There’s no single, remarkable secret. In fact, great Auto Sales Managers are many things. Depending on the situation, a great Sales Manager is a time-management supervisor, a meeting planner, a contest coordinator, a talent scout, a coach, a trainer and a psychiatrist. All of those roles put together–and executed well–make for a great Sales Manager.
However, there are five key areas in which the best Auto Sales Managers excel. Great Managers:
1. Are passionate and enthusiastic.
These traits are transferred to the entire sales staff. If the leader is negative, everyone else will be pulled down. How do great managers maintain a realistically positive attitude? Great managers are great readers; they read everything they can find about their crafts and industries. They seek out mentors whose wisdom and experience can help them achieve their goals, and they encourage their salespeople to do the same. They surround themselves with high-quality people.
2. Recruit great salespeople.
Many managers don’t start recruiting until someone leaves, which means they often settle for second best in order to fill the gap. Great managers, on the other hand, are always on the lookout for talented people. One way they do that is by carrying two-sided business cards to give out to people they meet at other businesses who demonstrate great sales and service skills. One side of the card contains the standard name, address and phone number. On the other side, it might say, “I was very impressed with your service and professionalism. Please call me if you’re ever looking for a career.” The success of a sales manager is in direct proportion to the success of the team, which is why it’s critical to hire the best people.
3. Make their numbers through their salespeople, not for them.
The greatest difficulty a sales team can have is a manager who closes for his people. When that happens, the salespeople don’t learn the skills they need to move to the highest level of self-sufficiency. It’s instinctive for a manager to want to jump in and save a sale, but the message you send is that you may not be training your salespeople enough. Close a deal for a salesperson and you’ve made one sale; teach him how to close and you’ve made a career.
4. Leads by example and develops a strong team.
Great sales managers develop a philosophy of “team”. They wouldn’t expect their salespeople to do anything they wouldn’t do themselves. They involve the team in decision making processes for the good of the sales department. They work together for the success of the entire team and department, and leave selfish egos at the door.
5. Understand their salespeople’ individual strengths and weaknesses.
They’re able to ask non-directive questions like “What do you think you could have done differently on that sale?” or “What was your objective?” When the salespeople say it, they own it; when the manager says it, they doubt it. Great managers are aware of what motivates each salesperson and know how to get the best from everyone. They expect excellence. If your salespeople know you think they’re capable of reaching greater heights, they’ll strive for them.
Your role as a leader is to encourage your people to succeed. There may be substantial monetary rewards in being a great sales manager, but the greatest reward is having helped others reach their goals. Our material possessions won’t really matter once we’re gone. Our greatest legacy is the people we’ve helped build, who are left to build others in the same way.
By Andrew Adams