It is possible to drown green peas.
It’s a sad occurrence. And it is rarely their fault they drown.
Green peas, or as they’re known in other industries as newbies, noobs, colts, rookies, freshman, recruits, or greenhorns, are a part of every organization. Inevitably, through either attrition or an expanding sales force, companies have to bring new hires aboard. With little orientation and even less training, we throw them into the water with a sink or swim mentality. Some survive by learning how to paddle, and some sink to the bottom of the sales board.
Green peas, sadly, do not seem to have the same value to leadership in the organization as a veteran. They take work. Attention. Guidance. Training. All of this takes time and effort from your instructors (read: managers). Yet, managers are often too busy watching the smooth swimming motion of their most seasoned performers than the green peas waving their arms and thrashing about in the deep end. This is one reason why the attrition rate in the automotive industry, for instance, is so high, and why the need to have better processes bringing new hires into the fold is so dire.
If our goal is to make everyone successful under the roof of our organization, we need to spend more time recruiting, hiring, orienting and training the green peas. Outsiders already consider us sharks. We have the ability, nay, the responsibility to change the perception of our industry from the inside-out, and it starts with training everyone, new and old, to deliver an amazing customer experience. Giving them all the skills necessary to be good swimmers can be life saving to your organization.
Did you know you can drown in green peas?
It’s true! I’ve seen it happen.
Smart management loves having green peas in the store. It is a breath of fresh air to have someone who is moldable and trainable, eager to listen and follow instructions. Implement a good training regimen and you will see someone staying in his or her lanes, mastering all the different strokes, and putting in maximum effort. There is a caveat here, though. I’ve seen organizations bring on too many green peas at once. It makes the situation totally unmanageable.
In some ways, green peas are like babies when learning to swim. You wouldn’t give your baby with zero buoyancy to a swim instructor already trying to oversee a dozen novice swimmers, would you? No. Because you know how quickly one or more could go under with little ability to save them all. For this reason, a floor flooded with green peas is destined to fail.
If you have a staff of 10-12 salespeople, 2 green peas at a time are acceptable. If you have 25 salespeople, sure you may be able to keep an eye on 4 green peas. Will they all be good swimmers after 6 months? Typically you will have lost at least one. When looking at your staffing situation, you need to always be hiring and always be training, but never too much at once. The only way your dealership will stay afloat is to have a dedicated staff, but you should always have an up and comer or two around to keep the pros on their toes.
Green peas are a necessity (and yes, I realize I shouldn’t be calling them that, but it is the vernacular in which they are known. The audience this blog is being written for is exactly the people that still only refer to them as green peas.)
A quick tale about me as a green pea:
I remember I was assigned a veteran I was to “shadow” on my first day in the industry. He wasn’t pleased. He walked me out on the lot and dumped negativity on me about the industry, my greenness, and his lot in life. After his 10-minute (very) antagonistic diatribe on day one on how I should quit immediately, he ended his lesson (word used loosely) with “Now you don’t talk to me for the next 6 months. That’s the rule. And if you’re still here after that, maybe we can be friends”. By month six, I had outsold him. We did not become friends.
How I never drowned as a green pea I have no idea. Seven of us were hired within the same week at this dealership. Only two of the seven of us are still in the industry. (The other, my great friend Tony Esposito, is now a Performance Manager at vAuto). He and one other that was hired are still some of my best friends to this day, but we were not set up to swim. We were set up to sink. Huddled together like a life raft, we persevered long enough to stay afloat and learned to swim ourselves.
There were too many of us green peas for management to keep track of at that time. They flooded the water with green peas. A lot of good people drowned, and drowned quickly. The dealership couldn’t have benefited from this.
Take it upon yourself to train and support the green peas in your organization, but please don’t bring more into the water than you can keep an eye on. Hiring several with the goal of “ending up with one good one” is destroying our industry’s reputation and hurting your bottom line. Or disregard this message, and flood your floor with green peas. If that is your plan, please add this simple warning into your hiring ads: “Swim at your own risk.”
Alex Snyder President Skroob
- First Name:
I have spent the last 15 years of my career either running or building CRM systems. I have written numerous articles on DealerRefresh in support of them and even how to buy them. To say I have been a CRM advocate is an understatement.
Yesterday, Jeff Kershner and I were talking to Jasen Rice about this coming Friday’s RefreshFriday and my tune on CRM is now fluctuating. Jasen made some strong points that I’ve always known, but never explored to the depths he has. This is going to be an interesting RefreshFriday for sure!
Outside of what we will be discussing, I’m starting to wonder if CRM systems have caused more harm than good. Is the flat process nature mixed with an inability to properly attribute anything pushing dealers to make bad decisions?
Bad decisions include:
- Cancelling advertising that is part of the attribution, but not the last touch
- Enforcing a Nazi approach to customer follow-up sales people and customers hate
- Not buying solutions that do help sell cars because it doesn’t integrate with the CRM
What are some other bad decisions CRMs help dealers make? What are some good ones?
Are you a horse trader or a retailer?
