Having been in the Reinsurance business for nearly 30 years, it is clear that ongoing training of staff is of utmost importance to the success of any dealership. Of course, reinsurance involves the sale of products such as Vehicle Service Contracts, providing Warranties, selling GAP, CPI or Debt Cancellation Coverage and many different ancillaries, through a dealer’s own insurance company. These are certainly important (and profitable) and they help ensure the experience of the customer - and you the dealer - is a pleasant one.
However, nothing happens until the vehicle is sold!
This is why DealerRE makes available online/on demand training for our dealer clients. I say this not as advertisement, but as a practical business application. If our dealers don’t succeed, we don’t succeed.
Car sales in America have reached a point of parity. There is much less concern over vehicle quality than in times past. So, no matter whether you are selling New cars or are in the Buy Here Pay Here business, successful selling is about relationships.
According to an article on LinkedIn, “Relationship selling refers to the sales technique that focuses on the interaction between the buyer and the salesperson, rather than the price or details of the product.”
Granted, there is more to selling than just Relationship. Affordability is certainly a factor, but establishing rapport or relationship is KEY. Love your customer.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Earl Nightingale
What should be the primary learning objective for staff training?
Learning how to establish long term business relationships (win friends and influence people), increase income (better provide for family and loved ones), and learn how to advance in a career (how to gain favor and promotion).
Learning how to establish long term relationships starts with loving your customer, listening to understand, staying in touch (and not just when you are trying to sell them something). What kind of relationship can you maintain by only calling because you want something?
In a digitally-centric universe, business owners cannot lose sight of the undeniable importance of person-to-person interaction. Here’s why a relationship-selling strategy should be an integral part of how your business sells itself. - American Management Services, August 2017
Forbes outlined the benefits of relationship selling:
Smart companies realize that the key to long-term sales results and happy customers is using relationship selling.
Training using the relationship selling technique typically increases sales staff PVR by an average of 30-60% or even more, resulting in notable profit increases to the dealership within the first month! How? Knowledge is power when practically applied and here is the kind of knowledge every customer facing employee needs...
Dealerships sell more cars with training - then F&I product sales increase.
Cross training positions like sales, desk and F&I, increases profits per sale. If all staff is trained on the benefits of F&I products and how to mention them during the sales process without mentioning price (and include them in deal structures from the desk legally), then F&I product sales increase.
Dealers need their customer facing staff to be continually developed - especially call handlers, salespeople, sales managers, F&I managers, and service advisors. Dealers need to onboard new staff with online training and gain access to tools to better recruit, onboard, and train for BDC, sales, internet, F&I, sales-management and service advisor positions.
Dealers need to retain their star performers with a high level of job satisfaction. Those dealerships who have entered into on-going training consistently enjoy high reviews from staff.
Dealers enjoy liability protection provided by compliance training, testing and certification.
When a customer comes into your dealership, your staff represent YOU! They are your ambassadors. What they say and the actions they take are a direct reflection of you and will decide not only if a sale is made, but if it is done in a compliant manner. If it is not done correctly, no sale may be the least of your problems. You could find yourself in a compliance pickle or worse in a lawsuit.
To quote my friend Dave Anderson, “It’s better to train your staff and have them leave you, than not train them and have them stay.”
God bless, Tim Byrd
It’s what smart dealers do.