21 May Car Sales Training 101 – What Managers Need to Know
The car business luckily has not been hit too hard this past year, in fact many of our dealerships are reporting record sales. However, when dealerships are doing well and shoppers are buying cars, car sales training and accountability practices usually fall to the wayside. However, these are the times when your car dealership needs to double down and insist that your sales team train. Managers too need to hold them accountable to navigate the challenges that are already impacting the automotive industry – like the inventory shortage. These factors leading to this shortage are beyond our control but if we work on developing our sales teams, we will be better equipped to make the car buying experience optimal for shoppers and maximize our gross profit. In this article, we’ll provide managers with three things they should be doing to make sure their teams are maximizing every lead and creating their own selling opportunities.
- Train Consistently Training doesn’t happen one weekend at a seminar at a Marriott. It is ongoing and should be happening on a daily basis. Something as simple as setting aside 20 minutes a day to increase your knowledge, will make a huge difference in the long run. In Darren Hardy’s book “The Compound Effect”, he delves into the power of incremental change. The principle is that you reap huge rewards from a series of small, but consistent actions. The concept can help free you from the “all or nothing” approach – If you just commit to taking small steps consistently, you’ll be able to make measurable progress towards the big changes you seek. For instance, if you want to be the number one salesperson at your dealership, then you need to break down the skills you need to achieve that goal into actionable steps. You may start out by practicing how to convert leads from the phone and internet to touching tile at the showroom, and in time, you’ll develop the skills needed to proactively create opportunities through your outbound tactics. As long as you perform the daily tasks to reach your goal, it doesn’t matter the size of the task, what matters is consistency. Training is for everyone at every level of the dealership whether you’re the salesperson, sales manager, or owner.
- Simulate Simulating with your team is the difference between having an OK sales team and having a great sales team. Let me ask you this – does watching the masters on TV make you a good golfer? Obviously not. It may mean you understand the rules of the game and you can probably shout out some pointers to Bubba Watson on tv but odds are in real life you wouldn’t stand a chance against him. Now, let’s say you hit the green and hit bucket after bucket of balls repeatedly – really practice your skill, then you may have a shot, ok probably not but go with me on this example. It is safe to say that you’d be a much better player from getting practice on the golf course rather than watching it on TV. The same goes for your sales team. They may know what they should say to a shopper either on the phone, online, or in person but get tongue-tied when it becomes a reality. By simulating or drilling with your team before they hit the sales floor, they will be warmed up and know what to say to that shopper to get them into the dealership and driving away in a new car. The alternative is having your sales team practice on live customers and trust us, that’s never pretty.
- Accountability Salespeople won’t take training seriously if they know no one is watching. That’s why sales managers at car dealerships need to inspect what they expect. In addition to making sure your salespeople are getting their training done, we want to make sure they’re using it in practice. Listening to calls through call monitoring is one way to uplevel our sales teams. After all, if they know you’re listening, they will bring their “A” game. They know that they need to handle inbound and outbound calls effectively, otherwise they will risk being taken off the phones and not given those fresh leads that you are paying for. Taking leads is a privilege for them and only those salespeople who know how to speak to the shoppers should be able to take them in. Managers may think they don’t have the time to listen to calls but it’s really important. Not only will it help with training your team as you review problematic calls with them, it can also serve as a save a deal tool. If you don’t know what you should be listening to, you can download our call monitoring checklist that will guide you through the elements that you should be hearing on every call. Or, we can do a free mystery shop to your dealership and provide you with a recording of the call, as well as a scorecard and actionable steps that you can take immediately.
Having these three tenets in place will position your team to succeed as inventory remains tight. They’ll learn to not only manage leads coming in but also take a proactive approach to getting to shoppers before they’re in the market and capitalizing on opportunities to build your inventory. The dealerships who will power through this crunch will come out even stronger than they ever imagined because it’s not about who sells the most, it’s about who spills the least.
Reach out to us and see how we can help your sales team not only convert the leads you generate but create their own proactive opportunities.