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Don't Stop At The Beginning

Posted by John Fuhrman on October 31, 2011 at 9:05 AM

This is my first day back after a five week road trip. I had the priviledge of working with some top dealers to help them staff their sales team with trained recruits. But, that can also be a curse if the dealer simply sends them on to the floor, wishing them luck, adn hoping for the best. My job and that of many of my colleagues at other companies is to help new people build a solid foundation for each of the dealers to build upon. In other words, I am only the beginning.

When interviewing potential candidates, I explain that my job is to give them enough of a base so that all the information they are going to learn at their dealership makes sense. A trainer, in this situation, needs to give the students a bit of familiarity of the overall sales process and then turn their students over to begin more specific training at the dealership where they work. Skipping or ignoring the continued training can often slow growth, increase frustration and even reduce the results expected.

After 32 years in dealerships, I know the reluctance to training due to time, business, budget, and downright resistence from sales people. But, these new students are more open to training and in many cases eager to learn all there is to learn. Best of all, this continuing education can happen while they are working with customers, doing follow-up calls, and at sales meetings. It only takes a decision.

One suggestion is to make these brief training sessions optional to your veterans. You'll be amazed at how they begin coming around when the new people continuosly start out-selling them. Let them decide for themselves and you'll see those who do will get more value from the training and adhere to what they've learned. That can show the new people the importance of continuing to look for ways to learn more and invest in themselves.

Another is to bring in a trainer just for your senior staff. Make it an "Experienced Only" training. Investing in those who have been doing the work will not only increase their knowledge, it will also instill confidence that the dealer still values their experience. It also shows your new people that the dealership continues to place a premium on keeping good people. You can even make it an incentive by allowing only certain levels of production to attend. In other words, make training an award for good effort and production.

This is the best time of year for training of any kind. The holidays, winter, year end, can all mean a bit of a slow-down in traffic. This call allow more time for training without "taking time off the floor" as an excuse for not training. It should increase productivity at a time when you want to close strong. Everyone wins.

John Fuhrman is the Senior National Trainer for Carolina Automotive Resource Services, a unit of The Dealer Resource Group. His ten books have reached 1.5 million readers and he has trained sales professionals around the world. Our Trainers are ready to work for you and develop a sales team you can be proud of. Email us by Wednesday and we're in your dealership on Monday ready to interview. When your dealership needs amazing results hiring new people, visit ATTENTION DEALERS: VISIT OUR WEB SITE AND REGISTER TO KEEP UP ON MONTHLY TRAINING SAVING SPECIALS. Our trainers are ready to show you our "WOW!" factor. (c)2011 by John Fuhrman - Permission to reprint this post in its entirety, including contact information, is hereby granted.

Categories: Sales Management & F&I, Dealer Operations

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