Go From Deal Taker to Deal Maker in 5 Steps, from Dealer Marketing Magazine.
As the auto industry continues to change daily, dealership strengths and weaknesses become apparent throughout. When the internet age was born, a shift in the management talent of store occurred. A manager’s job, that used to only go to the strongest closer in the store, became a job that instead could be filled by someone with a lot less talent. If a new hire understood how to use a computer and were willing to work for less than the previous manager, they got the job, creating a new breed of desk and finance managers. By placing people who were better organized, computer literate, and in many cases more educated than the previous manager in management roles, dealers saved on compensation and loved it. At that time, what they didn’t see was that these perceived high value qualities, while appealing, weren’t enough because they lost the most important talent of all among dealership management. They lost the talent of making deals. Dealerships today need to work hard to bring back the Deal Makers.
As I travel the country working with dealers in an effort to improve their operations, deal making talent is without question the most prevalent missing talent in today’s management teams. It’s not that managers can’t be Deal Makers; they just have never been asked be one or shown how. In many cases, today’s managers were groomed in a time when the auto industry was red hot, it wasn’t difficult to get deals done. If you were fortunate enough to have worked in a Honda or Toyota store, your day may have completely consisted of sitting at a desk and taking deals brought to you by the salespeople. Long gone are the days of multiple trips back to the sales desk getting coached by an expert on overcoming the customer’s objections. Those trips today usually include a copy of an invoice or an used vehicle market value printout in an effort to document the price that is presented. Usually after the first pencil, if not the first. If the customer is convinced of legitimacy, he may buy. If not, he leaves. All the while the sales manager is waiting back at the desk to sign the buyers order. He has become a Deal Taker not a Deal Maker.
Today’s managers have talent. They are better educated, and have technology on their side. What they need is daily guidance and direction, just like sales people. Everyone can be a Deal Maker by following a few simple rules: