Showrooms across the nation have a hard time keeping salespeople.
In 2013, the average dealership had a 66 percent turnover rate among sales consultants, up 4 percentage points from the previous year and well above the national average for the private sector of 42 percent, the National Automobile Dealers Association's 2014 Dealership Workforce Study found.
Sales consultant turnover is a complicated issue. For example, in about a quarter of the cases, dealers count multiple efforts to fill the same vacated slot. There are wide gaps in turnover at luxury brands vs. mass-market brands. Still, turnover is disruptive and costly for dealerships.
"Poor employee retention is a big money-wasting opportunity when you consider the retention and training costs and lost productivity issues, and the link to poor customer satisfaction and customer retention," said Ted Kraybill, president of ESI Trends. The Largo, Fla., firm compiled the third annual study for NADA, after reviewing 240,000 payroll records from 2,016 dealerships.
The gap in the turnover rate between luxury and nonluxury dealership sales staff is stark. In 2013, the average turnover rate for sales consultants in luxury-brand dealerships was 41 percent, unchanged from 2012. But similar turnover in the nonluxury dealerships was 74 percent, up 5 percent.