“Personally, it has definitely helped out a lot, to get two free days to do something like a normal person,” Darrow said.
It has improved his job performance, he said.
“Professionally, it just gives you that refresh,” said Darrow, who said he sells about 20 vehicles a month.
Davison said sales reps, when they return from their two-day breaks, want to know about fellow staffers’ sales performance.
“It’s raised the whole level of competitiveness,” he said.
Part of the store’s culture change was scrapping its traditional BDC during the pandemic, Davison said.
Colonroche is a proponent of the store’s decision. Six sales reps make up a dedicated Internet sales team and have helped bring in “much more quality traffic,” he said. Show rates for appointments have improved.
Davison said Internet leads from March through November last year fell by 2,400 compared with the same period in 2020.
“We’re closing our total Internet leads at 2 percent higher this year than we were last year. Our phone traffic is closing about a half percent better,” he said in December. “Our showroom traffic, we’re closing 5 percent better.”
That translates to a 4 percent higher closing rate on sales leads despite lower new-vehicle inventory, he said.
In 2019, the dealership sold 980 new vehicles and 727 used vehicles. For 2021, even with the inventory woes, the dealership was on track to sell about 940 new vehicles and 870 used vehicles.
Fred Anderson Toyota of Sanford is part of Anderson Automotive Group, which has eight dealerships in North Carolina and also sells Nissan, Subaru and Kia vehicles, according to its website. Anderson Automotive of Raleigh, N.C., ranks No. 71 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 12,915 new vehicles in 2020.