It’s All About The Bar

I often hear dealers complain about the quality of the people coming into the business. They complain that it’s hard to find people willing to work and who want to make some real money. Could it be that dealers are trying to hire the same type of person they were trying to hire 20 years ago?

I’m betting that many of you have experienced sales people selling less than 8 units a month. How can someone come to work every day, and only sell 8 cars a month? You have to ask yourself how is that possible? Are you making excuses for their lack of performance? Have you accepted mediocrity?

There’s a difference between showing up for work and actually coming to work. I’ve told this story before but it’s worth telling again. Many years ago I had an outstanding salesman who worked for me by the name of Sam Newsome. One of the things I always said about Sam was that when he came to work each day, he “came to work.

You never saw Sam when he wasn’t busy. He was always doing something to create business. If he didn’t have a customer he was either on the phone trying to find one, walking through the service department looking for one or he was busy in the inventory making sure he knew exactly what we had in stock and where it was parked.

I don’t think there are many Sam Newsomes out there and the problem is many dealers are still looking for Sam. And the reason you continue to look for Sam is that you’re not willing to change the way you view and want to run this business.

The best way for you to start to raise the bar is to raise your standards for the type of people you hire and the type of processes you demand that your organization embraces.

Raising the bar is exhausting and hard work. Raising the bar means being committed to the hiring and training of a different type of sales person.

Raising the bar goes against the grain. Raising the bar requires one to be a student of the game and have the willingness to change the game knowing there will be serious opposition from the masses. Raising the bar means developing new and innovative pay plans. Raising the bar means changing the selling system to fit today’s buyer.

Today’s buyer is just like you. They would much rather do the majority of their shopping online. You cannot sell cars to the online shopper the same way you sold cars 20 years ago.

Changing the game means changing the rules. Changing the rules means holding more people accountable for raising the bar. The bar does not get raised and left in that position. The bar has to be raised every day if you are going to continue to play the game and be successful.

Realize that raising the bar even just a little bit gives you an edge. It’s easy to do because so many of your competitors are locked into lowering the bar and accepting the business as it is, not as it could be.

To raise the bar:

Do It With Enthusiasm
Have No Fear
Change The Expectations
Don’t Make Exceptions
Create Accountability
Penalize Non-compliance

So, the choices are easy, you can continue to lower the bar, you can raise the bar or you can head to the bar. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs