Car sales training: From instructor-led seminars to one-on-one coaching

Car sales training: From instructor-led seminars to one-on-one coaching

It’s no secret how you can improve essential skills for your auto sales team — train them. But some dealership owners that do invest in training may be taking the wrong approach and lessening the benefits for their employees.

Lessons imparted in single training sessions may fade away over time. To keep that information fresh and actively build on auto sales skills, it pays to invest in multi-session instructor-led auto sales training programs and ongoing one-on-one coaching sessions for each car salesperson on the team.

Your sales staff is the heart and soul of your dealership. By investing in their continuing skill development, you can set them up for success and lift the performance of the whole business.

Why your dealership needs auto sales training

When members of your sales staff are missing critical skills, the car buyer’s experience can suffer. Today’s customers have access to more choices than ever before when searching for a new vehicle, so it’s up to you to make sure each car salesperson on your team can confidently guide each potential buyer onto the next step in their customer journey.

Take phone skills as an example, as this is commonly overlooked across industries. Accepting an inbound call from a curious shopper should begin with a standard greeting, and quickly segue into probing questions that will help the car salesperson determine the caller’s needs and the best course of action.

The call should end with a confirmation about the expected next steps. That might mean a dealership appointment, giving your auto sales team a perfect chance to close a deal. In all cases, the representative should collect contact information to keep the prospect in the system.

By using car sales phone scripts, your team can make sure they’re delivering consistent, reliable automotive sales call experiences. WIth different phone scripts for inbound and outbound calls and variations based on customers’ personal situations, your reps can leverage a roadmap through the nuances of customer communications.

Of course, phone script use isn’t a one-step process to improve your team’s performance. Building auto sales skills goes beyond handing the team a script and walking away. This is where instructor-led training and one-on-one coaching come in. The former gives salespeople vital skills, while the latter ensures those abilities stay strong and keep growing over time.

Sales staff auto sales training: In-person or virtual

Launching an instructor-led training auto sales program is a big moment for your dealership. With the right teacher and well-chosen subject matter, it’s possible to empower your team to complete phone sales more effectively and not miss out on potential business.

In addition to classes for your automotive sales associates, sessions targeting the team’s leadership or sales manager levels should also be added to the plan. Educating different groups of employees is a way to get everyone on the same page regarding critical sales skills.

Good instructor-led training seminars aren’t just recitations of facts and best practices. Experienced leaders can guide salespeople through both theory and practice so they understand the “why” behind the techniques they’re learning. Role-playing sessions can get the point across.

An auto sales training event can kick off an ongoing improvement program in style. When it’s time to schedule one of these seminars, you have options: Leading instructors offer both face-to-face sessions and virtual options.

The following examples show what staff members can expect in Phone Ninjas’ instructor-led training sessions, led by 25-year sales veteran Mike Hoyser:

  • An in-person sales training meeting creates a natural connection between instructors and learners. These sessions may play out over multiple days, with half the team being trained on each, to make sure they don’t get too crowded. Across a full-day agenda, split between the morning and the afternoon, learners cover every aspect of phone-based auto sales, from following scripts and handling objections to turning service customers into prospects and using data management technology.
  • Zoom-based scar sales training sessions are an efficient option, especially for a dealer group with multiple locations. This is not to mention that the pandemic-era increase in video conferencing use has made employees more comfortable learning key information over platforms like Zoom. Just as with in-person training, it’s normal to divide the staff into smaller groups for training, creating more intimate sessions that leave learners free to ask plenty of questions.

Ongoing one-on-one coaching delivers continuous value

Even the best auto sales training seminar isn’t a one-and-done solution for your auto dealership. As time passes, the best practices and knowledge picked up in the session may fade. What your team members need is ongoing accountability. When there are structures in place to monitor employees’ use of best practices, they’ll hold onto what they’ve learned.

One-on-one coaching is the gold standard when it comes to retaining and adding to auto sales phone skills. A professional coach can periodically check in on recordings of live client calls, grading each automotive sales representative on how well they follow the relevant phone script and maximize the chance of making a sale.

By reviewing the findings from those calls in a live one-on-one session with the car salesperson, a coach can guide the employee to better performance. The lessons can be tailored to the learner’s strengths and weaknesses, delivering more bang for the buck than a generic refresher would. 

On top of the review process, coaches can go through role-playing sessions and give employees an update on their progress over time. These check-ins are designed to keep every salesperson engaged and improving from one coaching session to the next.

Time to start improving your team’s auto sales performance?

The mixture of instructor-led car sales training and one-on-one coaching adds up to a potent performance improvement approach. By putting vital elements of car sales, such as phone skills, under the microscope, you can make your people more effective — and your dealership as a whole will benefit.

If you want to improve how your dealership handles phone calls, check out our Dealership Phone Training or Active Coaching Services and see how Phone Ninjas can help you!

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