Have you ever noticed that when a salesperson has something distracting them, it is very difficult to get them to sell cars? So, how do you best address this reality?
Car Sales Managers are required to wear many hats and play a variety of roles within the sales team. Overseeing the sales effort, ordering inventory, hire and fire salespeople, conduct sales training etc. However, it is the role of coach and mentor that really separates the average manager from the great leader.
The old adage holds true. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” As an Automotive Sales Manager this applies just as much to your salespeople as it does to your customers. If your salespeople don’t think you have their best interest at heart, well why should they kill themselves for the cause.
The best strategy you can put in place is to establish the daily habit of meeting with each salesperson One on One. I realize some of you are thinking how am I going to find time to meet with every salesperson every day? The first thing you should examine is how many sales people you are supervising. Each sales manager should be able to effectively supervise 5-10 sales people more than 10 becomes counterproductive. For our conversation let’s use 7.
Conducting 7 one on one’s daily may not be practical, learn to walk before you run. Break the 7 sales people into 2 groups. Group A (4 people) will meet with you on Mon-Weds-Fri while Group B (3 people) will meet with you on Tues-Thurs for the first month. The second month, flip the days so Group A will meet with you Tues-Thurs. Over 8 weeks everyone will have the same number of meetings. By the way, no they do not have to come in on their days off for their one on one.
These meeting should be conducted on an individual basis in a private setting, not on the showroom floor. The idea is to be in a place where you can both speak openly and not be worried about someone overhearing the conversation.
You should remember to deal with your salesperson as a person first and as an employee second. They realize you are their boss there is no need to remind them at this time. Always start by simply asking these three questions.
How are you doing? At home? At Work?
If something is bothering them they will not be effective until some solution can be found. This is not a time to be judgmental, remember you are just trying to help them get this off their chest so they can get back to business, just let them talk.
How do you think the team is doing?
Do you think it is possible that your salespeople might discuss something with another salesperson before they would ever discuss it with you? Of course. The idea behind asking this question is to stay ahead of problems before the hot potato lands in your lap. You are not attempting to compromise any confidences; you are just trying to stay ahead of a potential issue. When the salesperson in question feels ready to talk, at least you will be prepared to appear wise and sage rather than judgmental. This will build the trust you want and need in your sales team so you can get the best out of them.
What can I do to help you succeed?
They need to know you give a hoot. If it is all about you they will not want to go through the fires of hell to come back with the prize. Sometimes you will not be in a position to address all of their requests, but at least someone is asking.
Sometimes there will be little if anything personal to discuss, but in time your relationship and their trust with you will grow to allow for more open and frank conversations.
Once you have asked the three personal questions go directly into reviewing their most recent sales and unsold prospects. Review each customer sold for profit front and back. When they do a good job, congratulate them, and ask, “What did you do to make this happen?” They should have an answer. If they do not, then the only thing you can do is say they were lucky, and that is no way to build a successful sales career. If they did poorly (low gross) ask them why and what did they learn so that presented with the same situation next time, what would they do differently. Repeat the same approach for each unsold prospect.
Remember, inconsistency on the part of a sales manager or supervisor is one of the top reasons people do not perform to their potential and leave an organization.
Be a coach and mentor your people.
Go make something happen!
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.