Automotive Staffed Events: What is the Method to Event Team Madness?

By: Larry Craig

If you’ve employed a good event team in the past, you’ve probably seen huge numbers from them — but what if you want to kick the event team habit and go on your own? That can be a tall order for many dealers. It doesn’t matter whether this is event sale number 1 or 100 for your dealership; we have heard the same question over and over from dealers trying to go on their own: Why do these event teams keep beating my sales staff?


This problem can baffle sales managers. Your sales staff is pounding the phones, taking every up that comes in, and knows your inventory better than anyone else possibly could. Still a team of strangers can swoop in out of nowhere, collect more leads and move more cars than your veterans. How is this possible?


Event teams’ success boils down to three simple factors that require expert-level execution. In this section, we’re going to outline these factors and help your dealership come up with solutions to start selling more cars whether you hire an event team or not.


Process for Automotive Staffed Events


While event teams can sometimes look like a rogue gang of sales people without any order or direction, many dealers don’t consider the fact that the great teams work because they are very strict about process.


  • Everyone knows what happens when an up walks on the lot
  • Everyone knows what happens if an up is in the market to buy
  • Everyone knows what happens when they get to the negotiation table
  • Everyone understands the promotion and can speak confidently to it


Every step of this process is meticulously planned and consistent for every single person on the team; making it easier to execute at a high level.


Additionally, everyone on the team knows what tools they need to get the job done. Often times, event sales require different tools than your day-to-day operations. If your sales staff isn’t prepared to quickly sort through a showroom full of people in a timely manner to find the people in the market to buy a car, an event team would out perform your staff in a heartbeat.


There are many different solutions dealers and event teams use to solve this issue, including in-store kiosks. If you can get your hands on a kiosk or tablet to keep in the showroom with your greeter, you can help them sort ups effectively with the information you collect.


This success, however, is dependent on your sales staff truly understanding their role and sticking to the script.




Event teams are not generalists — they’re specialists; and they’ve gotten very good at it through the years.


Think about your staff for a minute. You can probably pinpoint three or four top performers who can take a customer all the way through the buying process, from start to finish; all with expert-level skill. How could an event team possibly beat those experts?


They don’t try to be an expert at everything. They allow their members to specialize. By dividing the process, you are able to create an assembly line system where each person is able to expertly perform their duty and then move the customer down the line.


During a successful event:

  • Greeting specialists are able to quickly prioritize a high volume of ups and get the right customers in the right salesperson’s hands
  • Sales specialists are able to talk to qualified ups and convert them to test drivers, ultimately getting them to the negotiating table
  • Closing specialists are able to help your salespeople close deals at high profits through T.O.-ing every customer
  • Financing specialists are able to get your customers approved for a loan and increase back-end profits


That’s the secret sauce. Four specialists compete with your one generalist on each up, and that’s a big reason why event teams run so efficiently.


Leverage Mail Offers to Drive In-Store Traffic


Another reason event teams are so successful is the fact that everyone on the team commits to the sale. They believe in the system and processes that have been put in place.They don’t deviate from the system under any circumstances.


You can put the world’s best process in place, but if the second one of your salespeople decides to sell cars their own way, you’ve failed. To run a successful event sale, you have to acknowledge the fact that sometimes your staff will revert to muscle memory. If you have sold a car one way for your entire career, it will be hard for you to change that for one weekend.


If you want your staff to run a successful event sale, you have to teach them how to stick to the plan under any circumstance with the assurance that they can always sell their way again on Monday.