The Industry's Leading Source For F&I, Sales And Technology

Article

But the Dude Can Sell!

Overlooking past misdeeds and criminal convictions to land top-performing salespeople puts dealers at risk of losing everything when risky hires revert to old habits.

April 2018, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Gil Van Over - Also by this author

I recently had a General Manager ask my advice on a sales applicant he wanted to hire. The salesperson had worked at the dealership before and was fresh off a six-month sabbatical while serving time in the hoosegow.

His reasoning for even considering rehiring the person was that he had worked with him before and was known to the manager and his staff. More importantly, “He is a beast of a salesperson who can really move the numbers.”

I asked him what the applicant was in jail for. It was possession of a subscribed drug during a traffic stop. The GM also mentioned that, like some people in the car business, the applicant liked to hit the local casino more than once a week. He then went on to share the rest of his background check, which included a felony conviction for forging a driver’s license. Oh, and there was also another felony conviction for possession of a credit card scanner found during another traffic stop.

We sometimes run into salespeople or managers who seem to get a pass from the owner for offenses that other employees would be terminated for. “Teflon Dons,” we call them.

“But those were over five years ago. And the dude can sell,” the GM said. Maybe he should just stop driving, I thought.

The dude can sell, but the dude also has documented felonies for either committing or aiding in the commission of identity theft. Manufacturing an identity document and possessing the tool to clone credit cards certainly qualifies.

Imagine for a second that the GM hired this salesperson knowing of the past felonies. Then imagine that, sometime later, the salesperson becomes the ringleader of an identity theft ring and steals a ton of your customers’ nonpublic personal information. If I were asked to serve as an expert witness on that dealer’s behalf, I would run away. All the red flags for potential trouble were clearly apparent.

We sometimes run into salespeople or managers who seem to get a pass from the owner for offenses that other employees would be terminated for. “Teflon Dons,” we call them.

They can seemingly do no wrong, including being on the wrong side of either federal, state, or dealer laws in the process of selling vehicles or products. Teflon Dons continue their nefarious ways because they bring a nice sum of money to the dealership’s bottom line.

Teflon Dons are already on the payroll. But a good background check process and adherence to a structured policy on what past discretions are acceptable and which are non-negotiable may help prevent others from joining the sales force.

I’m by no means a human resources expert, so be sure to include your HR representative in developing and implementing your background check policy. I am aware that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discourages a no-hire policy for applicants with felonies, but I believe a case could be made for not hiring applicants with certain known felonies.

For example, applicants with convictions for theft, fraud, or financial crimes can be considered relevant to every position within the dealership. You may be able to establish a policy that these convictions are legitimate reasons to pass on an applicant.

As for the dude who can sell, you may be able to leverage your responsibilities under the Safeguards Rule and your requirement to safeguard consumers’ NPI from identity thieves by not hiring one into a position that has access to NPI. There may be mitigating circumstances for hiring someone with a possession of drugs or illegal gambling convictions, but proceed with caution.

I’ve read too many internal theft cases over the years where the motivation tied back to a gambling problem, a drug problem, or someone living above his or her means. You may want to conduct a credit check on all applicants who will be handling cash or will work in a manager’s position.

Good luck and good selling!

Gil Van Over is the executive director of Automotive Compliance Education (ACE) and the founder and president of gvo3 & Associates. Email him at gvo@bobit.com.

Comment

  1. 1. Mad Marv [ April 09, 2018 @ 07:10PM ]

    Great sobering article about the lackadaisical attitude managers have toward compliance in favor of sales ability. And I love the new look Phyllis has inspired. Keep up the great work, Gil.

 

Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email:  

Blog

So Here's the Deal

Ronald J. Reahard
Addressing F&I’s Internet Problem

By Ronald J. Reahard
A frustrated F&I manager poses an increasingly common question: How do you sell protection products to customers who demand the final price by phone and then show up with a bank check?

(Video) Selling Eight Products Without Losing the Customer

By Ronald J. Reahard
Is offering eight products a bad idea? The magazine’s resident F&I pro says it depends on the producer and the presentation.

He Had a Goal: Remembering David Ressler

By Ronald J. Reahard

[Video] Selling to Short-Term Owners

By Ronald J. Reahard

Done Deal

Gregory Arroyo
Change Is Happening

By Gregory Arroyo
Saddened by the potential loss of another piece of his childhood, the editor tries to put the pieces together when he realizes there’s a good lesson to be learned in a toy retailer’s likely demise.

Who Will Take Up the CFPB's Torch?

By Gregory Arroyo
The CFPB’s acting director tells state regulators there will no longer be ‘regulation by enforcement,” but the editor believes there’s a long list of regulators waiting to take up the torch.

Military Lending Act Guidance: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

By Gregory Arroyo

Resolution Needed

By Gregory Arroyo

Mad Marv

Marv Eleazer
Overcome Your F&I Weaknesses

By Marv Eleazer
His Madness issues a challenge to every F&I professional: Eradicate your bad work habits, diversify your lender spread, and check your God complex at the door.

Proper Deal Structure Moves Mountains

By Marv Eleazer
His Madness has a simple but powerful piece of advice for newbie F&I managers and those struggling to adapt to the way finance sources are rating credit-challenged car buyers.

Show Us Some Love

By Marv Eleazer

Chargeback Prevention

By Marv Eleazer

On the Point

Jim Ziegler
Sharpen Your Survival Skills

By Jim Ziegler
‘Da Man’ has a plan you can use to survive the collapse of the car business and remain profitable through the dealer apocalypse.

Sales Rock Stars Still Exist

By Jim Ziegler
Da Man says $40,000-a-month sales rock stars still exist. He says you’ll find them on YouTube and Facebook Live.

The New Stooges

By Jim Ziegler

Is Your Quick Lube Driving Away Business?

By Jim Ziegler