Today, fewer consumers rely on a salesperson to make an informed purchase. Simply put, the internet gives the customer more transparency than the dealer does, but what would happen if the customer and dealer had the exact same information? On today’s show, CBT’s Jim Fitzpatrick sits down with Barry Schwartz, vice president at Robertson Honda of Palmdale, California, and he tells us how dealers can improve the training resources for their sales department, in order to make them more transparent with customers.
Barry got started in the automotive industry like lots of people do. He needed to find a job in order to support a burgeoning family. He first started in the service department and worked his way up through the business. Once he realized he really genuinely enjoyed working in the industry, he continued to grind through sales and shot upwards.
After becoming the GM at his dealership, Barry took a gamble and transitioned the entire sales department over to a one-price selling structure. No negotiations and a no hassle environment became the main objectives. Although it was difficult to transition the dealership at first, after three months, he brought the company culture on board with the new game plan. Keeping in mind that the customer can “fire” you, transparency became essential to making this business model a success. It was this innovation that earned Barry the honor of being named one of the 40 Under 40 for Automotive News.
Not only did Barry and his staff see an improvement in sales their numbers, but they were also attracting a hoard of new employees who really didn’t want the stress and pressure of negotiating in sales. The salespeople were in fact, transitioned to product specialists. Product specialists present and demonstrate the vehicle to the customer, and these job responsibilities appealed to millennials and veterans.
A one-price selling method in both the new car department and used car department is significantly different from the traditional selling experience. Customers will go from one dealership to another to price potential vehicle, so this model sure makes a lasting impression on everyone that walks through the door.
However, it’s not enough to change the pricing structure, the dealer needs to have the courage to let a customer go even after they’ve gotten all the numbers. But once you get over that hump, and once the staff is trained, being a GM for this kind of business becomes a breeze.