Retail Automotive Sales - Critical Success Factors

By Kirk Manzo
President & CEO - The Manzo Group

As Auto Dealership Consultants we are often asked, "What does it take to be a successful automotive sales person or sales manager?".

While there are details too numerous to mention here, let me share with you the foundation for achieving and maintaining car sales success.

The routines and habits we develop will dictate who we are and what we will become. Automotive Salespeople must focus on the fundamentals of their craft, Attitude,
Product Knowledge and Sales Skills. Let's begin with Attitude.

As an Automotive Sales Manager, how many times have you witnessed a rookie sales person come onto the sales floor and sell 10-12-15+ units their first month?  All of us have. So why was this person successful? Clearly it was not their wealth of product knowledge, or their razor sharp selling and negotiation skills. Rather it was the enthusiasm they transferred to the buyer that propelled them to success.

Realizing that the gray matter in between our ears has the greatest impact on our ability to sell, ask yourself this question,

 "Prior to arriving at the dealership, What did you do this morning to prepare to sell cars today?"

Car Sales and sports are often compared, and with good reason. Athletes must prepare before each game, baseball players take batting practice before each game. Goalies have their teammates take shots on goal to help them get into a rhythm prior to the game. What are your car salespeople, desk managers and F&I Managers doing before they start each morning.

Why not invest a few minutes each morning by listening to some audio CD's on the drive to the dealership. Perhaps reading something to get their minds' right.

While attitude is important, without Automotive Product Knowledge, a car sales person will struggle to establish credibility with their customer. The more competent and prepared your sales person appears, the easier it will be to make a significant impression on their next guest.

Each morning do your salespeople walk the entire inventory? Do they select a different car from your inventory each morning to drive insuring they spend time with all of the products available both new & used? Would they pick up some product knowledge by just needing to adjust the seats and mirrors? Probably, not to mention increase the likelihood a used car will actually start when they need it to!

Do your salespeople watch programs like Motor-Week on PBS and/or the Speed Channel? Does ESPN the Magazine appear on their coffee tables at home or Car&Driver, Road&Track, Consumer Reports?  After all, who is reading these publications, that's right your customers. Why not be informed on what your customers read.

The last critical success factor is Automotive Sales Skills, the core competency of what we all do. A breakdown of some components under this category would be as follows:

Do your automotive salespeople and sales managers work on each of the above areas to develop their "skills of their trade"?

When was the last time any of your sales people attended a seminar or workshop on selling that was not sponsored by the dealership? Yeah... that means they paid for the program. If your salespeople want to be paid like a professional, they will need to do what all professionals are required to do to maintain their credentials, attend continuing education.

If it reads "sales" on their business card, what have they done this week, month or year to make sure they will be better prepared for the next sales opportunity?

We recommend at least 20 minutes daily be spent on each of these three Critical Success Factors. In 1 year that would equal 6 weeks of training. As a result, not only would they become better in sales, but also better husbands/wives, parents and friends to those around them.

Why not try it, what have you got to lose?

With an emphasis on auto sales training, finance and insurance, internet sales & phone skills training, the Manzo Group's team of nationally recognized trainers conduct an intensive on-site 3-4 day training seminar focusing on driving bottom line results in your New and Used Car Sales Operations.
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Welcome To The Manzo Group
People and process are the keys to increasing profits. Consistency separates the most successful sales organizations from the pack.

With over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, The Manzo Group has been helping New and Used Car auto dealers across the United States and Puerto Rico and Latin America with consulting services, and automotive sales training solutions.

From sales training to desking procedures, from F&I to executive coaching, our goal has always been simple.  Drive consistently higher gross per unit, in both the sales and F&I departments through proven strategies that work!
With an emphasis on sales training, finance and insurance, internet sales & phone skills training, our team of nationally recognized trainers conduct an intensive on-site 3-4 day training seminar focusing on driving bottom line results in your New and Used Car sales operations.

In these challenging economic times, The Manzo Group can help you identify strategies not only to survive - but to THRIVE!

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