Dealerships must be well staffed in a thriving market in order to handle the traffic generated from advertising. But the last few years have been tough on dealerships, forcing them to have layoffs and cutbacks on staff. Many managers, finance personnel and upper management survived by taking on more responsibilities in stores. Sales associate positions generally suffered the most. Many of our dealerships talk about rampant turnover and not being able to train, recruit and find the right people to handle the customers.
My rule of thumb is that each sales person is capable of averaging 10 deals per month. Some people think more and some think less, but an average of 10 has always worked where I have seen it implemented.
Many owners and general managers who are honest about their traffic have confessed to me in the last few months that there have been times when they have more traffic than they can handle. A longtime client told me today that he had more traffic on Saturday than they had “willing bodies” to cover. I say willing because he accused his team of not being ready to take on June after they were recovering from a big May.
Regardless of your dealership size and tenure of staff, now is the time when you need MORE. More people are critical to the success of your store in the third and fourth quarter of 2013. Even if you think you have enough people, don’t forget that everybody thinks they are worth a little more money in a good economy. You will have people leave you for greener pastures. It’s ok to let them go – just be ready to restock the bench so that your average of 10 deals per man will get the sales volume that you need.
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.