Auto Dealerships & Car Lots Resist The Temptation To Promote Your Best Salespeople
Terry Z. Voster
August 13, 2009
Terry S Vostor http://www.eagleridgegm.com/
In most sales jobs 80 % of the sales production is done by 15 to 20 % of the workers on the job. Call them high achievers , call them lone wolves or most productive salespeople . Its no different on the car lot. Ask any sales manager of a successful auto dealership.
They will confirm that the highest percentage of vehicle sales and finance contracts are written by a small group of high producing sales people.
Yet these wonder volume journeyman are often vaulted and promoted as a reward to positions of management and administration Bad new for the auto dealership's volume and ultimately profits.
In the average car dealership, it always seems to follow that somehow outstanding and successful sales people seem to get promoted to be the sales managers. It just seems to be a matter of course. A "sales managers' job is a step up, its prestige among the fellow, one upmanship. Yet nothing can be a poorer choice. On top of that it is almost a trap for the most successful sales people. Once people get a taste of management in their blood , it almost takes over their egos and certainly their lives. Who needs it ? And for less money ? You cannot take prestige and long hours to the bank. However what often follows in these most motivated, and persistent closers is a loss of income as well. Staying a lowly, less prestigious, salesperson - salesman or women, might well have been a wiser choice for them. The best advice of many a now happy salesperson , who after being promoted to management and administrative positions, was somehow able to return to the former status and stature is "It is not worth it".
Yet once promoted into the positions of sales management and administration , once gotten a taste of the prestige and power , it is very few human beings who will wish or offer to go back down - If they are smart the better , more productive salesman manage to avoid this trap of ego.
Why is this so? Most of what successful people and workers accomplish in their lives is a result of simple ego gratification and simple self interest - be it financial renumeration or the satisfaction of a job well done or a good deed accomplished. To step down from this apparently highly regarded position, this step up along the path of getting ahead in the organization and among their fellows and contemporaries would seem to be admission of failure. If anything what drives most auto sales floors is competition among those on the floor - It all happens on the sales floor. Vehicle sales. Finance apps and applications written. If anything auto sales people are known to brag and even exaggerate about their production figures and even from time to time make up fictitious numbers and even lie about their tales of bravado and success. Could this be true? It comes with the territory, the challenge and the hunt on the vehicle lot I guess. So once promoted even if miserable with their lot in life or position in the pecking order in the company few will step down - No one wants to take a hit at their ego but to their former position in the organizational structure. Once an agent has a "taste of management " and its alleged prestige its hard to go back down from that Cadillac to a Chevy.
It is mainly about ego , not earning potential and levels. A good salesperson can usually over achieve in income levels over most floorwalkers and management on the lot.
What is the answer here? What are solutions never mind risks, benefits features and benefits? It's all very simple. People , in this case - auto sales staff , rise to their level of incompetency , not their most valuable and productive level - in this case being car sales staff , agents and vehicle finance officers - The very skills that make for the best , highest volume producing auto sales agents are contrary to the skills needed for management , staff cheerleaders, administration and bean counters. It's usually the case, not 100 % but more enough of the time to make it a truism.
Don't promote your best, hardest working and achieving people on the sales floors to management positions at your dealership / dealerships. It is as simple as that. Both the dealership, the sales staff, your production numbers and most importantly the mental well being and earnings of your top sales staff will all be the better for wear. On top of that top producers always serve as the models and target sales production role models for other sales and support staff who always can benefit from a role model - if not a figure to emulate and overtake.
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