Not necessarily a gripe but more of an observation. I’ve been vetting vendors lately and have found an alarming number of their “retail work” has been that of failure. Does this worry anyone else?
Bankrupting stores, being terminated due to inproprieties, prison time, criminal records... wow!
I disagree and I agree. I agree that someone may be a bad car salesman and a gifted coder. However I strongly disagree that a failed desk guy or a failed GM should be dictating what makes a great desking tool or what DMS/CRM reports you need to succeed. Same goes for consultants.You have to recognize if the traits are transferrable or not. Does a great sales manager or finance manager know how to best design the user experience and flow of a platform for sales or financing? Or do they simply know what processes need to be included in said platform?
There are a lot of traits that you need to be a successful entrepreneur and vendor, and many of those would be different than the traits found in employee positions at the dealership. If someone had a hard time closing deals on the floor, does that mean that they won't be good at digital marketing or at software development?
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses... when I worked at a dealership, I was much more effective at generating high quality leads and developing rapport with my clients, and I was not the best at closing them efficiently. Sometimes, I would be so focused on the marketing or the process, that I wouldn't be in the headspace to really close a client. Put me in an inbound BDC and I would kill it, but put me on the salesfloor or the finance office and I'm sure the gross would go down.
But those are simply positions that I took up to develop my understanding and experience in the space. Digital marketing and managing the lead process has always been my focus, and so it's frustrating to see people in the space reject vendors who "haven't been on the sales floor for five years" or whatever. Also frustrating to see vendors use this as the "reason" for why they would be able to generate good results with their software product or agency.
Sure, you can sell cars but can you build a technology company? Can you run advertisements and persuade clients to apply? These are completely different mentalities, and there are very few people who would be both strong at sales and strong at developing a team and software product. That's the entrepreneurs role: to wear multiple hats and wear them well. I'm sure it would be frustrating for a vendor to be judged because they have not absolutely excelled with their career while working at a dealership.
The other thing to consider, is that maybe the dealerships that they have worked with have set them up to fail.
Maybe the reason that they started the software or technology company was because of the issues that they had in the industry and seeing things differently - knowing that the process could be performed in a better manner but never being able to do it in that manner.
I know that my dealer partners never trained me in sales or financing. When I took a job closing my own leads, they actually expected me to fail in the sales component. Sometimes a finance manager would wait to get an approval on one of my leads because they weren't "in the flesh", and it took me a long time to recognize problems that I was having with the sales and how to improve the entire process because nobody explained the process to me.
I actually found a dealer partner who allowed me to finance my own deals for a few months, and if it wasn't for my friends in the automotive space, it would have been an absolute disaster. One of the major problems in the industry is that people are often set up to fail and then the manager will blame said employees, when every business owner knows that you sink with your ship.
Sometimes, someones poor experience at a dealership may be the exact reason that they started a software or technology company... to solve that issue.
Just some things to think about.