Definition of Sales Management for Automobile Retail Trade

by Tim Plaehn
Dealership sales managers work with customers as well as lead the sales staff.

Dealership sales managers work with customers as well as lead the sales staff.

Automotive retail trade happens in car dealerships. All new car sales and a large portion of used car transactions go through franchised dealers. Sales managers are instrumental in running a profitable dealership. Sales management in the retail car business involves a range of duties.

Manage The Sales Staff

Car dealer sales managers provide the leadership and guidance for their sales staffs. Specific duties and tasks may include training, running sales meetings, setting schedules, and administering disciplinary actions. More senior sales managers at a dealership may be responsible for or have a significant role in the hiring of new salesmen. Overall, the sales managers at a car dealership are the direct supervisors of the employees working as car salesmen.

Communicate With Customers

Sales managers will also be expected to get directly involved with customers. The owner of a dealership expects the sales staff -- including the managers -- to make every effort to sell a car to each person who visits the dealership to look at new cars. A sales manager may act as the final "closer," making additional offers to get a prospect to buy a car. In some dealerships, the expectation is that a manager will talk to every prospect who expresses an interest in purchasing a car.

Structure and Negotiate Sales

Sales managers have the authority to set prices and terms when negotiating with car-buying customers. The sales manager is the other side of the back and forth when potential buyers make offers and the dealership makes a counteroffer. The manager must also be able to make judgments about a customer's credit status. When negotiating car sales, the sales manager is responsible for meeting dealership profit minimums and goals.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities

A car dealership sales manager may need to accomplish other tasks to promote the sales of vehicles. Managers handle dealer trades to obtain cars from other dealerships of the same brand. A manager may also be required to appraise trade-in vehicles. Managing inventory and ordering new vehicles for stock can also fall to a retail sales manager.

About the Author

Tim Plaehn has been writing financial, investment and trading articles and blogs since 2007. His work has appeared online at Seeking Alpha, and various other websites. Plaehn has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

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