When you think about sales people, what comes to mind? For most people, it’s words like slick, slimy, greasy, or con artist. Now tell me, who wouldn’t want to be a sales person when those words come to mind? As you are looking for salespeople, I think most dealers we work with would agree that the words above aren’t words that they would want to be said of their own sales people. So, how do you find salespeople for your dealership that go against the “norm” of sales people?
As you think about hiring sales people, it’s important to understand that you need different types of sales people for different roles. I know some dealerships have their sales people working at the parts counter as well. While some have dedicated inside sales people and outside sales people, understanding what you are looking for will help you hone in on where to look for each type of salesperson. As we work with dealerships we always say we are never just looking for parts people but we are looking for parts counter sales people. Regardless if you are looking for someone to work strictly behind the parts counter or someone to do sales with a customer when they come in, it’s important to understand that everyone at the parts counter needs to have basic sales skills.
If you are looking for someone to do inside sales, one of the places that we have seen some dealerships have luck is with teachers. When you think about what a good inside sales person looks like, it is someone who is consistent, who wants to help 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 will go out, find a prospect, make the sale and bring the sale to the dealership. This is not someone who will necessarily be great with the 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 employee, friends, and family this simple question: “Who is the best sales person 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 sales person 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.