Spring

Spring and “springtime” refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, renewal and regrowth.

Infant

The term infant is typically applied to young children between the ages of 1 month and 12 months;

Green Pea

An inexperienced car salesperson. We all were one at one time, remember?

Summer

The warmest of the four temperate seasons, between spring and autumn. At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day-length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice.

Teenager

A transitional stage of physical and psychological human development generally occurring between puberty and legal adulthood

90 Day Wonder

The 90 day wonder is the sales associate, brand new to the business, who starts out like gang-busters. Who, for the first couple of months, leads the board. Then, after about 60 to 90 days, their production starts to dip until it plateaus somewhere around the average. [Average; The best of the worst] Anyone relate to this stage?

Fall

The possibilities of summer are gone, and the chill of winter is on the horizon. Skies turn grey, and many people turn inward, both physically and mentally

Adult

A fully grown human being  that is of relatively mature age,

Veteran Salesperson

Set in their ways and resistant to the new initiative. Most of us were this at one time as well.

Winter

The coldest season of the year in temperate climates, between autumn and spring. At the winter solstice, the days are shortest and the nights are longest,

Senior

A common polite designation for an elderly person. The old-timer, complacent, sacred cow Sales person. Tail wagging the dog salesperson, change not possible. I only sold for 6 years, didn’t get to become this one.

Let’s tie this all together

Don’t you just love spring? I swear I can almost hear things growing and blooming in my yard, can almost see the bulbs coming up like one of those time lapse videos. The area I live in has flowering pear trees everywhere and for a few weeks it’s just amazingly beautiful. The smells, the coolness of the mornings, love it. A fresh start!

Who doesn’t like babies? The way they laugh, grow so fast, everything is so new to them and they seem interested in everything, learn multiple new things each day. The way they smile and laugh is just so real. The crying isn’t that cool, but the way they smell [most the time] and everything else makes up for those late nights. Wonder and excitement in their eyes!

Green Pea salespeople; Now these we all love, they are those new salespeople that are committed, trained, with no bad habits, clean canvas’s for us to paint on. They say what you trained them to say, they do it without hesitation, with enthusiasm and the results are typically outstanding! They want to learn everything, they actually come and ask for lists to make calls, how to prospect, what to read, how they can become better.

Spring turns to summer and the days become longer, the beach, warm summer nights. Summer always reminds me of when I was younger and summer vacation, playing baseball, drive in movies [yes I’m older and they didn’t have DVD’s then] driving with the top down on your car.

Being a teenager is both fun and exciting but also confusing at times as well. We think we know everything, yet as we find out eventually we know very little. Our voices change, we are more concerned about what others think and our bodies change faster than we emotionally mature. Some of us were in the “in crowd” others in different crowds or cliques, but all of us felt awkward in some respect, but still tried to act cool.

The 90 Day Wonder Salesperson; he or she has growing pains as well, we think we have it all figured out and start to short cut everything that made us great to begin with when we were mere Green Peas. Funny how stupid our managers become after we have sold for a few months. Little later to work, leave a little earlier, start getting more involved in the salesperson “Dope Ring.”

Fall…..ahhhh my favorite, Football, leaves turn color, sweaters, great sleeping nights. Halloween and scaring the neighborhood kids, Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino at WAWA …

Adults, finally we can vote, drink, get married, get divorced… we can cuss, have sex, live on our own, earn a living [pay bills] take advantage of all the freedoms that are available to us. Don’t need to listen to our parents any longer.

The Veteran Salesperson; we are now experts in our field, we have sold at several dealerships, know the “holes” in each pay plan. This should be our peak earning years, repeat and referral clients. We have attended training, seminars, read books on selling; we are now “Professionals” For sure we don’t need to do everything our managers tell us to do.

Winter, don’t get me wrong I’m not a huge fan of being cold but that first snowfall and the way newly fallen snow looks on the trees and the sound it makes when you walk in it is pretty cool. Christmas, a warm fire… more football and bringing in the new year are great things about the winter.

