Ongoing Training is of Paramount Importance For Dealership Success

Nicole Marcellino

Times are changing and everything has been moving a lot faster over the past two years, right? You can buy a home in 30 days without having to have it inspected. Your groceries get delivered, you can work out in a magic mirror, and restaurants will bring their food right to your door. In most instances, however, in the automotive industry, there is still a face-to-face component that requires a good combination of charm, savviness, and authenticity. 

How are all of these traits achieved? Through training, of course. Certainly, you can find an excellent salesperson right off the street, but the art of the deal is nuanced. There are still certain aspects of customer service that need to be taught and the importance of these aspects should be focused upon, heavily.

If your sales team is showing some difficulty in closing the deal with a customer, you have to ask yourself why that is happening. Is he or she underqualified? Let’s hope not, as increased turnover is not something any dealership needs in this strange market. Chances are, your salespeople have either never been trained properly or the adjustment of the industry has caused a slip back into bad habits. 

It is no secret that the automotive industry has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. We started seeing the shift towards more internet business before COVID, but the decreased feeling of safety and government mandates pushed your BDC and Internet departments into the limelight. Were they ready for that?

Most of your salespeople can fumble their way through a phone call and then they shine when the person is sitting in front of them. However, as the industry really adjusts and a lot of deals are being handled over the phone and NOT in person, wouldn’t you argue that phone skills and training are of the utmost importance in these changing times?

Without ongoing training, your employees and yourself can be allowed to slip back into bad habits, especially when the focus changes. Let’s be real, the automotive industry is barely recognizable from five years ago. We have car lots with fewer than fifty cars that used to boast hundreds. Websites have included “buy from home” buttons on most of their inventory and there seems to be no end in sight.

Are your employees prepared to deal with the new way in dealerships or are they trying to fit a square peg in a round hole by using what USED to work? In this instance, the 3 days’ worth of training when they first started in your store is not going to cut it. In a field that changes on a daily basis, we need to keep our skills fresh. We must make sure that our training sessions are following what is happening and our teams are learning to pivot.

If you are unsure if your staff is able to handle the coming changes to the automotive industry or if things have been different since the pandemic, ongoing coaching is right up your alley. Not only do it offer comprehensive training packages to ensure proper phone skills, but the training is ongoing. Certified coaches work in tandem with your salespeople to emphasize the importance of proper phone training through 1-on-1 instruction, recorded coaching, and monthly reviews. 

It’s a new world…

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Nicole Marcellino

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