DONNA HARRIS

Dealers: Think win-win on sales force pay

Donna Harris covers retail issues for Automotive News
I continue to receive e-mail on the story I recently wrote on sales force pay. This time I heard from a salesman who would've made six figures last year if the dealer hadn't suddenly changed his compensation formula.

According to the salesman, the dealer revised the plan fearing this veteran salesman was making too much money. It's unfortunately not the first I've heard of this win-lose strategy where the dealer holds a carrot in front of the sales force, only to pull it away.

Frankly, I just don't get it. Salespeople typically make more money when they sell more vehicles at healthier profits. So in theory, when the sales force makes more money, the dealer makes more money, right?

Come on, dealers. You've got to start thinking win-win. Pay your salespeople well -- especially the veterans with a following. If you stiff the sales force, talented people will leave the industry.

Then everyone will lose.

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