The importance of third-party input when it comes to training your team

Nicole Marcellino

A car dealership is not a simple entity. There are moving parts everywhere! Most are 4 businesses in one and some are even 5 businesses in one. Managers and department heads are constantly working to ensure that their staff is making the right decisions to ensure everyone’s income is maximized. When you break down the task list that a manager needs to handle on a daily basis it is long, and micro-managing every staff member never works out for anyone involved. 

With the current market and the market that is being projected ahead, it’s time to make sure that management is utilizing the proper tools to get an actual and honest snapshot of staff’s performance. Remember the phrase “work smarter, not harder?” Now is the time to mitigate stress and use every tool in the book to ensure staff performance is in tip-top shape.

There are plenty of training tools out there that give sales associates an idea of their performance and how to improve without a lot of hands-on work by a manager. This is a great way to ensure that staff is consistently checking their performance without that dreaded micromanagement. Daily training on the most common tasks, like answering the phone properly, is like brushing your teeth in the morning, it’s just a necessity.

When it comes to our bi-weekly or monthly check-in or morning meeting a manager can use a simple report from the training program to get an idea of strengths and weaknesses from whatever aspect we are training similar to many manufacturers’ CSI reports. It gives them an opportunity to mention key points quickly and efficiently so that everyone knows how to proceed. What’s even better with third-party training though, is when a trained professional is working to assist your associate. Gone are the days of multiple-choice quizzes to ensure someone “knows their facts.” Having a third-party coach is a great way to get an honest and unbiased assessment of your sales associates’ performance. It’s also a great way to continue training an associate when they need more assistance. It can be done on the salesperson’s schedule and the manager isn’t taking time out of their day to assist. Plus, how many of your managers have teaching degrees? Non, right? They’re sales pros, closers, product knowledge experts, they’re NOT trainers! Of course, it’s always great to have all parties involved, however with short staffing being a real issue, having someone else available to take that extra time on management’s behalf is a game-changer. 

So, when used as a consistent tool, third-party training is a crucial asset to any dealership. It allows management to get a snapshot of the group’s training and performance. It also allows sales to receive additional assistance if needed on an individual level, and it keeps all associates on the same page when it comes to performance expectations. With a massive market shift coming, third-party training may be seen as something to be cut from the budget. But it’s really a massive asset that dealers cannot afford to lose. As a matter of fact, most top-performing stores are doubling down on it! It should keep all departments involved focused on ensuring a profitable performance across the board. 

When everyone at the dealership works to improve their performance on the customer experience front, the dealership prospers tenfold. Having a live assistant to oversee sales associates’ performance in certain aspects of the dealership, like phone training or in the BDC, is huge because, as we all know, communication is key and perception is reality. When you get an honest assessment in a quick snapshot as a manager, you can quickly determine what needs attention and what is working as it should. While there may be some fat to trim, consistent training is not part of it!

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