Hiring Your Coach


The first people customers usually see when they enter your store are the sales staff. Now that our new dealer principal has purchased the existing dealership, written the business plan, and upgraded the landscaping and some of the merchandising, he has to address the needs and incentives for the sales team.

The primary function of the sales manager is to coach, teach and consult with the sales team on a daily basis. And if the sales manager has a day off, those responsibilities must be picked up by another sales manager, the store's general manager, or even the dealer principal if need be. The coaching function does not stop.

The sales manager, our coach, is required to schedule two appointments with sales team members per shift — and he needs to keep those appointments. He also must build a sense of urgency with the team so they contact and follow up on every lead. He also must assist the sales staff with any problem that may arise that day, and realize that there is no time to waste. At the end of the day, the sales manager needs to review the results for each sales staff member.

Our dealer principal established the following plan for his sales team. Each day, before the store opens, the sales staff is required to attend what he calls a "15-minute huddle," where the team discusses the following:

  • What ads the dealership and the OEM are running locally and nationally
  • Units that are getting loaded with flooring
  • The unit delivery schedule for the day.
  • Various storewide topics that may relate to the sales department
  • The programs, events and specials that may be applicable in the service and P&A departments — in this particular case, all associates are part of the sales team.
Steven Zarwell is a renowned retail consultant for powersports dealers and is a member of the Dealernews editorial advisory board. Reach him at sbz_co@pacbell.net.