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Friday, November 9, 2018

The Car Business Is The People Business

THE PEOPLE BUSINESS OF SELLING CARS

Most people think of automotive retail as a product business...

After all, the primary activity of most dealerships involves selling new and used cars. But with dealerships in the U.S. combining to employ more than a million workers (with that number expected to grow substantially in the near future), automotive retail is as much a part of the people business as anything else.
  

1. To put it simply: people impact profits.  

When dealerships hire the wrong people, fail to train them properly, and send them off to the front lines of auto sales, they usually make the wrong impression on customers. And when customers fail to connect with people, they simply find what they're looking for somewhere else. As a result, sales, CSI scores, and customer retention all suffer. 

Even worse? When your dealership invests in training quality employees, industry trends show it's not enough as statistics reveal high turnover costs dealerships billions of dollars every year industry-wide.

2. Despite the importance of recognizing auto retail as a people business, most dealerships delegate the duties of hiring and retaining talent to human resources. 

And while this might make sense on the surface— human resources personnel being the trained experts in this area— decisions involving people in a people business are too valuable to be ignored by ownership. Again, it's all a matter of outlook. When dealer principal owners (DPOs) stop viewing auto retail as a product-centric profession, they're able to understand that the bottom line begins with job postings, applicants, and interviews, and ends with long-tenured employees who provide a distinct advantage over the competition.
    
In an interview with Automotive News, Adam Robinson, CEO of Hireology, a hiring software provider and consultant, said the "difference between a mediocre dealership and a great dealership is the strength of its people," and that "improving the people side of automotive retail is the last great return on investment available to dealers."