When thinking of people that are constantly working at their profession to get better, stay ahead, and win, professional athletes easily come to mind. They have one job: to constantly work at their particular sport to improve; whether training for a big game or the Olympics, they are continuously training and training hard.
Although it may seem like a stretch, the training involved in sales, especially car sales, should be equally as rigorous. Great athlete don’t learn a skill and be set for the rest of their careers. A great athlete learns a skill and continues to look for new, improved ways to be even more successful. A salesperson should learn different sales tactics, then continuously learn, retrain, and adapt those skills to get better and better.
The tools used to train car salespeople differ from dealership to dealership, but these general tools will help your dealership succeed.
The first tool is the use of e-learning. More than ever, time is money. In a world driven by technology and constant changes to the market, online training is a must! This gives your dealership the most up-to-date information and the opportunity to train on your own time, without salespeople needing long seminars, drawing them away from their most important task: selling cars. Rather than spend time traveling, time is effectively put to use where training is needed. Online training includes: webinars, apps, online courses, etc.
Online training provides many benefits, it’s low risk and less expensive compared to traditional sales training techniques. It’s also convenient, adaptable, efficient, and trackable.
The second tool to use, and possibly the most important, is role playing. Role playing puts your sales people in situations they may or may not be be experienced or comfortable with. It allows your salespeople to build great selling habits —what to avoid and what to encourage — until it’s second nature. Role playing is especially useful when done in groups. The participants notice improvement areas and the group can point out parts done well and areas needing work. It’s much better to have your sales team encounter new situations in a training session rather than on the sales floor. Role playing includes customer interaction both in-person and on the phone.
Role playing creates a natural learning environment for your dealership, the participants learning just as much as those watching. It may feel silly and uncomfortable for your sales team at the beginning, but they will learn from it and appreciate the knowledge!
Goals & Results
The third tool is to set goals for your sales team and stick to them. It may seem obvious, but many dealerships implement training tactics with zero follow up. There are only so many hypothetical situations a sales person can be in before it all seems too easy - they need real world experience. Once the e-learning and role playing is at a satisfactory level, you should set goals and measure results for your sales team. The real world experience at the dealership will demonstrate the effectiveness of your training and potential areas of growth.
Goals and results show the dealership what areas of training are working and what are not. All of these tools, along with many others, are intended to develop your salespeople into a confident, successful sales team. Sales training is a chance for everyone to learn, both new and seasoned sales staff. A chance for all levels to give input, experience stories, helpful hints, etc.
An athlete doesn’t become great overnight and stay that way without practice; neither do salespeople. It takes hard work, dedication, and constant training.