Even if you’re a senior in the vehicle sales business, you’re not necessarily trained to train other employees. Think about it for a moment. Take a high school filled with kids who all walk out of their senior year passing with flying colors. Each and every kid passed every class they experienced without a hitch. Could they all step into teacher rolls and teach the next generation of children? The answer is obvious. Teachers are trained in teaching techniques. They spend 4 to 8 years training in the latest teaching trends and understand how to pass material on to their students from all angles until they can compute. You as a car salesman or manager are doing your job, and then, you’re asked to become a teacher. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Step one is a little obvious but we understand if you don’t have the time or money. Take any classes in training and management that you can. This is a huge help. If you can pick up some training yourself, then you’ve won half the battle already. Your dealership may offer to cover the charges, and sometimes you can find classes through your local library. It’s worth a look.
Here are some ideas to pass along to your new hire. The new generation doesn’t hold attire to any high standard. Talk to them about how dressing for success can translate into dollars and cents. Even if the dealership doesn’t have a dress code, you really want to look your best for your potential customers, and jeans with a concert shirt won’t get the job done.
Know the lot and know it well. Show them the CRM tools and walk them through the lot. Teach them how you get a grasp of the inventory. It’s important that you know most of the vehicles on the lot, and have a pretty good idea of the options available. Vehicles turn over, but it’s not like 75 cars a day are flying by. Customers want answers, and they may know what’s on your lot as they pull up. It’s not going to look good if your trainee doesn’t.
About those CRM tools. They are a Godsend. Don’t just sit there and have your hands on the computer or app, have them train hands on. Run them through the process a few times a day at least. These tools will help them with scheduling, research, and communications that will free them up to focus more on giving attention to what matters most…the dealer experience for their customers. Again, make sure when you’re training them, they have the hands-on time they need to have the steps imprinted in their head. Managers always make the mistake of showing, instead of asking to see. We all know you can do it. Make them do it. It’s going to save you a lot of headaches.
Teach them about retention programs and pipelines. New hires normally think that potential customers walk in and buy or they don’t. That’s about the extent of the customer experience for a new hire. They need to understand that NO normally means maybe and not sure normally means yes. Your new hire also needs to understand the importance of picking up the phone and calling those maybes back, and sending follow up emails or texts. They should see you handle this and then they should go through the process with a few of your existing pipeline prospects. Make sure your new hire gets the idea that one car may only be the beginning for a family. They may need one for a kid going off to college. They may recommend you to a friend or relative. Everything is connected.
Just be prepared. When your new trainee walks in, have a manual or binder ready to go. Let them know how they’re doing along the way, and be positive at all times. Drive home the idea that training never ends, even if they get the job. If you’re a member of NADA or any other organization, it’s best to always keep yourself in the education game to stay ahead of the curve. Hope this helps. It’s not easy being a teacher when you’re not technically a teacher.
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