Automotive Sales Recruiting

Do You Have a Automotive Salesperson Recruitment Plan?

By September 22, 2010 February 2nd, 2019 4 Comments

AutoMax is the country’s largest automotive recruiter and trainer of inexperienced salespeople for the automobile industry.  That’s just a fact!  We have held over 10,000 recruiting/training campaigns and helped develop over 85,000 people over the last 12 years.  What you are about to read may puzzle you a bit but I feel it is well worth your time.

The last couple of years have been “interesting”, to say the least.  All of us have had to make some pretty dramatic changes to survive/thrive during these times.  Survival has meant letting good people go, and cutting almost everything we felt wasn’t profit producing, and some that probably WERE!  We had to look at every single facet of our business and that, of course, for most of us was probably way overdue.

Thriving during this period of time for many has meant identifying what we are willing to do that our competition is not willing to do and to take massive action to eliminate some competition.

Same is lame…..

Lately, the news has been mostly good.  Things are turning.  Car and truck sales are increasing.  Floor traffic is up.  Dealers now need more salespeople.

STOP THE MADNESS!  How many times are we going to do the same thing we have always done?  Sales increase, we run an ad, traffic is up, we run an ad, a couple salespeople leave, we run an ad…we react, react and react some more.

You recruit salespeople yourself and go through that pain and agony, or you choose to use a “vendor” like AutoMax.   Either way, as dealers, it’s the same reaction to a situation rather than a solution to a problem, or even better, taking advantage of an opportunity.

The opportunity is this:  outstanding talent is available provided you handle the recruitment, hiring and initial training of those people properly and professionally.  Don’t get me wrong, AutoMax can continue doing what we have always done.  When you need us we set it up, handle everything and fill that current need.

BUT…..what if we changed how we look at recruiting and initially training salespeople? What if we looked at recruiting like we have had all other aspects of our businesses?  LET’S BE PROACTIVE….create a consistent plan, with a predetermined outcome or goal in mind, rather than a knee-jerk reaction to current economic conditions regardless of what they are.

Example: How many vehicles were you selling 2-3 years ago?

How many people did you have then?

How much time did you spend training, coaching, and mentoring those new people?

If you were doing 100 then with 12 people, do you truly expect to do 100 again with 7?

The answer of course is no, so that means you need at least 5 new people, so you call us.  We do what we do and get a bunch of people there, interview them, recruit them, train them and push you to hire the 5 or 6 you need.

STOP RIGHT THERE!  Mistakes are made that way….and pretty soon you look around and a few months later you have like 2 left and say “it didn’t work”.  Well right you are.

Let’s have a plan, a goal that we can help you with. Take your time, let’s plan ahead.  Do 3 campaigns a year to not only fill the “holes” to get you back to where you were, but let’s grow, and take advantage of what we have in front of us.  Take a few less and really hire the right ones.  Let’s train them properly up front and perhaps grow to a sales force in this example of 14-16 and sell 125-135 and do what your competition isn’t willing or able to do!

Look, we will take your money and when you call on a Thursday we will be there the following Monday and get it done.  But now is the time to finally do it right.  Slow down; let’s really communicate so we both know what your long term goals for your store are and how AutoMax can help get you there.

Craig Lockerd

Craig Lockerd is the founder and CEO of AutoMax Recruiting And Training. He has nearly 50 years of experience in the auto industry. You can find Craig on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


  • Joe Brunner says:

    Well said Craig.

    • Thanks Joe, all makes sense…those numbers don’t lie! You can’t expect to sell the same number you did 3 years ago with half the salesforce!
      Process, if you don’t have one at the dealership to properly,professionally recruit,interview and train your salespeople…it’s over!

  • Paul Hardy says:

    One thing I hate to see in a store is the 3-5 car sales person! Dealerships across the country have way too many of these people just collecting a draw and medical. Dealers are unwilling to get rid of the dead weight because its “Hard to find good experienced salespeople” While not realizing that these guys are killing their bottom line. It should be just like sports, thanks for trying out wish you the best of luck at another dealership, and have a new round of try outs!

    • Paul you are so right! What if there are 3 of those 3-5 car “salespeople’ on the floor…..What if we recruited and trained 3 new salespeople that only did 8/month = 24 as compared to the old 3 and lets take 5/month = 15 net increase 9/month x $2000 per deal front and back? = $18,000/month increase x 12 months = $216,000 / year increase in Gross……That is some serious R.O.I.