Where have all the managers gone?

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Try David’s Pop Quiz to see if your online lead handling expertise is up to scratch

Nearly every week I am in a dealership somewhere in Canada or in the U.S. assisting with its BDC or Internet operation and a common occurrence is for the sales managers, finance managers and used car managers to skip the training.

Don’t get me wrong, they come to the planning meetings and participate in animated discussions about the pros and cons of their BDC or Internet operations but they disappear when it comes time for training.

Many of the managers also hold the position of training manager in the dealership, so this makes no sense because untrained trainers seem reckless to me.

Given the dynamic nature of the automotive Internet, and our reliance on it for generating sales and profits, I would imagine dealerships would benefit from well trained sales and finance managers that can teach their team how to be successful.

I’m not pitching for having trainers in the store, I’m pitching for sales and finance managers to have a monthly training session that requires them to expand their knowledge about online buying and selling.

There are tons of quality options available and many of them are free, so budget isn’t an issue.

I point this out early in the year so you can make the commitment to be like the dealerships that really rock it out.

A common thread in our most successful dealerships is that the general manager, general sales manager, sales and even finance managers are part of the training sessions.

Get this — they even sit up front, bring paper and make notes so they can show their team they are committed to learning.

What’s really awesome is they learn side by side with their team members who will then appreciate when they suggest an idea or strategy that was discussed in the training.

I’ve been in the business professionally since 1984 and have sold cars, managed sales teams and managed dealerships, and I never stop learning.

Just this week I was making notes as a general manager outlined the five things that make their dealership unique. The list was pure gold and inspired me to want to do better. The point is we must never stop learning and expanding our capacity to improve.

I’ve created a quiz that you can take or share to test your current knowledge of key Internet marketing and sales processes.

If you ace it, pat yourself on the back. If you struggle, consider sitting through some training sessions this year to improve your ability to lead and train your team.

I’ve got the answers based on my own experience, and can back them up by results. The reason I even ask is to challenge sales and finance managers to get involved daily in working with your BDC and Internet teams so you can become the expert your team desperately needs.

It’s fun to help people improve and it happens much faster when the managers own the responsibility and are willing to educate themselves to ensure they teach their team the very best strategies and tactics.

Tap into your free resources for training and task yourself to learn one new thing about your BDC or Internet operation each week so you can share it with your team.

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my article.  If I can ever be of service please call, text or email.

Kain’s Pop Quiz

1. If a lead comes in from your website on one of your new vehicles and asks for your best price, what is the best strategy to engage with your prospect if you wish to have a high close rate?

a. Send an email with the price and alternative vehicles
b. Call quickly to discuss their request
c. Send an email and ask them to call you
d. Offer them an appointment to see the vehicle

2. If a lead comes in from an online classified website and they ask about availability and the vehicle is sold, what is the right response strategy if you don’t have a phone number and you want to sell them a vehicle?

a. Send an email telling them it is sold and ask them if they need further assistance
b. Send an email telling them it is available and to come check it out
c. Send an email letting them know you are checking availability and ask what prompted them to select that vehicle
d. Ignore their question and send an email with pricing on vehicles you have available

3. During the follow up process it is smart to hang up strategically if the call goes to voicemail

a. True
b. False

4. When adding inventory to your website

a. It is smarter to let technology describe your vehicles
b. It is smarter to have a seasoned employee write personal descriptions highlighting key features and unique qualities
c. It is smarter to use the VIN explosion to list the key features

5. Are you confident in your answers or did you just guess?

a. Confident and can prove they are the right answers
b. Guessed and hoped I was right

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Canadian auto dealer