In sales (as with most careers) you are a product of your environment. There are so many factors that go into a salesperson. Personality is an important factor. Are you likable? Not everyone is. People may like to speak to you but can you speak to them? Can you push their hot buttons? Can you make someone feel something about your product?
We all learn from our surroundings. We are a product of our environment. I owe a lot of my success in the car business to the people I have kept near me along the way. I surrounded myself with people that could teach me something. I wanted to learn, to grow, to thrive, and to make money. Not everyone in this business feels the same way.
However, I feel you learn by example and here are just a few sales personalities who I have run into along the way:
The Top Dog -
First and foremost is the top dog, the big shot. Regardless of how he gets there, he never loses. He is the producer that everyone is gunning for. He has the top numbers every month. He speaks to no one. He works his own numbers, writes his own deals, and usually has more pull than any of the managers in the building. This is the one you can learn from, if he lets you. Most people in the dealership have nothing nice to say about him and he could care less. He is focused and it shows in his numbers.
Mr. Sunshine -
Then, there is that happy-go-lucky person. The one that seems to always have a rainbow shoved somewhere. You can never piss him off, no matter how hard you try. He is usually just average, not bad numbers but not great. He is likely stuck in the middle somewhere and perfectly content to be there. He will happily help you with anything you ask him to do. He won’t go out of his way but will help when asked. This also is the person that the top producer will lean on as he won’t screw him over.
Old School Pro -
The next one is the former great. That one figure who has been with the dealership since before the rebuild. He has surpassed most of the managers in the store in time in with the dealership. He used to be the top dog but changes in the business have left those days in the past. He had the most sales with the happiest customers and the best gross averages. Time has gone by and he isn’t so great anymore but the place keeps him around because he has few to no issues and his customers are loyal and thrilled. This is the one that will sit and talk all day long about the past. You might learn something if you can stand to listen to him long enough.
Capt. Blamer -
What dealership doesn’t have that negative salesman? This person blames everyone else for his failures, lost leads, missed opps and never accepts blame personally for anything. He has a terrible attitude and usually sells very few cars. When asked about his sales, the reason they’re so poor is because the manager didn’t T/O him when asked. It could be that the numbers sucked or the customer was stupid or “not in the market”. Either way, it is never his fault. This person is usually good for a pathetic laugh every now and then. Mostly, you will just want to keep your distance.
The Probie -
Who doesn’t love the newbie, green pea? Of course, we all know there is a ton of turnover in the car business. There are usually a few of these people running around. Some may be good for helping dig a car out of the snow and others you just want to run over with that car. Most won’t be in the business long and will move on to other endeavors, usually chased away by the blamer. Beware, however, sometimes you will find they become the next top dog.
When entering the car business (or any business), the important thing to remember is you are a product of your environment. Who would you rather be? The top dog or the blamer. When in the dealership, surround yourself with the best. Guarantee yourself a spot at the top.
Can you think of an individual who fits each personality type above from your store? How have you navigated your place within your dealership to ensure your success?