|Do your sales managers do what you hired them to do? Do they know what you hired them to do? Do they know how to do what you hired them to do? Do they have the time to do what you hired them to do?|
To answer these questions, you must first have an idea of what a sales manager should be doing. If you are like the majority of car dealers, most of your dealership’s income comes from the sales department. You have a sales manager who was hired to run that department. As this department is the highest revenue generating department in your dealership, it stands to reason that this position is of the utmost importance. Let’s look at the role of a sales manager.
Their role consist of two things: a sales manager should either be working with a salesperson to help him close a deal or talking with a customer to try to close a deal.
Right now you are probably thinking how crazy I am. If you were to ask your sales manager to write down all his job duties, I imagine the two duties just described will not be atop the list. Nevertheless, your sales manager has the opportunity to add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your bottom line if you not only allow, but make sure he/she does just those two things.
Many sales managers spend countless hours doing dealer trades. Why? I know that dealer trades are necessary, but are they a function only a sales manager can do? Have an employee who is paid hourly do the research, call the other dealers and work out a trade. Let the sales manager approve the trade then the hourly employee can take care of all the paperwork. How much extra time would this give your sales manager to take care of your sales team and customers?
Your sales manager should welcome the opportunity to speak with every customer that visits your dealership. Instead, I have seen them decline because they were too busy with dealer trades or organizing balloons and helium for the weekend. Talking with customers should be your sales manager’s No. 1 priority.
Just imagine if your sales manager was introduced to each customer right after the interview stage. They would start up a relationship with your customer that would be conducive to them buying from your dealership. Your salespeople will have the sales manager’s assistance from the start, so they can be held accountable for that customer. Your sales manager just needs to be introduced by the salesperson, and then they can say something like this: “Mr. & Mrs. Customer, Jason (the salesperson) is going to bring a vehicle up for you to look at and drive. We both think it will be perfect for you. I’m glad to see you are working with Jason. We are proud to have him as a valuable member of our team, and I know he will take good care of you. When you return from your test drive, Jason will show you our award-winning service department. Then, I would like for you to come and get me, so you can let me know what you think of everything you see here today.”
How do you think your customer will react? This will no doubt make then feel a lot more important than the other dealership they just visited down the street.
How do you think your salespeople will react? Now they are looking up to the sales manager as someone who is genuinely trying to help them do their job.
Your sales manager should be doing this on a full-time basis. One mistake I have seen is a salesperson introducing his customer to the sales manager more like this: “John, this is Mr. and Mrs. Customer, they aren’t ready to buy anything right now, they are just in the looking stages, but I wanted you to say hello to them before they leave.” What can a manager do with that kind of turnover? Not much!
To get the most out of your sales manager, you must allow him/her to spend time with salespeople and customers. They must be allowed to coach, mentor and train your sales team. This should be accomplished by allowing them to role play while working on the floor and demonstrating how things should be done.
I recently had the experience of replacing my wife’s vehicle. It was the dealership management team that helped me in making my final decision on what to buy and where to buy it from.
It was no easy task for any of the salespeople I worked with in the process, especially after they found out who I was and what I do for a living. One dealership stood above the rest though, Ferman Mazda of Brandon, Fla. The reason was due to the management team and their involvement. Our salesperson, Star, did a great feature/benefit presentation and demo with my wife. When I arrived and she learned about my background, she introduced me to one of her managers. A few minutes later, another manager introduced himself to us. They treated us with utmost professionalism and care. We felt as important as every customer should be made to feel. They knew this was not going to be the most profitable deal for them, but they did not act that way.
Once a deal was struck, I was introduced to the business manager, Paula, who had a menu already printed on her desk. It was the only thing on her desk, so I invited her to give me a full presentation. It was as if she had been through our training, as she did everything by the book. It is no wonder she is so successful!
If it hadn’t been for the managers, I seriously doubt that we would have bought from this dealership. Make sure your managers have the same effect on every customer that visits your dealership. They can, and will, make a difference.