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Bright Ideas

Your Dealership Has a Sales Problem

Posted by Clark Rutledge on 8/12/16 8:00 AM
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Selling vehicles is a tough job, you hear one yes after multiple no’s. Or a couple you thought was interested in a car was only window shopping. Each day takes thick skin and the desire to strive for that yes; you know this, your salespeople know this. However, occasionally your team just can’t seem to bounce back from that no. It’s been a tough week on sales and it’s affecting most of your sales team. You’ve hit a slump at the dealership — they are underperforming and you need to turn that around ASAP. Whether it’s low morale, high turnover, or they’re in need of a refocus on motivation, something needs to change.

If your sales department is experiencing some issues, here are four tips to fix those problems.

1. Understand your team’s personalities.

The typical car salesperson is ambitious, driven, more on the competitive side, and value their independence to make sales happen. These are the qualities that move cars from the lot to the customers’ homes. The trick is to determine how these traits work together for each salesperson, and it will vary. Each salesperson has strengths and weaknesses, you must know these. What do they care about most? This requires you to know your sales team, but personality tests may help as well.


2. Tailor rewards and motivators.

Along with each of your car salespeople having different personalities, they will also be motivated by different incentives. For some, a bigger paycheck is enough, for others public recognition is the biggest driver. Once you know what motivates your team members, put together a system of recognition. The key to success here is to have different reward options that appeal to all the salespeople, lower performers to high performers. Lower performers can be easily discouraged by rewards that only motivate the top sellers. Motivators can include: bonuses and commission checks, paid time off, career development, training opportunities, tickets to conferences, small gifts, company-wide recognition, etc. Simply asking each person on your team what s/he wants will give you easy answers.
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3.   Generate competition.

Take advantage of the competitiveness each salesperson possesses. A healthy level of competition will get your team engaged and make work more fun. Competitions are a great way to boost participation during slower sales times. However, these competitions should have a specific business purpose, a goal or behavior that you’re aiming to encourage, strengthen, whatever the case may be.


4.  Recognize achievements.

This is one of the simplest ways to encourage your sales team. A salesperson being recognized from anyone above him/her is incredibly helpful. A comment, an award, a lunch, something to show that salesperson that their vehicle sale numbers are not going unnoticed. As much as a dealership is a bit of a playing ground for each salesperson, encourage them to acknowledge other’s achievements. Recognition should be genuine and done regularly. You’ll be surprised how far a congrats, high-five or note on the sales wall goes.


Your sales team, the people that make the sale to get vehicles off the lot, are important people to keep motivated. A constant flow of information and feedback will help you determine the level of motivation your sales team is having. If you’re sensing some pullback or lack of drive, be sure to address the matter quickly because an unmotivated sales team means the inventory isn’t moving!


Other Sources:

Managing Salespeople by MindTools

How To: Motivate Your Sales Staff by Success.com


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Topics: Automotive, Automotive Strategy, Retail Automotive