Continuing the theme of sales execs in the modern world, it is interesting that whilst looking at how effective they are in terms of producing for their companies we often overlook how the customer really view today’s crop of sales people.
In my role I get to observe many different sales execs across the board, both in a main dealer environment, independent and supermarket and I don’t think I’m giving away any trade secrets by disclosing that there is quite a difference between the franchised dealer sales exec and the other two.
For example, because of the restraints placed upon a main dealer sales exec they are often almost frightened to deviate from “the process” for fear of falling fowl of the mystery shop police which can often lead to punitive action against the dealership for noncompliance. In many cases I have seen an almost resigned reaction from the sales team if a customer decides they have got what they want and are leaving with no follow up action in place, something that would never happen in the more hungrier environment of the stack ‘em high sell ‘em cheap supermarket businesses.
That’s not to say this is a bad thing necessarily as one of the biggest criticisms levelled at car sales people traditionally is the high pressure sell which can often leave many customers feeling intimidated. There is a difference however between pressure and a controlled environment in which customers are free to make up their minds over a purchase once they are in full possession of all their options. It is these subtle differences which would probably determine how a certain sales exec is perceived in any given situation.
The most pleasing aspect of the modern car world is the rise of female sales execs and managers who, in a world previously dominated by men, have been able to flourish by offering an alternative approach and perhaps empowering more customers to feel at ease than perhaps they may ordinarily.
Despite the fact that the world is a much more customer orientated place, and that the motor trade has made massive strides in changing the attitude of customers by positive action, there is still a long way to go. You only have to look at the recent action taken by the OFT (OFT takes action against used car supermarket Carcraft over sales practices) to acknowledge that there are rogue elements in any organisation who still do not get the fact that he relentless pursuit of a short term profit Will not formulate the foundations for long term success. The sooner they get that message the more likely that the industry as a whole can change the many long held opinions by car buyers that all sales execs are out to “get them” when the reality is that there are thousands of really good people in this business who view it as a career and not a way to earn a quick easy buck for a few months.
Opinions on a post card please.