The Car Dealer’s Hidden Sales Force

Anyone who owns a car dealership has probably seen the changing landscape of auto sales over the past decade or so. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, the newspaper highlighted the decline in commissions for salespeople and the increasing role that internet research and transparency play in car sales today. However, this doesn’t mean that sales training is going away; the emphasis is just shifting.

One of the keys to making a successful sale comes down to how your employees handle incoming phone calls from potential buyers. Your salespeople may spend more time in front of a computer than on the showroom floor these days, but they still need to get customers into your dealership to make the sale. This is why it’s important to invest in training your salespeople to handle incoming calls. But they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from such training.

With the days of the high-pressure sale slowly disappearing in the rearview mirror, it’s more important than ever to recognize the potential of your entire staff to drive sales. Receptionists, parts departments, and service technicians all comprise the hidden sales force within your dealership. Every incoming phone call they answer is an opportunity to make a sale, or lose one.

Proper phone training for every member of your staff that deals with the public can make the difference between modest success and the kind of high-volume sales you’re after. All too often, employees in non-sales positions tend to be information givers. When a customer calls, they will usually be provided with prices or policies, but not with an incentive to visit your dealership. Training these employees with the proper phone techniques can lead to a dramatic increase in foot traffic and the opportunity to make a sale.

Your receptionists, service technicians, and parts employees all perform integral functions at your dealership. But if you aren’t taking advantage of their potential to drive sales, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. And with the role of traditional salespeople shifting, it’s more important than ever to use every resource at your disposal to attract customers and make the sale.