When you think of the word ‘salesperson’, what comes to mind? For most people, it’s words like slick, slimy, greasy, con-artist, or snake.   I think most dealers agree that these aren’t words they want to hear when others describe their salespeople. So, how do you find salespeople for your dealership who aren’t slick, slimy or greasy?

As you think about hiring for your sales area, it’s important to understand that you need different sales roles require different types of people. I know some dealerships have salespeople working at the parts counter, some have dedicated inside salespeople and some have dedicated outside salespeople, understanding what you are looking for will help you decide the best place to look for each type of salesperson.

Last week, I talked about where to find parts people, so we won’t spend much on it today, however, if you’d like to review how to find parts salespeople,  you can find that article here.  The key point is that you should never just look for parts people but instead look for parts counter salespeople; it’s important to understand that everyone at the parts counter needs to have basic sales skills.

If you are looking for an inside salesperson, one of the places that we have seen some dealerships have success is with those in the teaching profession. When you think about what a good inside salesperson looks like, it is most likely someone who is consistent, enjoys helping others, and has the ability to follow up. Most teachers would fit right into that. Many times, they are just scared away from a sales job, because they have had negative experiences with salespeople before. We have even seen some dealers hire teachers during the summer when the dealership is in season and school is out. It’s been a win/win. The teacher has the ability to make extra money and the dealership doesn’t have to carry an extra employee through the slow season.

When you are looking for someone to be an outside sales person, you are typically looking for a “hunter”. By that I simply mean, you want someone who loves to go out and find new business (hunting), get the sale and bring in new business. This is not someone who will necessarily be great with the details and paper work, but they will be great at making the sale. We often joke that someone who makes a great outside salesperson is someone who sees a “no soliciting” sign and makes the assumption that they aren’t talking about them. One way to find a great outside salesperson is to ask your employees, friends, and family this simple question: “Who is the best salesperson you know?” Many times, you will be able to get referrals that you can follow up on and possibly find someone to join your team.

Another great place to look for a salesperson is at a restaurant that you frequent. The best waiters and waitresses are incredible sales people As you are looking to grow your business, it’s important to look outside of the box of your industry or the sales profession as a whole and find people who embody what you care about as a dealership and train them to help take your dealership to the next level.

Sara Hey

About Sara Hey

Sara Hey is the Vice President of Operations and Development for Bob Clements International. She has spoken at conferences across the country educating dealers on the internal aspects of their business. She graduated from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois, and has been a contributing writer for BCI for 3 years.