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Victory Automotive plants seeds in a classroom


Group supports sell program, scouts for talent


 

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Bradford Wernle

Automotive News
February 9, 2015 – 12:01 am ET

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Rodger Olson is an comprehensive geek on retailing. And he creates no apologies for that as he lectures undergraduate students in his category on sell sales during a University of Michigan here.

Whether it’s comparing a authorization models of Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s or measuring a success of 7-Eleven preference stores’ rollout in Taiwan, Olson can pronounce with a government of someone deeply enthralled in his selected subject. His mindfulness rubs off on his students — a symbol of a good professor.

Only Olson, 38, is not indeed a professor. He’s a COO of Victory Automotive Group, a suburban Detroit dealership organisation that owns 26 stores around a nation and is ranked No. 40 on a Automotive News list of a tip 125 dealership groups in a country, with 17,999 new sell vehicles sole in 2013.

“Retail has been something of a unwashed word. We’re perplexing to change that,” says Olson, who spent 14 years operative as an operative for automobile suppliers before he got his MBA and altered careers. “There are some illusory opportunities on a sell side. Everybody thinks of a greasy, slippery used-car salesman who’s in your face.”

As guest lecturer, Olson’s goal goes over only changing perceptions. Victory Automotive can use his category to cave talent entrance out of a university’s Ross School of Business, one of a nation’s many prestigious business schools. In fact, Olson got his MBA from U-M.

Sales come first

The problem in employing and gripping good sell sales talent is one of a industry’s worst-kept secrets.

That’s one reason because Olson’s boss, Victory CEO Jeffrey Cappo, donated $3 million to a university to account a new sales certificate program, that launched final year.

Cappo, a large upholder of U-M athletics, says he wanted to do something to let business students know that there are opportunities outward operative on Wall Street or apropos an accountant.

U-M “asked me what they could use income for, and we said, ‘Could we do something in sales?’ They looked during me like we had 3 heads,” says Cappo with a laugh.

But he likes to indicate out a elemental law about business: “When we consider about it, zero happens until somebody sells something.”

Cappo, 59, never attended college. He went into business offered opening cleaners doorway to doorway right out of high school.

From there, he graduated to offered used cars during Varsity Ford in Ann Arbor. Cappo is Exhibit A for anyone who needs convincing that offered cars can be lucrative.

“I was creation about 250 grand a year operative during Varsity Ford, and my initial month owning my possess dealership, we finished about 200 grand,” he says of his early days when he bought East Tennessee Nissan in Morristown, Tenn., 18 years ago.

Expanding group

He stretched a organisation to 26 dealerships and 4 pre-owned stores in 7 states, strong in a South, Midwest and California.

In 2010, Cappo changed Victory from a domicile in Morristown, Tenn,. to Canton, Mich., a Detroit suburb. A vital reason was to put domicile tighten to a university and a talent pool.

Cappo doesn’t design students will connoisseur from U-M and start offered cars.

“There’s not many kids in that category who have ever had their tank on dull with no income to put in gas,” he said. “Most people who are unequivocally good in a automobile business, during one time they were broke.”

But he believes a sales certificate module can assistance them get an essential bargain of what offered is all about.

Follett Carter, accessory highbrow in a offered dialect during a U-M business propagandize who runs a sales certificate module saved by Cappo, shares Cappo’s view: “I don’t consider college graduates would go into offered cars. But we consider there are opportunities in dealerships where they could find suggestive jobs, and believe of sales would be helpful.”

Carter says a sales certificate module consists of 4 courses: marketing, fundamentals of sales management, sell sales offered and consumer behavior. This winter term, 65 students are enrolled.

Cutting sales turnover?

Carter and Olson wish a sales certificate program, with all those students, competence breed some new ideas for dealership sales-compensation skeleton that could revoke a notoriously high turnover rate.

“If it was my dealership, we would sinecure university graduates. I’d sight them. I’d put them on a quota, maybe a income quota. There needs to be a routine that is opposite from how many cars we sold,” says Carter. “These kids can’t be on 100 percent inducement pay. They have to get a apportionment of their income in salary. That’s a large change.

“You can’t revolve over 40, 50, 60 percent of sales reps each year. That’s unsustainable.”

Victory already has recruited several U-M graduates, including government prospects. Students have finished internships during a group’s dealerships.

“One man only wants to be a sales man and is already offered 25 cars a month,” says Olson.

Devin McParlane, a tyro in Olson’s category from Livonia, Mich., says she will be going to work in Ford’s offered training module after she graduates in June.

“I’m going to be a section manager operative with sell managers,” says McParlane, who believes Olson’s lessons will assistance her know dealers.

Olson says he tells students their knowledge in sales can lead to management: “I unequivocally pull a fact that a automobile attention has so many opportunities, and a compensate and advantages can be phenomenal. The fact that some of a ubiquitous managers are creation some-more than $500,000, that opens their eyes.”

You can strech Bradford Wernle during [email protected].


 

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