Whether your sales have hit a plateau or dipped with the unsteady economy over the past few years, you’re probably looking for ways to improve your bottom line. For this article, we’re going to assume you’ve already cut as much of the chaff as possible. You’re not operating with an excess of employees or hours. You haven’t made a huge order for vehicles that are just going to sit on the lot. You’re running a pretty lean machine. Well, here’s how to improve that machine’s efficiency, boost your customer service, and get your sales numbers up and running.
Have you looked at your selection process for salespeople lately? In this economy, everyone’s hungry. There’s no shortage of people looking for work, especially in sales. That’s not to say that you should cull your staff and start over, but if you’re doing any hiring, pay attention to your process. Don’t just hire the first guy who walks onto your lot. Checking references could mean the difference between hiring someone mediocre and someone who’s amazing.
Never stop looking for ways to improve. If you think that training starts and ends with getting to know your car dealership, how it runs, when to show up, and when to leave, then you’re dead wrong. Your sales staff can always use more knowledge. Schedule quarterly, bi-annual, or annual training seminars. Bring in sales experts to discuss and educate your people on new tactics.
Pay Attention to Your Team
Increasing sales at your car dealership is going to involve some change. After all, someone once said that insanity is defined as repeating the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome. You’re not insane, and neither are your employees. Do the smart and sane thing: pay attention to suggestions and comments. Let your staff be a part of the positive change you’re making.
Lead with the carrot, not the stick. You won’t retain good staff by beating them up when they don’t meet your expectations. That’s not to say that you should put up with lax behavior. However, if one of your employees is falling down on the job, the conversations about their performance should be conducted in a private, sensitive manner. When they exceed expectations, never be stingy with praise and always give incentives when you can.
If you follow these basic tenets, you’ll find that you have a positive, high-energy car dealership with a staff that wants to succeed. Your customers won’t be able to help feeling that vibe, and they’ll be much more likely to close deals with you.