Seniors, as much as I try and fight it at nearly 61, I guess I’m a senior. Even though through the years I have learned much, I make mistakes each day, I am a bit better at covering them up now perhaps. We begin to think some about mortality, maybe winding down our work just a little. Kids are grown, grandchildren growing. I seem to get cranky quicker but at the same time have patience for things I wouldn’t have when I was younger.

Entitled, untouchable, sacred cow Salesperson; most showroom floors have at least one, they have been there forever, friend of the DP, GM or family member. Don’t attend meetings, which might be a good thing. They hold their own daily meetings on the floor with the 90 day wonders, telling them how it REALLY is. The have sold 3-4000 cars or more over their career yet still can’t ever seem to get over 12 a month now.

Building A Better Salesperson

How can we build that “perfect salesperson” and keep them that way?

We can’t get them at the mall..

Ha,I don’t have that answer, if I did I’d own a nice island somewhere and not be banging at this keyboard .

I do however have some thoughts and opinions on this building of a better salesperson. There is little doubt and I don’t think that it can be debated that in any relationship the selection process will have much to do with how well that relationship goes and how long it will last and stand up against bumps in the road that will surely come.

We have all heard the phrase Hire slow and fire fast and I generally agree with that.

When we do recruiting/training campaigns for dealers we take a full week of interviews and then initial training with really acts as a culling or vetting process so the dealerships can make a wiser decision on who to hire. Now weather you use us or do it yourself, why wouldn’t you want to really take your time if you knew that that person or persons are going to directly affect your paycheck, the perception of you and your dealership? I think we all get caught a little bit in the “I’m a great judge of character” thing… man I have made that mistake way to many times, maybe you are and maybe you’re not but in either case it’s no way to hire salespeople.

Let’s take that infant salesperson and teach them everything, they are sponges at this point and the more you give them the better and faster they will grow.

At some point a few months into their employment they pretty much feel and or think they have both you, the customer and this business of selling figured out. They are still pumped up and still teachable but due to their rapid growth and all the changes that are going on in them they begin to question many things i.e do I really need to demo every client? Is a walk around really necessary? Why show them our service department, they will get that done down the street anyway.” Boss, they know everything, so we need to start this deal at the “real money” etc. Their sales begin to drop and of course you, your ads and the inventory are mostly to blame.

Protect the 90 day wonder against themselves, it’s not their fault, its human nature. They need even more attention, more training, more mentoring than ever before, this is a critical time in their development and if we don’t develop them, we will always be looking for replacements.

I think that as a salesperson matures into an adult veteran we tend to over look them, we figure they are plug and play and better left alone if they are doing “ok.” It seems as though we feel they don’t or wont need, want or relate to any motivation or additional training. At AutoMax we believe in getting the veteran salespeople very involved in their training, actually let them train themselves and we just facilitate the training meetings in a proper direction.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBpI4Wya8fA

They all think they are smarter than management anyway, and in fact they are the ones that are belly to belly with the clients each day so who better to know what objections need to be overcome and the proper, professional way to do that… that actually doesn’t just sound good, but works!

Finally at the end of our season and cycle in the “sacred cow salesperson” what do we do about them? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying every 25-30 year vet is bad, most are very good or they wouldn’t have lasted so long, but…. have they stayed current, can they truly relate to today’s clients and their needs?

When I did turn around consulting on the road in the late 80’s,early 90’s we would go in and first thing blow that guy right out of there ,didn’t need the “headache “Looking back I’m now not 100% sure that’s the proper thing to do. I am concerned about this salesperson taking ups, they have sold forever why in the world would they need to and if they don’t need to take ups, why should they be at the dealership every hour that the other salespeople are there? Maybe the best way to handle this seasoned salesperson is flex their schedule, keep them away from your “infants and teens” Change their pay plans to reflect being paid only on commission, decreased benefits but the flexibility of not having to be there bell to bell either.

In summary, take that baby and  nurture them properly, understand the teenager and help them get over those hard times, engage the adult and help them become leaders in a good way and as long as there are healthy keep that old timer, just make sure they are not poisoning the others or they may need to be put in a home.