“If you could ask the sales manager to yell at me less, I’d appreciate it.”
That is what a salesperson actually said while I was recently doing one-on-one car sales training at a client’s dealership.
They weren’t the only ones that alluded to this problem. I had to do a follow-up to my previous blog about Sales Manager Bullies.
“He’s always yelling at us.”
“If the sales manager isn’t screaming at you, he isn’t talking to you.”
“Coming to work is really just going to get shouted at.”
When you think back to the worst people you knew in your childhood, it was usually someone who had zero regard for your feelings. Someone who wanted to make you feel bad. A person trying to hurt you or make you cry. To impose dominance over you, all in an attempt to make themselves feel better about themselves or their station in life. These people are bullies.
Now think back to your favorite teacher. Did they care about you? Were you given one-on-one time? Did they dedicate effort and energy to you to make sure you understood what you were being taught? Were you spoken to with respect and shown patience? That is what a sales manager must do.
What dealership sales managers should be doing
Whether it be school or work, you are given an assignment. A manager can’t expect you to get an A grade every time, so a level of teaching must be given. (This is one reason DealerKnows grades internet performance of our clients’ salespeople and BDC.) Sales Managers’ responsibilities include ensuring the sales teams they oversee are held accountable, providing consistent feedback, learning, and improving. They want to see you succeed!
As I train car dealerships around the nation, I see a lot of examples of sales managers with very little understanding of what “managing” entails. Some give grief, belittle, intimidate, dismiss, disregard, chastise, berate, and criticize their employees, all before (or instead of) sitting down and explaining the best way to do something. If a dealership suffers from the high turnover on the showroom floor, it often has more to do with the sales managers than the pay plan. Ultimately, this also leads to poor customer shopping experiences as well.
Take a close look at where you work. Can you learn from the sales manager in your store? Do they make you want to learn and get better? Do they even know how to teach you? I’m telling you this as a friend – if you feel threatened, castigated, or silenced by your sales managers when all you want to do is improve, you should cut and run. Find another organization; one that values you and your sales performance. A dealer who has put the right team members in place that will teach you rather than bully you into doing your job better.
Life is too short to deal with shitty dealership sales managers.
Want to see other differences between sales manager styles, check out this funny management video I wrote, co-directed, and produced for CarResearch XRM / AutoLoop some years ago.