At almost 40 percent, sales turnover continues to be too high in this business. Accounting firm EisnerAmper, the source of this statistic, addresses the matter in one of its Dealer Insights. Its seven tips for improving sales staff retention article is good stuff. I concur entirely.
Too often, green peas fail to thrive, because they lack the fortitude and energy it takes to sell the volume of cars required to earn a livable income, which is $59,340 annually at dealerships. All too often green peas quit prematurely, because most dealerships fail to adequately train today.
So, in my article this month I want to discuss seven different steps (beyond those mentioned in Dealer Insights) that dealerships can take to ripen green peas faster so they become long-term members of the team.
This ripening strategy for helping turn green peas into producers more quickly and retain them longer is to use data mining technology to get sales flowing fast, often within 30 days or less.
An example of this is Friendly Kia, in New Port Richey, FL. It uses this strategy to help green peas make faster progress, gain needed confidence, and start earning commission dollars right from the start. The process, says dealer John Gilliss, helps his green peas put six to eight deals a month on the board, within 30 to 60 days of starting.
Here’s how this green pea training works:
- Sell to existing customer prospects lists, derived from internal data-mining efforts.
- Sort the list according to “very likely” candidates based on criteria like lease or finance contract termination, high mileage, orphan service customers, or specific model and year trade-ins. This helps John to become selective in his outreach.
- Provide each green pea with their share of opportunities, based on the different lists.
- Have each one telephone these prospects with specific vehicle/equity/customer information on hand from the database.
- His presentation focuses on offering these specific customers reasons to sell their current vehicle (and here is the compelling offer) if the dealership could put them into a new vehicle for about the same monthly payment.
- Equip green peas with trade-in value estimates, and the authority to speak about price and offer ranges.
- He provides talk-tracks that guide the green pea through this phone call. The talk-track provides various scripted responses to objections and other distractions so they remain on track and capture the interest of the prospect.
Gilliss notes that it is item seven of this strategy that gives green peas the confidence to approach these opportunities in a professional manner, since it takes pressure off to think fast on their feet while yet learning the retail auto business.
Given the extensive volume of fresh customers a green pea would need to engage and then move to the work order phase and finally into F&I, the newbie sales learning curve can be a long and frustrating one. When the dealer’s customer database is mined for hot opportunities (based on selected parameters), a green pea can work more deals by telephone in a day than they could taking showroom ups for a week.
“This strategy is a savior for new people coming into this industry,” remarked Gilliss. “It is invaluable to a green pea, because it helps them be successful much faster.”0