Putting a Winning Team on the Field During Your Next Event

4 min read
Russ Chandler Administrator
Photo Credit: Michael Coghlan

Photo Credit: Michael Coghlan

In this blog series, we’ve torn apart the event team process and rebuilt it in your dealership. You’re ready to run an event that will sell cars and generate tons of leads for your sales staff to follow up on after the sale is over. Now, how do you put a winning team on the field? What do you need to be doing today in order to prepare your staff (and yourself) for the event ahead? These are questions that you need to be asking yourself at least 30 days ahead of every event sale you run. You need to consider every single component of your event; from the advertising you run to the team you put in your showroom. So what exactly do you need to be focusing on as you build your game plan? The successful automotive event sales we’ve seen all share three common characteristics. They all have the right staff, the right advertising vendor, and the right software vendor. Here’s what to look for in each:

The Right Staff

We’ve already discussed how successful event sales focus on creating a team of specialists. As you look at your staff, it is important to key in on the individuals as specialists and play to their strengths. Let’s break down what you should be looking for in the positions we discussed earlier:


Who is most approachable person on your staff? If you were walking into a bar, who would you go up   and talk to? An all-star greeter makes you feel welcome and comfortable in their own environment. Do you have anyone on your staff who likes to have the team over to watch a game? Is there anyone on your staff who seems to make friends everywhere they go? Put them front and center. That’s their strength and it’s your responsibility as a successful manager to play to it.


Who has the most knowledge of your inventory? If I come in to your dealership unsure of what I’m looking for, who’s the guy who won’t immediately go to your online inventory, but take me to the car that they know is right for me? Do you have a salesperson who’s just a car nerd? Is there someone who gets heated when discussing the difference between a V-6 and a V-8 engine? This is your guy. He will get every up in front of the car they want.


I bet you already know who this guy is; but humor me for a second. Who’s the toughest people on your team? Not only are they the best at taking TO’s in the dealership, but they can negotiate anything. They talked the cashier at McDonald’s into accepting a coupon that expired in 2003. This is your closer. Don’t let them do anything else during this sale. They do what they do best. They close.

Financing Specialist

This can be one of the harder positions to staff for an event sale. With your greeter and salespeople, you probably already know who can handle the rush and who can’t, but it can be more difficult to tell what financing specialist to go with during an event sale. You need to be looking for someone who knows your lenders front and back, inside and out. You will not only be dealing with a high volume of traffic; but you may have some traffic with less than perfect credit. You need someone who can get the job done quickly. Here’s a speed round of questions that your financing all-star should be able to answer before your next event sale.

  • What lenders do we have that will lend to a subprime buyer?
  • What are their criteria to define a subprime buyer?
  • What are their capabilities? How low can we go?
  • Pick three subprime lenders: What information do we need from customers for each of these lenders? How are they different?


Now let’s take a hard look in the mirror. Do you, as a manager, have what it takes to run a successful event sale? We’ve laid the roadmap for you in this guide. Do you have what it takes to plan and execute based on this road map? More importantly, do you have the courage to stick to the plan when things go wrong? If the first 30 ups in the door say they’re not looking for a car, will you abandon ship and let people go back to the status quo or will you stick to your game plan and execute throughout the entire sale? Until you can promise yourself that you will buy into the event, you will not be successful running an event sale.

For details on what to look for in vendors and other tips on running a killer event, download our free E-Guide “How to Run an Event Sale Like the Pros!”