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The Training Process: What you’re doing wrong!

Every day, we talk to dealers who tell us that they’re frustrated with their staff. The employees come in for a few weeks, make one sale, and leave. Even if the dealerships spend thousands of dollars sending them off to sales seminars, the staff still leaves. 

Turn over on the sales floor is near 100% for most dealerships. The sales people seem to be constantly looking for greener pastures. Or at least ones where the sales are more reliable. 

So here you are:

  • Spending thousands on sales seminars every year.
  • Spending thousands more on advertising.
  • Trying to turn leads into sales.
  • Replacing 90% of your staff every three to six months. 

So what are you doing wrong?

Did you learn to read and write by attending a weekend seminar?

How about math? Did that take more than one evening?

What about how you learned to sell cars? Did that take more than a day?

The problem is that most dealerships approach sales training as a one-off event. Maybe four times a year, everyone goes to a sales webinar. 

The rest of the time, they sit in the showroom texting their girlfriends or boyfriends, floundering when customers come in, and complaining that they’re not making any money.

Learning to sell is like every other skill; you have to teach it every day for your staff to truly understand it.

It sounds like a lot of work and a hassle, especially for a staff that’s unlikely to stick around. But they’re guaranteed to leave if they stay with you and make no sales. 

Even the most money-hungry salesperson wants to be able to take pride in their accomplishments. If their accomplishment is that they got the base in their paycheck, it’s not going to take long before they’re gone. 

Role playing, training, morning meetings, Q&A sessions, and group brainstorming is vital for your team to succeed. 

Consider having everyone arrive an hour early. Spend thirty minutes every morning teaching a new technique, discussing what people are struggling with, or asking the veterans how they succeed. Your staff will be well-informed and every day will be an accomplishment, even if they don’t make a sale that day.

What if they leave and I’ve spent all this time and money?

There are two answers to this question:

  1. What if they don’t leave? Do you really want a half-trained, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants staff wandering around taking care of the customers you spent thousands trying to get into the showroom?
  2. You already are! You’re spending money on advertising, marketing, and more just to get people to your showroom. You’re paying a staff member to be there that might not know what they’re doing. You’re throwing good money after bad now. 

The best part is that this technique doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It’s a low-cost, time-based idea that allows you to tap into your own experience and that of your existing team.

What are we teaching?

The first thing to teach is your expectations. What do you expect your staff to do when someone arrives at your lot? How should they be greeted? How fast should they be greeted? Should they “pressured” or left to wander? How long should they wander?

Here’s a suggestion that one of our customers came up with: Watch your three best salespeople and make a model out of what they do. There are no rules. Every town and every dealership is different. If you’re most laid back salespeople are successful, you can use them as a model. 

It’s a bit like what Tony Robbins teaches: Watch people who are successful and do what they do.

Every day!

Just like going to school when you were younger, right through college, repetition is the key to success. That’s why you need to make sure that you train your staff every day.