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5 Automotive Sales Training Tips You Need to Implement

The key to consistent and uniform customer service and brand messaging is keeping your sales team’s skills sharp through training. After all, employee skill sets have changed by almost 25% in the last decade, a trend that shows no sign of stopping. And as new research is showing, building a learning culture in your business is a powerful employee retention strategy.

With all the advantages training offers, how do you go about maximizing your return on your automotive sales training investment? Everyone seems to have ideas, but what does the research show?

We’ve put together a solid outline of the best evidence-based strategies that offer great long-term learning outcomes!

1) Design a Deep, Multi-Tiered Program 

Human beings best absorb information over time. The ideal automotive sales training is composed of three fundamental components:

  1. Initial informational session(s): This is where the basic information is presented.
  2. Coaching: Now the real work begins. Over a period of time, employees work with a mentor to master the information and its implementation in the workplace.
  3. Evaluation: Once the coaching is complete, the employee’s new skills need to be checked under actual working conditions. This is best done through mystery shopping.

Skimp on any part of this three-legged stool, and everything falls over!

2) Use Great Materials

In any phase of the automotive sales training process, great materials are a must. This does not mean the latest and flashiest stuff, but the most solid and impactful. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Videos for training should be broken up into segments of no more than six minutes each, focusing on a single topic or idea at a time. Captions, bright colors, animations, humor, and whiteboard presentations all improve retention and engagement.
  • Have some awesome interactive activities planned out that can be used between these video segments. These dramatically improve engagement and retention, and they can be structured as role-playing, Q&A, brainstorming, or anything else that gets your team involved.
  • If you can get folks up and moving as often as possible, even better! Movement is strongly linked with increased retention. 
  • Complex ideas, concepts, and procedures are best presented through animations or video learning. This is especially true for your service technician training.
  • Game-type simulations and interactive virtual reality simulations are proving themselves to be highly effective training tools.
  • In-person, interactive training can be truly amazing, especially if it can incorporate the above elements. 

3) Don’t Teach—Coach!

Now that your automobile sales training is moving into the long-term weekly sessions designed to foster mastery, keep in mind the following tips:

  • This is a supportive, mentoring-type environment. You’re not looking to belittle or find fault in negative ways.
  • As such, punishing errors is to be avoided. Research shows it is detrimental to the learning process, causing people to fear mistakes. Mistakes are the best teachable moments out there, and they should be leveraged to foster positive growth. 
  • These sessions must utilize the actual materials (scripts, brochures, demonstration equipment, etc) employees will be using on the job.
  • Instead of role-playing, examine actual calls the employee took and dissect these. Now they’re learning how to do the actual job the way you want it done.

4) Evaluation Is Not a Final Exam

A mystery shop is not a pass/fail-type scenario. Like quizzes, these are part of the learning process. Now is the time to celebrate victories and identify areas that can be improved. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Establish formal rubrics for your mystery shoppers so all areas you want to evaluate get covered the same way for each shop.
  • Allow mystery shoppers leeway to investigate issues as they come up.
  • In-person mystery shoppers should not stare at name tags, take notes, or do things that could tip off employees. Behave like a regular customer, and prepare a plausible reason for shopping/calling in.
  • Follow up as soon as possible with shopped employees so the experience is still fresh in their minds.
  • Mentors should remain gentle, kind, and a source of strength for the mentee.
  • Lead with positives before addressing shortfalls.
  • Reward excellent performance.
  • Modify following weekly sessions to focus on areas of desired improvement.

5) Partner With Professional Trainers

However great a boss and teacher you are, you’ve got a boatload of other responsibilities you’re dealing with running a successful business. Training takes a lot of time and money, and often outsourcing your automotive sales training saves you both in the long run, allowing you to focus on your business.

Phone Ninjas is just the partner you’ve been looking for. We take this heavy load off your plate entirely, and we support our work with reports and data you can use to make important business decisions. 

The Phone Ninjas program is proven to increase live customer appointments from phone and digital channels from the industry average of 20% to over 60-80%+. But don’t just take our word for it, hear about our program and the results from one of our clients

Our training program has three components: 

  1. Mike Hoyser, our rockstar VP of Training, will personally conduct the initial training on location or remotely as you prefer.
  2. Our Phone Ninjas coach your team members individually in weekly mentoring sessions. We help your staff master our free scripts they’ll be using on the job, and work with actual calls they took during the week.
  3. Our mystery shoppers go to work, following up with shopped employees to celebrate success and iron out any remaining wrinkles.

We’re ready to take your training program to the next level and start helping your sales team hit those monthly goals with ease. Drop us a line for a demo and two free mystery shops.

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