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Turn Your 8-Car Alans into 30-Car Theos

Sales managers – many of whom routinely sold 25 or more units a month in their selling days – often lament that today’s salespeople just aren’t motivated to do what’s necessary to sell 20, 25 or even 30 units each month. We hear “he’s lazy” or “she won’t listen” or even “he won’t make his calls.”

Lazy salespeople who won’t listen or even make their calls? Yikes; this sounds hopelessly insurmountable… so much so that we might as well give up on these 8-Car Alans, right? I mean, we just need to hire better people, correct?

While entire books have been written on what it takes to be a top seller in the car business, the fact is that nearly all the differences between your 8-Car Alans and your 30-Car Theos can be boiled down to two very simple realities: Attitude and Activity. Regardless of what else you think separates the top from the bottom, chances are it finds its roots in (and can be solved with) attitude or activity.

The good news is that sales managers can and should drive both. The great news is that driving these is relatively easy to do.

It All Starts with Attitude

Top salespeople expect to sell every Up – and simply believing that will result in closing percentages that more than double their peers. Their attitude is that everyone is a buyer. This Up may not buy today, but they surely didn’t walk on the lot or submit a lead or call the dealership because they were bored. They did so because they wanted someone to sell them car.
sales managers
Sales managers that believe every Up is a buyer beget salespeople who close more deals. Unfortunately for many salespeople, some desk managers tend to treat prospects like suspects. That is, they make the salesperson or BDC agent “prove” this Up is a buyer. They begin with a mindset that every opportunity is a time waster until proven otherwise.

Conversely, when sales managers are excited about an opportunity, their salespeople become excited. Likewise, when sales managers expect their salespeople to sell 30 units – and are dissatisfied with “coming close” – their teams outperform all others.

I Like Selling Cars

Of course, attitude is about more than just expectations; in many ways, it’s also about enjoyment. Top sellers will tell you they like selling cars. They like where they work and for whom. Moreover, they’re proud of their profession.

Unlike 8-Car Alans, 30-Car Theos enjoy being in the car business and they like their customers – and this shows in everything they do. Customers, you see, feed off this positive attitude and enjoy buying from 30-Car Theos (just as 30-Car Theos enjoy working for sales managers who like what they do).

Desk managers with poor attitudes produce 8-Car Alans who look at the calendar and complain that “Tuesdays suck around here,” while they proceed to prove exactly that with their lackluster performance.

Attitude Drives Activity

When you’re in a good mood and you enjoy doing what you do, completing the tasks necessary to sell 30 units a month comes (relatively) easy. While a 30-Car Theo, for example, might prefer doing something other than making phone calls (wouldn’t we all?), he makes his calls because he knows that phone calls are an activity that lead to selling 30 this month.

Standing outside in the smoking circle is not.

Every 30-Car Theo you know is busy doing something productive. They’re always active. They’re always moving forward; never standing still; never crying about yesterday. Furthermore, because they’re proud of their profession and believe everyone is a buyer, the activities they complete come more naturally.

Calling their sold database or a Be-Back is not a chore to them; because, they know the person on the other end of that phone is not only a buyer, but a buyer who wants to buy from them.

They network constantly, because they’re proud to be in the car business. They’re proud of what they do, and they want everyone to know it. (Prospects feed off this enthusiasm and are more than happy to buy from them and/or refer a friend.)

But, 8-Car Alan Already Knows What Works!

Knowing what to do is one thing: Your team knows they should make calls; they know they should network more. Of course, your team simply won’t do those things (or won’t do them well) if they don’t bring the right attitude to work. An attitude, by the way, that is created by the desk.

Understanding, therefore, that attitude is the primary driver of the activities that will turn your 8-Car Alans into 30-Car Theos should motivate you to reexamine the attitude you bring to work each day. Moreover, it should change how you approach those you merely perceive as “lazy” or who “won’t listen” of even “won’t make their calls.”

Good selling!

Steve Stauning
Steve Stauning
Founder, Steve is the author of Assumptive Selling: The Complete Guide to Selling More Vehicles for More Money to Today’s Connected Customers; as well as a respected automotive industry veteran and founder of pladoogle, LLC – a leading training & consulting firm – and the free sales video training website Prior to his involvement with pladoogle, Steve served in various automotive leadership roles, including as the Asbury Automotive Group’s (NYSE: ABG) director of ecommerce, the director of the Web Solutions division of Reynolds & Reynolds, and as the general manager of Dealer Web Services for Dominion’s Dealer Specialties.

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