Let’s look at a few facts about senior citizens. Most of them are retired, stable, honest, smart, available to work and bored. A lot of senior citizens in your community want to work because their good work ethic remains ingrained as part of their nature and they still need work to maintain a sense of worth. These individuals are an untapped gold mine for part-time or fulltime employment as pre-owned sales associates. Especially if you bought into the “Storybook” of “Every used car has a story; but, if you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it.” These individuals have believable personas, which enable them to tell it and sell it.
Over the last three months we took a close look at dealers that we frequently service. We found that most of their sales associates are between 30 and 40 years old. This is not uncommon for our industry. Thus, our sales associates tend to be a little younger than employees in other industries. We also looked at the typical age of our customers, something that we use to track, but haven’t done so in a while. Needless to say our statistics show a trend for our industry’s sales associates to be younger than the customer. Now, who do you think is going to be more believable and capable of retaining product knowledge and trust with a customer, the young buck or seasoned veteran? Who is the one who has the ability to follow through, follow up and handle a deal in a professional manner? These are questions you need to ask yourself when interviewing potential sales associates.
Wal-Mart, K-Mart and other large retailers within your city have already tapped into this golden resource of seniors who are still motivated to work. I firmly believe that this group (which includes me), can bring to the party something long missed in our industry. That is an ability to instill a feeling of comfort in customers when they are purchasing a pre-owned vehicle.
When you look at what it takes to recruit, hire and train a new sales associate today, stop and think about this. The average sales associate is going to sell about eight cars a month. If you have ten sales associates, you are looking to sell about 80-100 vehicles a month. Bottom line is, to move the needle, you have to move up the people. Think about putting a part-time senior who has previous sales experience on the floor during busy hours. Doing so should not hurt your fulltime associates and it will give a senior an opportunity to show themselves within the community, friends and family. Personally I feel that they are an untapped golden resource that you should seriously consider when recruiting new sales associates.
Hey, I’m an old guy, I never thought I would hit 60, but I can tell you this, I’m as good once or twice as I ever was.