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Automotive Leadership

End_of_month-crunch

Do you ever wonder why dealerships and consumers alike are all programmed to buy cars at the end of the month? Asking how this happened is like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. For sales teams and managers, the end-of-the-month crunch is a grind.

When it’s over, it’s natural to relax a little before diving into the new month. For consumers, all the commercials and pressure to buy are pushed out towards the end of the month, so many of them are programmed to know they can get a better deal if they wait.

Then there are the manufacturers, who throw out additional incentives towards the end of the month to keep managers and salespeople motivated.

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How_to_Interview_Salespeople

This article first appeared in the February 2019 issue of AutoSuccess Magazine.

Dealers are struggling to fill sales positions, according to the NADA 2018 Dealership Workforce Study. Total sales consultant turnover is at 80 percent, and hiring efficiency is 46 percent, which means dealers need two new hires to find the right sales consultant. Additionally, 42 percent of sales consultant terminations happen within the first 90 days.

Why do dealers struggle with filling sales positions? Several factors come into play, including workplace culture, pay plans, lack of training and a low unemployment rate. But I also believe that many dealers are too quick to fill open positions. Finding the right fit for your dealership is a thoughtful and deliberate process.

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Let’s face it, sales training is usually boring for everyone involved – but it doesn’t have to be. If your regularly-scheduled sales meetings are starting to feel repetitive, it’s time to think outside the box and focus on up-skilling your team.

Without ongoing training and coaching, any team’s sales skills begin to stagnate. Seasoned reps might find themselves in a rut, focusing on the next number and the same tried and true tactics (that don’t work well, to begin with). Newer members of the team might struggle to pick up sales methods or processes, and subsequently, fail to stay on pace.

One of the easiest ways to provide ongoing training is to coach your team and help them focus on the big picture. We’ve identified coaching ideas that you can incorporate into your sales meetings to boost performance and have included a playable video link on the topic from industry veteran Bill Wittenmyer that you can share with your team.

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Selling_Cars_The_Magic_Formula_For_Success

Did you know that the self-improvement industry in the U.S. is a $10 billion market? That means there are a lot of people out there who are not achieving their goals. Of course, there are also dozens, if not hundreds of self-help gurus taking advantage of this situation and dishing out advice on how to be successful.

If only success were as simple as drinking a bottle of magic formula.

The reality is, whether you’re selling cars or performing oil changes, only you are in control of how successful you will be. Ultimately, it’s up to you to create your own formula for success. Expect it to take time and allow plenty of room for trial and error. Read More

create_a_memorable_customer_experience

As a seasoned road warrior, I don’t always look forward to the next airport, cab ride or hotel destination. There are definitely some aspects of traveling that are forgettable. However, over the years I have developed a list of favorites, as in favorite restaurants and hotels to visit.

When I walk into these places, I am immediately greeted like an old friend. They know my name, they know what I like and everything is ready for me. The service is authentic, meaning it feels real. I believe the employees in these establishments are genuinely happy to see me (if they aren’t, they sure do a good job pretending).

When I have a great experience somewhere, I will also sign up for its email list. Not only do I sign up for it, but I will actually open the emails to see if there are any special offers being promoted the next time I visit that hotel or restaurant. If there aren’t, that’s okay. I choose to go there anyway because of the experience.

Think about your service experience. When a customer pulls into your service lane, are they immediately greeted like an old friend, or are they ignored for several minutes because your service advisors are too busy helping other customers? Read More

Bill Wittenmyer reveals 5 Tips Managing Dealership Teams

When you’re responsible for managing employees, it’s important not to slip into a habit of managing with emails. Your employees are your team. Imagine if a football coach emailed a game plan to his players instead of reviewing it with them in person. It’s hard to get excited or motivated when you’re simply reading words.

In psychology, it’s generally agreed that 55 percent of communications is body language, and 38 percent is the tone of voice.  Only seven percent of communication lies in the actual words we say.  Emails and text, although incredibly useful for many reasons, are pretty ineffective at conveying emotion, clarifying strategies and for making sure your team members are all on the same page. A single two-sentence email can be interpreted in several ways.

Most managers know this, of course. They hold weekly meetings to discuss numbers, goals and strategies. In addition to the requisite meetings, I recommend a few best practices to help build a strong team bond: Read More