Monthly Archives: July 2012

3 Common Mistakes Salespeople Make

The 3 Most Common Mistakes Salespeople Make That Cost The Dealership Money!

The good news: They are all Preventable! Read below for the latest in how you can prevent Lost Sales!


An interview is the most important part of any sales process. There are several objectives for the interview. 

    • build a relationship with your customer
    • establish some common ground
    • build rapport
    • find out their needs and wants.

The interview must be conducted in a controlled area such as the sales office. Too often the salesperson will simply escort the customer to the inventory and start their sales process (if they have one).

When this occurs, the sales person has NO idea of what the customer’s needs might be, budget, credit worthiness, who is the buyer, who is the decision maker, who will make the payments, how many seat belts will they need and a variety of other information.

Additionally, many customers will gravitate towards units that DO NOT fit their needs, budget or other factors. Usually they will put themselves on something that is substantially outside their financial capabilities.

The salesperson must bring the customer to their desk/office, sit them down and start gathering information. A decent interview should last at least 15 minutes.

               Skip this process and it will result in LOST SALES.

Every time there is a face to face encounter a sale is made. Either the customer buys into the salespersons presentation or the salesperson buys into the customer’s presentation.

The sale is made by the person in control. NO CONTROL, NO SALE.

Control is determined by the person ASKING the questions. To maintain control you, the Salesperson, must ask the questions.

You will need to anticipate the direction of the conversation, mentally think ahead to possible answers and be ready for different responses.

This is called “Thinking on your feet”. Explore every angle. Never stop asking questions.

#3-TURN TO A MANAGER Never be the person to let your customer leave the dealership. ALWAYS turn your customer to a manager.

Get a second opinion. Two heads are better than one. We’ve all heard all the reasons, so why doesn’t this get done?

Studies show that turning customers to a manager will result in an additional 5% sold units.

Now this may not sound like much. Let’s do the math. If your store has 500 UPS a month, this one deal saving technique will result in an additional 25 sales.

At $2500 per unit that amounts to $62500 in ADDITIONAL GROSS, just for getting a second OPINION!

Here then are the 3 ways you can turn a lost sale into a SOLD CUSTOMER!
Conduct a real interview, maintain customer control and always turn to a manager! Do this consistently and your organization WILL Sell More Units!

by Dugan Anderson

Sales Training Manager DealerPro Training Solutions

Need help with Sales Training? Losing Sales and looking for answers? Give Dugan a call at 406-755-2910 or send an email to


Why “Old School” Communication is the new “Class Dismissed”

Fierce Leadership (Sketchnotes)

Fierce Leadership (Sketchnotes) (Photo credit: murdocke23)

Clearly there is a huge gap between what “we” (old school) managers and Leaders consider useful and proper communication,  motivation and Leadership techniques and what the “new” generation responds to.

There is a choice to be made.
A. Keep doing what you’ve been doing and keep getting the same results while expecting a different outcome.
B. Do something different.

In this business “transitional people” are a given. We attract people because we are the largest OJT training industry on the planet. ANYBODY can work in the Car Biz because we accept everybody.

The only people we reject (and that’s not a given either) is the people who cannot pass the smog test or background check…but I can guarantee you this…nearly half if not more reading these words do neither when hiring. It’s not an accusation or condemnation…it’s just the way it is.

So, having to deal with a generation who does not respond the same way, think the same way and act the same way should be no real surprise. What is a surprise is how much “old school” wants to hold on to the familiar and safe ways of management and Leadership style rather than adapting and overcoming this communication and Leadership gap.

Do we hold them to established Dealership standards of conduct? Yes
Do we hold them accountable to established performance goals? Yes
Do we expect professional behavior while on the job? Yes
Do we monitor and coach on a regular (daily) basis? Yes

HOW we communicate those standards of behavior and professionalism is where we need to to grow. HOW we hire and train is where we need to change. HOW we grow our own pool of qualified and professional people is HOW we overcome the challenge of finding qualified people.

This generation, like any other generation, still wants to Succeed. Just not in the manner we have defined Success! Identify and qualify that definition and you will have the employee you want and an employee you can count in in the future.

Keep applying “Old School” Communication and Leadership techniques and it will be “Class Dismissed”.

4 Challenging Employees and What To Do About Them

Employees are the life of any organization. We spends hours recruiting, screening and interviewing them. After we have hired them, we spend more time training, coaching and monitoring them.

And when it’s all said and done, we like to think that we have contributed to the Dealership’s future and had a hand in weaving the very fabric of that Dealership.

And in every Dealership there are some employees we label as “The Challenges”.

These people make us wonder why we became managers.

Maybe you inherited them… maybe you hired them and maybe… you managed them into the underachievers they are.

Whatever the situation, you have got to find a way to transform them from the under performing underachievers into consistent contributors to your Team.

Here are 4 of the most Challenging individuals and some strategies in guiding them through their transformation into Performing Team Members.

Before we go too far, there is one rule you must be aware of.

You can’t fix their Attitude. They own it. It belongs to them. The only way it changes is through their thinking.

What is an Attitude? Let’s define it before we move on.
I like this definition, see if you don’t agree.

An Attitude is a thought process. It is a reflection of a person’s internal reaction to their external environment.

Attitudes are influenced by emotions, actions, reactions, events and people. They can be extremely fragile or incredibly strong. And they change constantly in some people.

If you spend your time trying to change the “Attitude” instead of focusing on the “Behavior” you will die a slow death in Leadership hell smashed against the rocks of “The Unchanged Cliffs” much like a beached ship washed upon a coral reef.

