My last blog divided a dealer’s growth potential into ‘Capacity’ and ‘Opportunities’. Let’s talk about how ‘opportunities’ fit into the area of Sales Force buy-in for a moment.
First off, your sales team is part of your ‘capacity’, just as is your facility, your F&I and your inventory. If you want a sales team that will work for their own benefit, and as a result, also work for the benefit of the dealership (my definition of a professional environment), than you need them to fully understand what an opportunity really is: It is the result of the dealer’s location, signage, reputation, presence on the web, overall exposure and advertising. All of these things are the result of time and money.
For a professional operation to really make progress in expanding its volume, the sales force must appreciate each and every ‘opportunity’ that comes to them as a result of all of the a fore mentioned. They must be able to convey to each email, walk-up, phone call or any other inquiry to the dealership the appreciation of the ‘opportunity’ to potentially earn business from the individual making the inquiry. This has to be heartfelt and complete sincere or it will not accomplish the desired goal; which is to make a strong impression on the potential customer how important and valuable they are to the dealership. If the words don’t come out of the sales person’s mouth with conviction, it will be detected as false. A false proclamation of appreciation is worse than no appreciation at all. People can sense when someone is ‘just saying something’ to say something.
For a salesperson to truly make a proclamation of appreciation, they must feel that their livelihood relies on the ‘opportunities’ that present themselves as a result of the dealership’s presence (web, signage, location, etc.). Practicing sincerity is not the same as truly meaning something. This is why the sales force needs to understand that even a simple email from someone looking at a piece of inventory deserves full appreciation.
In conclusion, I feel it is more important for the customer to understand their value to the dealership by simply considering it as a place to do business, than any other factor in the potential sale. This should also prevail in anyone who picks up the phone or comes in contact with a potential customer. Buying in to being part of the business endeavor requires management to make the ‘buy-in’ more than just words, but a shared mission that has the individual’s (your employees) benefit at stake as much as yours.