Engaged Employees Sell More Cars (and Service!)


How do you feel about getting up and going to work each day? Do you feel as if you are just another cog in a machine, or do you feel that you are a valued part of the company? When you wake up, would you rather hit the snooze button, or are you excited for whatever the day ahead may bring? Are your days mostly a drag with a few highlights, or are your days always great, with a few hiccups here and there? If you are a manager, or general manager, how do you think your employees would be answering these same questions?

“Employee Engagement” is a terminology emerging from the corporate world to describe the idea that a happy employee is an engaged employee; and an engaged employee is a productive employee. But what does this mean in the unique world in which our car dealerships operate?


The above is definitely a question that only each person within his or her own dealership can answer about his or her own dealership, but there are plenty of flags to help identify if your employees are “engaged” or if they are just there until the next best thing comes around.

Don’t just read this information and move on with life! Be honest with yourself about your management of your dealership! If as you use the measurements (provided below) of what is going on with your employee base, you start thinking “Yikes!” – don’t push it out of your head. Do something about it. It’s ok if you don’t know exactly what to do – the best action might just be to open up dialog directly with your employees and get some feedback and ideas.

Red Flags of Potential Employee DIS-Engagement:

  • Sub-par CSI scores
  • Negative Yelp/Google/DealerRater Reviews
  • Customer Complaints
  • Low Sales Metrics
  • Unmet Sales Goals/Low Closing Statistics on phone/internet/walk-in leads
  • High Absenteeism


Potential Solutions:

  • Review your payplans – would you honestly be happy with the compensation they provide? Be realistic in this process – even the best employee can encounter a slow month. Review with the worst-case scenario in mind – because often, we have a tendency to OVERestimate! (Euphamism for “we tend to blow smoke about numbers”!)
  • Recognize a job well done – yes, your employees should be doing their job because it’s their job, but if they do something above and beyond in doing their job, recognize it! You’d be surprised how far a “Good Job” will go with people. Not just at the holidays, either.
  • Celebrate – Take a time-out once a month to celebrate and recognize birthdays and work anniversaries. Some dealerships do a monthly employee lunch, some keep it simple with cake (or cupcakes) and a quick Happy Birthday sing-along. Perhaps consider a gift card as recognition of work anniversaries.
  • Try to incorporate a few ideas from your employees. When people feel heard, they feel appreciation.


If you think your employees are lacking engagement in their day-to-day, and you wish an objective observation, reach out to The Dealer Quarterback and we’ll be happy to help.  310-428-3362 or dani@dealerqb.com

Dani aka The Dealer Quarterback

Dani Zandel got her start in the auto dealership world on a rainy day in January, 1998. The rest is history, which includes jumping head first into running Internet Departments before CRMs became popular (using Yahoo! Mail)...before Internet Departments existed... before Internet leads arrived from any source other than the vehicle manufacture! Dang! This bio just aged Dani way too much! Since those early days, Dani has sold vehicles, trained in the F&I office, and excelled at Internet Lead Handling, while exploring other low-cost, high ROI opportunities to sell cars to the community. Some of Dani's accomplishments include Certificates of Completion for the F&I and Internet programs at College of Automotive Management, as well as the Human Resources program at Loyola Marymount University (extension). She has rank advanced as a representative of Send Out Cards, and believes every salesperson and every car dealership should consider the benefits of showing gratitude to car buying prospects and customers. Dani has had the joy and pleasure of working with great dealerships -- most recently training the BDC team at a prominent Los Angeles Cadillac dealership, and previously implementing a BDC from non-existence to operational success for a Toyota dealership, and before that, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep Ram and Fiat dual rooftop dealership. Her combined experiences in HR Management, Telephone & Internet Communications, and understanding of the technical side of CRMs, in addition to her own car dealership experiences, give Dani a leg up in the organization processes involved to create and install BDC departments, and restructure Internet departments within car dealerships. Dani professionally seeks to work with car dealerships on the specific tasks of CRM Automation, BDC installation, BDC/Internet training, and Appreciation Marketing. Dani's future personal goals include travel to the crystal blue waters of Santorini, Greece, and acclaimed success as a consultant, trainer, and speaker on the circuit of Automotive Dealership Seminars, specializing in the topics related to Internet and BDC success. Dani is the author of "How to Create Customer Loyalty" (available on Amazon) and is currently working on her 2nd book (still untitled) targeting an audience of Car Dealership Owners, GMs, and Sales Managers.