Here are the 4 most common underachievers.

The Axe Grinder. This person exists in every Dealership. They are the one person that had something happen to them in their employment and they believe the Dealership or the manager had a hand in it. They are the ultimate “conspiracy theorist” when it comes to changes within the Dealership. To them, everything that has happened to them was the result of “poor management” and if they ran things everything would be perfect.

Instead of focusing on a solution, they would rather focus on telling everyone how “messed up” the Dealership or you, the manager is. They prefer to carry around their sad tale regaling coworkers from time to time with their own private philosophy and “management style.” (This is the “What I would do if” scenario)

They can become quite bitter towards the Dealership and even other co-workers if they are allowed to continue with their Axe Grinding.

The Fix. It’s a 3 step process. 1st, identify the Grinders main problem or issue. This can be extremely difficult to get to because, as with most Grinders, they usually have a list of things that are wrong. You need to focus on the items on their list that are repairable and can be addressed. Get them to acknowledge that  there are  things that will never be fixed and to put them away for good.

2nd. Ask for their help in resolving the issue(s). This is the buy in. You can’t move to step 3 without getting the Grinder to say that the solution you both agree on will take care of the issue to their satisfaction.

3rd. Describe the course of action you will take and describe the behavior that you expect from the Grinder from this point forward. Notice I did not say anything about “changing their Attitude” or “shape up.” If you want them to stop talking to everyone about everything that has ever happened then tell them that it is part of the agreement. One final thought here is that they agree to bring to your attention other problems before they get out of hand and they have a solution they believe will solve the problem.

The Agenda Maker. These folks have something to prove. They are totally focused on getting something done for themselves, quite often, at other people’s or the Dealership’s expense. They are not team players and do not have anyone’s interests in mind but themselves. In order to get what they want, they have been known to undermine other coworkers or you.

Quite often they are brilliant in what they do. Many Dealership’s rely on their performance. The numbers they produce can make or break a month or even a quarter. For many managers it becomes a matter of managing the lesser of two evils.

Every Dealership needs performance, and yet every Dealership requires cooperation and harmony to excel. Your internal battle is “For performance and numbers, do I allow this person to run roughshod over my department? Treat other workers poorly? Maybe even become arrogant to the point of openly defying management?”

The Fix. This includes identifying the behavior and setting some boundaries for this individual. By letting them know that you do not nor will you allow them to set the pace or tone for your department, you are also setting the expectations for their continued employment.

Tell this person that you appreciate their efforts, and will continue to support them in the performance of their duties. At the same time, let them know that you require cooperation and that if they want to play their own tune they may have to find another band.

Ask them to help build the department or business. Ask them to help train and support other team members. In some cases they are actually looking for additional duties and would like to have a hand in developing the business.

If they are not willing to play by the rules, they leave.

Mad Bombers. These are the quiet people. They never say much. (In public) They can be aloof to the point of unfriendliness (sometimes).

Now, some of you are saying, so what? Hey, at least they are being quiet, and doing their job… what more do you want?

This is the problem with these employees. One day, they come into your office and say “I want to file a complaint” or “I’ve taken another position” or “This is a hostile work environment” or any number of other bomb drops.

Because they feel they are not involved in the Success and Daily Dealership Business they never tell you what is going on and they have little loyalty. The bombs they drop often are the result of years of feeling “stepped on” or “I’m not appreciated.”

The Fix. Identify them and ask them for their input regularly. Get them involved and talking about what they are involved in. These folks will require a little more MBWA time and will open up if they feel you are genuinely interested in them. Here is a hint. You can learn at lot about your Dealership by talking to the quiet folks rather than the noisy folks. They are generally great observers.

Help them become better participators by involving them in more daily activities. You might consider starting a Toastmasters or speaking club in your Dealership, as these folks will benefit from speaking in public.
Make sure you involve them in making decisions and policy by openly asking for their input and suggestions.

Paychecker. These folks are here for the money. They perform their duties as well as anyone else; however, they will not perform above the call of duty.

They never volunteer for anything, yet are first in line for the food at the annual Dealership picnic. You can count on their coming to work, and not much else. They do not have much loyalty, and can become job hoppers.

They are also the “first” complainers. Every time something new comes about or requires a little more effort than before, they complain. Then they put their hand out.

In some cases, they can become the “malicious obedience” or “selective obedience” employees. They never doing anything outright that would get them fired for say malfeasance or performance, but they just tip toe the line right on the edge.

The Fix. This is a 3 step process.

1st. Let the Paychecker know that they are performing at an “average” level. Help them see that meeting minimum levels only guarantees that they will have minimum paychecks and that continued performance at average will mean that they get replaced first should the need arise.

2nd. Identify goals that can be met and achieved by the Paychecker that will lead to increased levels of production and pay. Help them see a new vision of them that will happen if  they commit to an increased level of performance.

3rd. Plan to review with them monthly for the first 90 days and see what progress they have made on their goals. Once they see that you are really interested in their achievements, they will begin to come around.
If they persist in maintaining minimum levels, give them duties and tasks that reflect those levels. If they wish to always remain a “Paychecker”, chances are you will not have them in your employ too much longer, as they are always looking for the BBD. (Bigger, Better Deal)

One final thought.
There is not a “one all fixes all” solution for these underachievers.

It requires some serious thought on your part, designed implementation and regular follow-up. (Persistence) You can’t have one meeting with any of them  and expect that all will be perfect from this day forward. It doesn’t work that way.

Take the time to identify the underachiever, make a plan that gives you and your Dealership an opportunity to help someone make a change for the better and follow through.