Sales Managers – Prepare for Success

Automotive Sales Managers

Seize this Cornoavirus opportunity and re-define what constitutes sales excellence: People, process, product, and self. It’s more than a number.

High expectations are the key to developing an elite sales team. The best sales managers are those who expect the best from their people.

To increase sales, you must prepare for success by:

  • Identifying the result you expect.
  • Identify the behaviors and activities necessary to achieve these results.
  • Measure each person on your team against these objectives and coach them accordingly.

Everyone, you, your customer, your organization, and dealership benefit from a manager who is “Prepared for Success.”

What happens to all of these benefits when you are unprepared?

  • They disappear.
  • The best management and coaching strategy is to prepare to build a lifelong relationship with your customer!

“Remember, the customer doesn’t care how much you know—until they know how much you care!” – Jackie B. Cooper

Most people in life today have become a “wandering generality.” Instead, you need to become a “meaningful specific”. To do that, you need goals.

Steps to setting goals:

  • Identify the goal. You must have an intense desire to achieve it.
  • Set a deadline, be specific, and write it down.
  • List the obstacles you need to overcome to achieve it.
  • Identify the people, organizations, and groups that can help you succeed.
  • List the skills and knowledge needed to accomplish the goal.
  • Develop a plan of action. Get a clear mental picture of yourself already accomplishing the goal.
  • What will the benefit to you be?


Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich
Whenever you see anything worthwhile being done anywhere, it is because someone is behind it with a passion, a belief, and a goal. When it comes to your personal life and your business, goal setting makes the difference between mediocrity and excellence and accomplishment.

Managing Your Strengths and Resources

Most sales teams typically consist of a few leaders and lots of followers. So does a ranch, where a herd of cattle follows along behind the one lead cow with a bell around its neck.

Often salespeople, especially those with less experience, will emulate the example of your team’s bell cow.

Savvy managers know how to gain maximum advantage from each of their bell cows.

Approach your top performer and persuade him/her to step up and adopt the role of “team player” and share his/her talents and energy with other members of the team.

Discuss W.I.I.F.M. – The Bell Cow

The example of work ethic and attitude that your bell cow displays for the team is, perhaps, even more important than the example the sales manager sets for them.

Talk to them about performing the role of a mentor to one or more less experienced salespeople.

  • Identify leaders
  • Determine your strategy and goals
  • Establish a mentoring process

How do you coach communication?

It is well-known that once an individual has agreed to a small, incremental decision, he or she is much more likely to agree to major commitment.

It’s also well-known that an individual may be moved to make a decision less by logic than by emotion. You must move the customer from left-brain to the right-brain.

This is the key to whether they say “yes” or “no.” A customer’s feelings are controlled by:

  • The words you say………7%
  • Your tone of voice………38%
  • Your body language…….55%

What Message Are You Communicating?

You can’t build rapport without presenting the logical information that establishes your professional credibility. At the same time, you can’t expect a customer to make a decision to purchase without communicating to their emotional side.

Coaching your Team

Where will you hold training meetings? In the conference room? In the sales office? On the showroom floor? On the lot?

The role of the manager is unique in that it takes on several priorities in the coaching and development of the staff.

These priorities are:

  • Daily training
  • Daily supervision
  • Daily coaching

Have a participant read the following out loud to the group:

Here’s how some of these activities might look:

  1. Hold regular training meetings with sales consultants.
  2. Conduct one-on-one role-plays. The manager must lead by example and know the process better than the salespeople.
  3. Make sure only qualified staff handle the critical profit areas (i.e. phone appointments, meeting and greeting, etc.) Customer service is a privilege – not a right.
  4. Test by letting the staff know you are going to call the sales department yourself. They will be mystery shopped!
  5. Sit, listen, and critique the salespeople in action. By the way, how are you at taking criticism and implementing personal changes?
  6. Work with sales consultants who are having challenges (names, numbers, appointments, appointment no-shows) and role-play potential customer scenarios.
  7. Listen to actual calls coming in (use the speakerphone).
  8. Manage the Telephone Log for each consultant. Know how many calls came in—who received them, and what was done with them—by the hour, by the day, by the week.
  9. Sit with sales consultants every day to prioritize their daily activities. Business Plan.
  10. Personally follow up with customers—set the standard!

Training Objectives

All managers must learn to coach! Set up a regular schedule. Training Meetings must have a clear purpose and be:

  • Informative
  • Interesting
  • Motivational

Important: Otherwise, don’t have them, just to have them!

The Sale Manager’s Role

  • Must teach the sales staff by modeling and coaching, not just telling them.
  • Lead by example
  • Know the programs better than the salespeople.
  • Provide real-world situations
  • Answer real needs – practice – practice – practice – practice
  • Role-play, evaluate, get feedback (positive and negative)
  • Inspire salespeople to reach for more (success examples, modeling)
  • Plan meetings in advance
  • Know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it
  • Command respect, then earn it