Friday, January 2, 2015

Crash Course — So, You Want to be a Car Salesman?

The "Sales Associate" binder and the "Employee Handbook," were chock full of clear instructions as to what is acceptable conduct, and what is not, when you start a career as a new and used car salesperson.

After reading some of the literature, signing different employment-related forms, and watching a couple of videos—one that explained IRS form 8300, which relates to cash payments, and another one on the subject of workplace harassment—I was ready to attend my first classroom session on the Steps of the Sale.

The instructor was one of the managers, and from his colorful delivery, it was obvious that he felt that—in order to make a point—he had to use profanity. Now don't get me wrong... I can cuss like a drunken sailor when the occasion calls for it, but I strongly believe that if you have to use vulgar language to make a point, especially when you're giving a presentation or, in this case, conducting a training session, all you prove is that you lack manners.

His favored teaching "technique," was to shame his audience for not knowing the exact answer to his questions, so he basically ridiculed pretty much everyone for failing to know everything we needed to know beforehand. As the newbie there, he did cut me some slack but I felt pretty bad for a couple of the guys who were the focus of his attention and who he berated for lacking confidence. I truly wanted to stand up and tell him,"Way to help them build confidence!" but I abstained, for obvious reasons.

Photo Copyright Chevrolet.
The second day did not start much better as a bunch of sales associates and I looked over a new 2015 City Express small cargo van that had just arrived at the dealership, while one of the sales managers quizzed bystanders about the vehicle.

No one really knew much, if anything, about it, so he suggested we all did some research online, since they did not have any brochures available.

But before the session was over, he proved how much of an idiot he really is by asking, "I wonder how many illegals can fit in the cargo area."


I wish I had said something right then and there. Unfortunately I was totally caught off guard and simply walked away from the chuckling group.

It is obvious that this manager needs to read the "Employee Handbook" and watch a few of the training videos, again.

I did mention the incident to my direct supervisor who basically ignored the subject and then proceeded to explain that maintaining a sense of humor was imperative for sales associates to remain motivated. And I honestly thought that money was the motivating factor. Stupid me!

And so by day three I was beyond bored, tired, and stressed out, since the "training" was something that obviously happened whenever one of the managers had the time to get away from more important duties, such as trying to sell vehicles.

So another couple of newbies and I just sat around reading our training manuals and, basically, trying to learn the dealership's sales process by ourselves. That lasted only a short while since they needed a dealer trade delivered across town. Being the lowest-ranking people there, two of us were assigned that task.

At least I got to drive a brand spanking new 2014 Impala, which is one sweet ride, while I tried to figure out some of the features of the car, in case I had to demo it in the future.

I left the dealership exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and I spent most of the evening wondering if this was the kind of environment I would be happy in.

So early next morning I walked into the general manager's office and quit, putting an end to my dreams about starting a second career selling automobiles.

Life is too short to work with jerks.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Web Wisdom | December 31, 2014

"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one." 
—Brad Paisley