Sunrise Chevrolet Recruits Tech Savvy Sales Staff From Cell Phone Industry

Just the Facts:
  • Sunrise Chevrolet prefers to hire salespeople with no car sales experience.
  • The dealer's management team actively recruits potential employees from other industries.
  • Today's customer researches more than just prices and specs online; they also look at dealership reputations.

GLENDALE HEIGHTS, Illinois — Finding salespeople who understand and can explain technology isn't always easy. This is one of the reasons Sunrise Chevrolet in Glendale Heights Illinois, recruits salespeople not from other dealerships, but from cell phone stores.

New cars are coming with more buttons and screens than ever before. Features like Bluetooth and navigation systems are very helpful when used correctly, but can also lead to frustration, resulting in an unhappy customer if the systems are not properly explained or demonstrated.

Sunrise Chevrolet's Sales Manager Dan Schomer sees parallels between cell phone sales and new car sales. People want the latest and greatest features, and they should be taught how to use them.

"It only makes sense to incorporate salespeople into the equation who have shown they understand how tech works and have a track record of teaching people how to use it," Schomer said.

When hiring new employees, Sunrise looks for people who have no car sales experience.

"We've found it is easier to work with potential employees with no prior car sales experience. We can train them in our culture, and don't have to try to erase training they may have picked up at other dealerships."

The car buying experience has changed in the past 10 years. Many people have decided what type of car they want prior to coming into the dealership. Vehicle specifications and features are researched ahead of time, and in some cases, prices are arranged before the customer ever visits the store.

With so much information readily available to the customer, negotiations, while still a part of the deal, are beginning to take a backseat to service. Today's customer researches more than just prices and specs online; they also look at dealership reputations.

Schomer says making sure every customer gets great treatment is a store goal, and a "Takeaway Folder" is part of that equation. Customers who leave the dealership without making a purchase are given a Sunrise Takeaway Folder. The folder contains details about the considered vehicle, its negotiated price, the salesperson's bio and reasons to buy from Sunrise Chevrolet.

The folder isn't an industry standard, but instead, it's something Sunrise provides to help make the customer more at ease during the shopping process.

"We live and die by our reputation. We truly want to give the customer their money's worth, and this means more than just a good price," Schomer says. "It means giving our guests a great experience."

Edmunds says: Sunrise Chevrolet recognizes the value in teaching customers to enjoy their new cars to the fullest extent.

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