Completing a training course or being mystery shopped is only one part of the equation. Taking that first step by offering your team training is great, but what happens after the session? All too often we revert back to the same old habits – not answering the phones correctly, for example – because we’ve failed to tackle the root cause of the issue. Pointing out the areas of opportunity is one thing. Fixing the break-points and staying in front of the people with it is what changes their performance. To enhance their performance, it’s critical to have ongoing and situational active coaching.

Think about it, your Sales Consultant gets mystery shopped, and before you know it, they’re sitting in the GM’s office getting “the talk.” That “talk,” though, is not “coaching” and is usually a situation where the Sales Consultant or BD Agent is sitting there defending themselves. Especially if they’re caught off guard. Instead of taking the approach of sitting behind the desk berating them on what they did wrong, offer them a path to success. You can provide them “answers” and “tips & tricks” all day long – but if they don’t have the solutions in their back-pocket to reference when handling the same objections as muscle memory, they’re not going to perform any better. And the “tips & tricks” of what the shop company is looking for really doesn’t address the root cause and that’s fixing what’s really wrong…. What’s really wrong? Doing better consistently! Not just “beating the test” or “faking a score” but truly seeking to understand and then supporting that with changed behavior, improved scores and better numbers. Because at the end of the day, you’re there to make money. Profit isn’t a dirty word and all the “education” offered should be doing one thing, helping you to make more money.

And before we blame the “mystery-shop” and how it wasn’t a real situation, let’s talk about the real problem here: The problem is that your teams are not effectively trained to answer the phones. Using a mystery shop by itself also isn’t enough training. Quality training is active coaching sessions that use the mystery shops as examples as one piece of an overall strategy. Working on the break-points in the call. Everything from the greeting needs analysis, to asking for the appointment, to overcoming objections and making sure you’ve offered proper directions to the store which has a method. These core steps must be effectively and efficiently accomplished in one call and it’s absolutely possible to do it within the average duration of an inbound call of 3.25 minutes. Make no mistake, each mystery shop offers valuable insights on how to handle that break-point in the future. But you see, unless there is follow-up – through active coaching – it’s easy to fall back into the same pattern they’re accustomed to when handling the phones.

Another of the many benefits of active coaching is that it’s entirely virtual. Long gone are the days where the trainer needs to come into the dealership. All your Sales Consultant or BD Agent needs is a quiet place, a computer, and a pair of headphones. It’s these “check-points” (active coaching) that can build their confidence, knowing that they have a training session scheduled just for them. Whereas when you have the trainer in the dealership, you (the GM) usually pull them aside multiple times, getting them off track, to ask questions, or inquire about other break-points you’d like them to address. Because let’s face it, you just can’t help yourself from getting involved. Let the Sales Consultants and BD Agents complete their active coaching session online and work with them to track each session’s progress. You’d be surprised as to how many of your Sales Consultants & BD Agents want to do better at their jobs. They (being some) just don’t have the courage to ask for more training or know how to ask for it. And for some, they just don’t think they need training!

Imagine if the times you did pull one of your Sales Consultants or BD Agents into your office that it was to discuss how they’ve enhanced their performance. Where the feedback is positive and a chance for you to connect with your teams. Believe it or not, most of your Sales Consultants or BD Agents would love the opportunity to sit down with their GM to ask you questions on how to improve their skill-set based on what they’re learning. But again, if you’re only using these opportunities to do a throat-punch and not offer the tools to better their performance, they wind up leaving your office more deflated than they already were. Don’t be reactive, be proactive, and you won’t just see results but you’ll see sustainable results!

Are you ready for an Active Coaching Method for your team? One that consists of mystery shops, listening to actual customer calls, critical coaching and personalized one-on-ones? Your prospects sure are….

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