Dealer Consultants

Taking the incoming call from potential salespeople

Steve LemcoEditor’s Note: This is the second in a series about hiring salespeople. In this blog, Steve Lemco explains how to pre-screen candidates over the phone.

With the right ad you should get more than 100 calls from people wanting to work in your sales department. My goal is to line up 50 interviews and start the first day of training with 35 people attending. The following is a role-play on how most calls go for me:

Ring… Ring…

Steve: Hi, this is Steve Lemco.

Caller: Yes, I was calling about the sales position.

Steve: Cool, that’s why we put it in there. We were hoping you would call. The ad worked. What’s your name?

John: Ha Ha Ha. My name is John Brown. Could you please tell me a little about the job?

Steve: Sure I will, but first let me ask you, are you a rider?

John: Yes, I have a …” (Let’s say they said a model that you sell.)

Steve: Super. We are always hoping the people who work in the sales department ride our product. (If they ride a competitor’s brand or don’t ride at this time, that is OK. Their chances of getting selected are slimmer but not impossible.)

Steve: Ok, John. Let me tell you what’s going on. It is a little bit different from your everyday job interview. If you would, please let me start and finish. I will rattle it off as fast as I can. Then when I am done, I will be happy to answer any of your questions. And if all goes well, we will book a time for an interview.

John: Great, no problem.


Steve: Ok, here goes. John, I will be taking around 100 calls for the five sales positions we are looking to fill. My goal is to book 50 interviews to be held at the dealership next Tuesday. From that, I will end up with approximately 35 people in training the first day. Training days will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9-4. We will be having coffee and doughnuts at 8:30.

John, I am going to have too many people the first day to focus, so it becomes like a TV series called “Survivor of the Motorcycle Salesperson.” In other words, I am going to cut the class to 10 people at the end of the first day of training. The survivors will come back to training the next two days. After lunch on the third day everyone will have another one-on-one private interview with the owner, sales manager and me. We will quiz you a bit and then let you go to bat and try and sell yourself to us. Then you will go back into the training room, and to be honest, we will score you. The top five scores get selected to start right away. The rest will be on hold for future hiring. Obviously we would hire the people who went through the entire three days of training so the people cut will be next up. OK, I am finished. Do you have any questions?

I am very honest while answering their questions. I also like to go over the pay plan and be up front on how much the average salesperson made last year. No sense exaggerating the amount to only have them quit after a pay day or two.

I book the interviews in 15 minute increments. I double book on the hour — two interviews at 9 a.m., one interview at 9:15, 9:30, 9:45 and the two interviews again at 10:00. Then just repeat the process throughout the day.

You will end up with about 50 time slots available. Over the past 30 years of doing this, I usually have 80 percent keep their appointment for the interview. Ninety percent of them show up to the first day of training. The next blog will be about being prepared for the training.

Steve Lemco is the youngest brother of the late Ed Lemco and has been doing sales training and hiring for motorcycle dealers since 1983. He is the author of two sales books, the new “Motorcycle Sales Made Easy” and “You Gotta-Wanna.” Steve has trained in every state in the U.S., as well as England, France, Australia and New Zealand. Steve incorporates motivational boards and games along with his training and hiring because he believes the best way to get the job done is to make it fun.
Phone: 253/826-6110

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