Employees are often a product of their environment, and make no mistake, how you incorporate training into your dealership will be a significant factor in how they (and your company) develop. Looking ahead to 2024, you need to put a training curriculum in place, if for no other reason that to maintain reasonable sales goals as the industry normalizes in the new year. A person can only get as good as their skill level allows them to be. Anyone can luck into a car deal, but not everyone can luck into a deal 25 times a month. Training is what allows them to grow into their roles.
Salespeople need to hear from other people. No, this is not a shameless plug to bring in DealerKnows to train your team. I’m the first to admit that the great majority of training they receive needs to come from their own sales managers. The training your management team does provide cannot be the same over and over, which is why creating a training curriculum for your management team to follow is the most crucial step in exceeding your dealership’s goals. Several questions exist when determining how to incorporate training into the lives of your salespeople:
How much training have your managers received?
What type of training do they conduct with their sales staff?
How often do they train? (Daily/Weekly/Monthly?)
Is all training in group settings or do they receive personalized one-on-one coaching?
Are you simply speaking at them or does the training include interactivity and role-play?
How many managers take their time to conduct training? (They shouldn’t only hear from the same person every time, or they’ll only ever get as good as them)
The answers to these questions allow you to put in place a training curriculum for 2024. One that puts your store on the path to a profitable year. The training has to be frequent and consistent. Your managers must train them in both a full team setting and individually, when appropriate. The salespeople must get involved in the training, which includes having them present, role-play, and participate. You must pull from the expertise of all managers to impart wisdom on those on your showroom floor.
Once you answer those core questions, you can build out a training curriculum as simple as creating a calendar with everyone’s roles, topics, and times. However, it must go one step further.
There are 4 different training types that all salespeople must receive.
Customers expect your salespeople to be an authority on the product. Getting certified by taking some online courses from the OEM are simply not enough to impress a customer with vehicle know-how. Test them yourself. Ask them to present features and benefits of the vehicles, differentiate models/packages, and even make trivia out of it. Cars are not always fun to learn, but how you train it can be.
This is the fundamental training of their job. How do they work with the shoppers, facilitate a purchase, overcome objections, identify sales opportunities, communicate with customers and more. The process of their responsibilities may be the most valuable and consistent forms of training a salesperson should receive. But it can’t be all you discuss.
Understanding the customer, from a psychological standpoint, including how to best identify what they are looking to achieve, cannot be overstated. The more you understand the shopper, their journey, their needs, and their wants, the easier it is to both influence their decision and connect with them on a personal level. This is the crossroads where personality, empathy, rapport, and presentation all meet. (This also includes how they coexist with their coworkers).
Lastly, you need to train your salespeople in the proper utilization of all the technology available to them. This primarily includes the CRM, their own mobile device, and the tools on the customer-facing websites. The better you can get your team technologically sound at the systems in place, the faster they’ll be able to complete their tasks correctly, and the better they’ll be at staying on top of opportunities.
These 4 training types need to be built into your training curriculum, added to the calendar, and assigned to managers (or outside training companies), so you are filling up the stocking of each and every salesperson all month long. Once you have your plan, now just work on making your sales training stick.