e. start from scratch).
The Differences: Know that you’ll pay top dollar to hire the best, but this will yield you the fastest turnaround and gross. If you decide to promote from within, you will likely be paying a fair industry price for their services. Lastly, you will save considerable money (rough book value) by hiring someone new to the position, but won’t see considerable growth or a return on the investment for some time.
Over the next few weeks, I will detail out the best places to RECRUIT talent and SELECT the right person as well as how to properly HIRE and create an ORIENTATION program for them to succeed.