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Getting Energized

Have you ever had problems motivating your sales people to do or sell more? How many times have you said, “I wish these guys would get motivated to sell more. Why won’t they do more?” Have you ever figured out what it cost you to have salespeople who aren’t motivated? Doesn’t it cost you gross and sales? Most dealerships that I visit say the same thing over and over; traffic is down. Duh, can you tell me something new please? So if traffic is down, can you afford to have a salesperson take ups with a negative attitude? JD. Power said that the cost of bringing an up to the dealer lot is now around $500. Yikes, that is scary, isn’t it?
So, can you imagine a salesperson going out to the lot or picking up the phone and having a below average attitude? What does that cost you when the selling opportunity doesn’t buy? More than $500! You lose future business with this customer, don’t you? If a salesperson doesn’t have their game face on…
F - Focus
A - And
C - Channeled
E – Energy
…then what selling face do they have on? One of lack of confidence or lack of motivation? This is costing you money big time! Why are they not motivated? Take a step back and look at your selling process. Is it easy to sell a car at your place? What does your selling team complain about? How long have they complained about it? When I go in-house for consulting, you can’t believe what I hear. “We’ve always done it that way,” or “that’s the way it is here,” or “if they don’t like it, they can leave,” or “we can’t change things; it’s not a good time.” Hmm, I am confused here. Hasn’t the Internet changed the way we do business? We have to make selling seamless for you, your team and your customers. Let’s look at some de-motivators that destroy attitudes and profits:


  • Change in pay plans
  • No gas in cars
  • Charge backs
  • Lost keys
  • Dead Cars
  • Miscommunication
  • Long hours
  • Too long to get customer out of finance
  • Can’t find a manager to work deals
  • Improper sales process· Lack of inventory
  • Inconsistency amongst management
  • Different rules for different salespeople
  • Service problems
I could go on and on. Every dealership has de-motivators. However, if you know you have some of these, then wouldn’t it make sense to solve these attitude killing problems? You see there are only two things you can control whether you are in sales or sales management:
  1. Attitude
  2. Activities

There isn’t much else that can be controlled in a sales environment. It’s pretty simple. With the lack of traffic in the auto industry and the competition getting fierce, the need to improve your selling process and your people is at an all time high. You simply cannot afford to operate your business with de-motivators that kill sales. The worst part of all of this is that your team will quit you, not your dealership; YOU. People never quit dealerships; they quit management. It’s time to realize that turnover will destroy your dealership on the installment plan. Step back, call a meeting and ask your internal customers – your selling team – what the de-motivators in your dealership are. We treat our external customers with respect, and we should do the same with our internal customers. In your meeting ask these questions:

  1. What de-motivates our sales people or managers?
  2. What can we do to improve our selling process?
  3. Who is going to be responsible for getting rid of the de-motivators?
  4. What kind of timeline is needed to eliminate these de-motivators?
  5. Who is going to hold each other accountable?

Let me tell you the hardest thing you will deal with when it comes to improving your dealership – CHANGE. Not many like it and most resist it. The agents of change will have to be at their best to get people to change and improve. Always remember with change comes resistance, but can you afford to do business the same way year after year? I guess you can if the numbers are improving vastly. But for most, the numbers have stayed the same, and for others, numbers have decreased. That means you have to go out and buy sales, doesn’t it? What does that do to your bottom line? If you’re an independent, you better have some deep pockets. The whole idea in this business is to sell cars, hold gross and enjoy life, isn’t it? I mean, nobody got in this business to be punished by frustration, grief, low profits, turnover and lost profits, did they?

I know that most people want to work with a great leader or manager who will do what it takes to make each person succeed at work and in life. Selling cars isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it should be. If it were, wouldn’t everyone be selling at least 20+ a month? Most aren’t, a few are. This business can be the most rewarding or the most frustrating, can’t it? So let’s get some real good motivators in there. The two controlling motivators in life are reward motivation or penalty motivation. Let’s reward people for doing a good job.


  • Easy to sell process
  • Consistent message from management
  • Pay plans based on effort and results
  • Sales training
  • Improved systems
  • Peer recognition
  • Trips or rewards
  • One-on-one coaching

There are several methods to motivating people to sell more. The above should help you to sell more cars. Selling is the basics, and running a dealership is the same thing. It’s all about having the proper policies, procedures and processes in place to execute success. Have you ever heard of Vince Lombardi? Joe Gibbs? Bill Parcells? Have you ever heard of Elmer Wrightwood? Elmer who? Me neither, he probably was a loser. That’s why you didn’t recognize the name. People want to sell for winners and work for winning organizations. Sometimes, we get so close that we can’t see what is stopping us from reaching the next level of selling. We get caught up in the now; don’t we? Before you know it, the year is almost gone.

Are you going to hit your yearly unit and gross goals? Congrats if you are; ouch if you aren’t. Are you going to wait for things to get better, or are you going to make things better? It is far better to decide than to wait and decide. Things get better when you make things better. I bet you if you rid yourself of the de-motivators, you can find that extra 10 to 15+ sales a month. What would that mean to your bottom line?

Vol 1, Issue 4



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