That’s a weird question isn’t it? During our first days on the lot our manager didn’t give us a history lesson on the car business. He taught us how to follow the road to a sale and maximize profit. And maybe he, himself, didn’t know where the road to the sale originated either.
My grandfather, Ed Snyder, is my hero. He was born in 1928 to a family of merchants where he grew to run the family’s Norfolk, VA department store: L. Snyder’s. The store, named for his grandfather who brought us to the United States in the prior century, closed it’s doors in 1969 against national competition. Sears, JC Penny, etc were too big to compete with, so Ed found a home within the dealership he started in 1964: Checkered Flag. Today, Ed is semi-retired and is available to family & friends who like to listen. He is an invaluable wealth of advice, but he is my hero due to his wisdom.
In a recent conversation Ed told me the problem with the car business is that it was created by horse traders. As a student of history I immediately appreciated what that meant. The horse trade was not the most scrupulous endeavor. Just think of characters like Billy the Kid funding their ventures by stealing horses and you can begin to get the sense of what one might call the “wholesale department” of the horse trader. [Read more…]
Before going straight into the tips and tactics for fostering a strong culture within your company— it’s ultimately most important to explain why doing so is imperative to building a successful company.
While providing a “safe and satisfactory” environment may be enough for some, as the job market changes and the climate of our own industry adjusts to it— it’s growing increasingly important that organizations not only think about their employees, but think about what makes them happy.
To some this will sound superfluous because it doesn’t have some immediate correlation to your bottom line— and yet it does.
“The strongest cultures bind people together across both hierarchy and geography, guiding them to make the right decisions and advance the business without explicit direction,” explains the Building a Winning Culture Report done by Bain & Company.
In essence this means that a company with a strong sense of its own culture is a more streamlined and efficient company, which often means less dollars spent.
70% of the business owners surveyed in the report agreed that, “culture provides the greatest source of competitive advantage,” which is obvious as the largest segment of the modern workforce; millennials; are staying with companies for a fraction of the time of previous generations. [Read more…]
Ever since the unveiling of “highlights” on Instagram, people have been struggling to find ways to properly utilize them. While some influencers and businesses use them to show off contact info, others have found creative ways to make them both eye-catching and functional. At Dealer Authority, we have arranged our highlights into different categories that feature past stories in easy to navigate sections.
💡So how did we do it?
Check out the helpful step-by-step guide below and create highlights worth…well..highlighting! [Read more…]
Have you ever learned a new word, then for some strange reason you feel like you see and hear it everywhere?
It’s not just you. It’s actually called frequency illusion, or the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. It’s another trick your mind plays on you (sucker), to pull you away from rational thought. It’s also the wrong ROI you keep reading about.
ROI = (Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment) ÷ Cost of Investment
It’s a financial evaluation strategy that helps determine the best way to make money, relative to other investment strategies. In other words, it helps an investor decide the best way to get the most out of their money when the only goal is to make money. [Read more…]
Many automotive dealerships listen solely to CRM data and whatever they can learn from Google Analytics to understand and attribute the factors that influence a customer’s purchase decision. Both tools provide a limited perspective. And CRM data is vulnerable to error (e.g., a salesperson inputs data incorrectly or incompletely). To get a more complete picture of shopper behavior, dealerships should mine the data that customers share with you in the form of reviews.
Listen to Your Customers
About eight out of 10 shoppers use online car reviews and car dealership reviews. Smart dealers solicit reviews, listen to them, and manage them like valuable assets – not only because reviews literally represent the voice of the customer, they also track customer behavior.
Think about it for a moment. Each time a customer takes time to talk about their experience with your salesperson, they’re providing valuable data on why they made a purchase. They’re giving you documented feedback on the performance of your dealership down to the level of the salesperson they’re interacting with. And since the purchase of a car still involves a handshake between a shopper and a salesperson, reviews are the purest and most valuable form of CRM data any dealer could hope to have. [Read more…]
Read on for a story of what it’s really like to get hired in the car business.
Meet Will. Will graduated from Western Carolina University in May 2018 with a double major in Business Management and Marketing. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and held the leadership position of Finance Chair. During the summers and throughout the school year on occasional weekends, he worked for a party rental company where he set up and took down events. He was the only employee on a team of twelve that retained his position for two years as the manual work was long and grueling, especially in the North Carolina summer heat.
To earn more beer money and play golf on the cheap… [Read more…]
Connected data: Everyone wants it. Almost nobody has it.
Consider this: car shoppers typically switch between online and offline four times over the course of their buying journey, and want those switches to be seamless. What’s more, customers interact with dealerships across many different digital touchpoints, which means omnichannel marketing capabilities are essential. And yet, across industries, only 7% of customers are satisfied with the seamlessness of the process.
Connected data is crucial for dealerships too – it allows them to understand the impact of vendor technology and make the most of marketing spend. But there are a number of data breaks that interfere with both the customer experience and effective tracking. Let’s break down these points of disconnect to get a deeper look at some important areas for improvement: [Read more…]