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What Happened to all The Talented Salespeople Post COVID. Will they come back?

Updated: May 23, 2023

Dino Peluso Co-Aurthor Playbook for Success in the Car Business performing walkaround for new hires.
Dino Peluso Co-Aurthor Playbook for Success in the Car Business performing walkaround for new hires.

In the world of car sales, time is of the essence. Salespeople have a mere 30 seconds to establish a connection with a stranger who steps foot on the lot or showroom. The goal is to quickly gain their trust and sell them the second most significant purchase they'll make, aside from their home.

Finding skilled salespeople, or what some now refer to as "warm bodies," has become a challenge. Whether they are seasoned veterans or freshly trained individuals, these valuable employees should be cherished and nurtured.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, salespeople were enthusiastic about showcasing various models, arranging test drives, and negotiating prices. The successful ones would tour the dealership, including the service department, building trust with the desk manager. Cars were meticulously cleaned inside and out before delivery, and proudly displayed certificates of knowledge adorned the walls.

However, the pandemic brought significant changes. Skilled salespeople were lost, and the combination of controlled used car market pricing and limited new car inventory made it relatively easy for inexperienced individuals to sell a high volume of cars each month. Dealerships didn't mind, as they were making substantial profits on used cars, often thousands of dollars over market value, and new cars were sold above sticker price.

Over the past couple of years, some salespeople have seen their monthly earnings skyrocket to the tune of twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars, compared to a pre-COVID average of six thousand. As things begin to stabilize and the used car market smoothes out (to some extent), and with faster arrival of new car inventory, many salespeople will start leaving.

The truth is, when times get tough and the strongest salespeople are absent, the ones hired in the past couple of years will not step up to the challenge. While there may be a few exceptions worth saving, they are a rarity.

To overcome this challenge, it is essential to hire qualified salespeople who can handle difficult deals. Some dealerships turn to college students as a potential solution, but it is rare to find someone who studied sales in college. Sales careers often come as an accidental path post-graduation, particularly for millennials. Hiring college students is not discouraged, as long as they receive proper training on a professional level. With the right guidance, first-year salespeople can generate substantial revenue for the dealership.

Millennial sales representatives have a different approach to their work compared to previous generations. They are proficient in utilizing digital tools, social media, and CRM systems to reach potential customers. However, their reluctance to engage in face-to-face interactions can be misinterpreted as laziness. It is crucial to understand that fear is often the underlying cause. Many millennials prioritize factors other than monetary compensation. While this topic can be extensively discussed, let's move on to the solution.

It's time to hire talented individuals who are eager to sell cars, have fun, and make money. Playbook for Success, in partnership with Pro Auto Jobs, can help you secure qualified new hires. Our program sends these new hires to our carefully curated schools. If you are seeking individuals willing to go the extra mile in making successful car deals, don't hesitate to contact us.

Our students receive coaching and support through our Playbook for Success Self Leadership courses. A dedicated Playbook coach guides them through thought-provoking sessions, answering questions and providing honest feedback. Your new hires will benefit from six months of high-impact training camps.

Combining traditional philosophies with cutting-edge technology, Playbook for Success offers an exciting program for automotive sales, management, recruitment, training, and motivation of dealership employees. Graduates of our program have been successfully employed by major names in the automotive industry. We encourage you to explore our playbook and discover how we can assist you in finding new hires and developing your existing sales force.


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