No matter how you slice it, your sales team is paramount to your success as an automotive dealership. As the dealer, it’s your responsibility to create a favorable work environment where your floor team has an opportunity to make a living for themselves with the support of the management team. Qualifications to sell cars at your dealership should require more than willingness and a pulse. Too often a store succumbs to high turnover, and, in haste, hires Tommy Boy. Is there a way for dealership morale to thrive while front end gross increases?
While there are many natural born salesmen who truly enjoy the process, there are a host of other reasons people go into sales. Automotive sales positions offer the ability to be compensated based on your performance. What if your staff’s livelihood doesn’t rest solely on the volume of consumers walking through your door, but rather on the quality of time spent with each person? Investing in a personalization profit center, or presenting Vehicle Personalization in your showroom, allows your sales staff to build on the existing commission structure. Specifically, personalization creates the opportunity for continued relationships, less frustrating wait time (and in turn a happier client), an experience catered to a multitude, and increased profit for both dealership and sales staff.
A successful personalization program requires a few key elements for dynamic growth and long-term profitability.
Management Buy-in | There isn’t a program, promotional campaign, or process that can survive without upper-level management support. A personalization program hinges on the management team understanding the bottom line and agreeing on the process. Everyone involved should be able to see the benefit to the store, his or her individual department, and have the understanding to implement the program. Management’s attitude and support of the program set the foundation for how your sales staff will receive, perceive, and carry out a new step in their process.
Pitching to the team | When a general sales manager fully grasps the benefits of a personalization program to the dealer as a whole, it’s time to pitch this new process to your team. Remember that a process is just that--a process. Ensure every member of the sales team understands your new program, how it can add to the dealership’s front end gross, and ultimately why that matters to each one of them. Introduce an enticing and attainable commission structure for accessory sales at this point. Let the sales staff see unity and consistency from management mandating the process, and to see your willingness to support the team as they master the skill of presenting personalization to every customer at the point of sale.
Thorough Training | Showroom personalization isn’t a promotion, but a process. Slow and steady wins the race when launching a new step in any operation. Proper training with a dedicated sales staff on board with the new program will ensure future success. Consider bringing in a Vehicle Personalization consultant to explain the feature, application, and benefit of the accessory industry, profit center, and personal gain for sales. Before engaging the customer, practice using lead products, and soft selling personalization based on the customer’s lifestyle. Make sure every salesperson understands the importance of cross-departmental communication on the accessory order and what his responsibility is, if any, after the sale.
Vehicle Personalization is an industry with unlimited potential, and should excite any salesperson interested in adding commission to his month-end check. With the support of the management team and proper training, the addition of this program can boost morale and reduce turnover, while adding profit to your store.