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Recruiting Salespeople

Many dealers often contemplate the best way to recruit salespeople. What you have to ask yourselves before you embark on a recruiting campaign is:

•     “Why do I need more salespeople?”

•     “What type of sales team do I want?”

If you are able to answer the first question TRUTHFULLY, you should be able to cut down on the amount of time and money you spend on recruiting. Most dealerships need more salespeople because they don’t hold on to the ones they have for one reason or another—either through lack of training or support or because they hired the wrong people in the first place.

Why would you hire the wrong people in the first place? Dealers usually do their recruiting reactively instead of proactively. This means they are desperate for “bodies” to at least say hello to the customers coming on their lot. Someone attending to the customer is surely better than no one attending to the customer, right? WRONG! If you don’t have the right people in place to give your customers the best first impression of your dealership, you would be better off allowing the customer make his own impressions rather than giving them a one.

Recruiting proactively will allow you to hire the right people instead of hiring people to “throw to the wolves” and waiting to see who survives. Recruiting proactively will also allow you to answer the second question, “What type of sales team do I want?”

I know some of you reading this live by the strategy of recruiting good, experienced salespeople. You believe they can just get right to work selling with no need for training and they should have their own “book” of customers. Why would a “good” salesperson with a book of customers leave where he is now? We all know that the best salespeople are good because they have built their reputation in the community and have a steady stream of business coming to them without having to wait on much floor traffic to make a very good income. The best salespeople usually won’t leave such an environment to start fresh somewhere else. You have no doubt hired such a person in the past to find out they weren’t exactly the thoroughbred they told you they were.

Don’t hire someone else’s reject. If they were that good, the dealer would find a way to keep them rather than lose them to the competition. I recommend hiring people with no prior auto sales experience. This way you can train them YOUR way. They haven’t developed bad habits or pre-conceived notions from another dealership and have great attitudes.

So, what is the best way of hiring these people?

First, you must decide on where to advertise for the position. Most of you have local newspapers, so make sure you use this. I recommend advertising online to supplement your newspaper ad.

Next, design the ad. This could make the difference between wondering if your ad ever ran and having a dealership full of qualified applicants. Let’s look at the main aspects your ad needs to be successful:

•      Display – It needs to stand out on the page.

•      Who you are looking for – Make it bold – Sales Professionals

•      No experience preferred – Don’t put no experience necessary – make sure your readership knows you prefer people with no experience.

•      Eye-catching artwork/picture – Make it difficult for your readership to skim over the ad

•      Earning Potential – Put “Earn up to $XX,000” in big, bold letters across the ad – although not everyone’s primary motivating factor is money, I don’t know of anyone who wants to do it for free.

•      5-Day Work Week – Many people think selling cars is still a 12-hour day, 7-days-a-week job – let them know differently.

•      Make it sound like FUN! – Talk about building a career.

•      Bullet Points – Make sure you sell your company and what you are offering – something like this:

  • Paid Training Program
  • Long-Term Employment
  • Family Owned Business
  • Paid Vacation
  • Full Appreciation for work done
  • Opportunities for Advancement

•      No Education Required – Women and Men Apply – Encourage everyone!

•      No Phone Calls! – You want potential applicants to come in so you get a chance to sell you and your dealership – this is a two-way opportunity.

•      Interviews 2 days only! – Having a defined interview period lets applicants know you are serious about hiring and gets them interested in acting now! – make sure you put the dates and times (9:30 am – 6:00 pm).

•     Who to ask for – Include the name of the person who will conduct the primary interviews and your address. Don’t include your phone number – this will only invite them to call instead of coming in for an interview.

If you would like an example of such an ad that has been extremely successful, e-mail me and I will get one to you.

Be prepared. Your campaign will fall apart if you do not allocate the time during the two days of interviewing to cater to your applicants properly. If your current salespeople are left to meet and greet these applicants, you may well end up with no candidates interested in completing an application!

Now that you know how to start a successful recruiting campaign, you need to be able to conduct an interview that not just allows you to learn about your applicant and their potential, but also gets the applicant excited about coming to work for you and starting a new career. Next month, I will take you through such an interview, along with how to start your new employees off correctly so you won’t have to run another sales recruiting campaign in another couple of months!

Vol 5, Issue 9

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