As the old saying goes, you should never judge a book by its cover, and the same is true when choosing a new hire to train at your dealership. On today’s show, Jim Fitzpatrick speaks to Anthony Santangelo, a national sales recruiter and trainer at AutoMax to discuss the characteristics and skill sets that dealers should be looking for when recruiting employees.
Applicants today are very different than they were 10 to 15 years ago, as is the auto industry. Dealers in years past were looking more for an experienced salesperson, maybe even more seasoned in age. Today, Anthony looks for three important things from recruits to pass his interview process and ultimately get put in front of a dealer:
- Integrity: If you can’t tell the truth, then you can’t work in the dealership. Plain and simple.
- Commitment: People who are all in 100 percent and who are committed to earning customers for life.
- Efficiency: People who get things done correctly within a reasonable timeframe.
The trick is to find a wealth of applicants who fit this criteria. Just like every other industry, automotive has turnover. When you go through the recruiting and training process, Anthony encourages dealers who are looking for five or six staff members to actually take maybe eight or nine. The dealer also needs to make sure that they have the appropriate retention practices in place. Ideally, you would only need to vet seven candidates to fill five or six slots, but it depends on what happens after the recruiting team leaves the dealership.
To prevent employee turnover, Anthony believes in cultivating lasting relationships between salespeople and management. The number one reason salespeople leave is poor relationships between their superiors or co-workers. Anthony encourages dealers or GSMs to meet with the new hire at the end of their first day, and take five minutes to discuss any comments or questions. Express your care for the new hire as a person first, and salesperson second.
Between experienced salespeople and those brand new to the game, Anthony prefers the new salesperson. While he is also open to the seasoned veteran, Anthony needs to ensure that this applicant is committed to the process, and will bring good habits into the dealership. But with a brand new person, you can mold them the right way to your standards, as long as you the dealer, keep an open mind.