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Automotive Training in Sales

I've been in sales for about 20 years and have moved into car sales management about 8 years ago.

The money is good and i ejoy the business.
There is a lack of good automotive sales training out there, can anyone point me in the right direction please? - by Tony Dunne
How will you know or decide if a sale training program is good? - by Liberty
I don't know about specific car sales training, but i think putting together training that is value based (gitomer, carnignie, etc..) has helped me tremondously. If your guys focus on qualiflying then it makes selling easy... - by benjamin-benjamin
How will you know or decide if a sale training program is good?
By the fact that it's industry focused, customer and sales person friendly and something that i would implement at my dealership. - by Tony Dunne
By the fact that it's industry focused, customer and sales person friendly and something that i would implement at my dealership.
Would you be looking for training you could attend and then take back to the dealership where you would be the trainer or are you looking for training that is peformed on site at your dealership? - by SalesGuy
Would you be looking for training you could attend and then take back to the dealership where you would be the trainer or are you looking for training that is peformed on site at your dealership?
Training for my sales managers so they could become better trainers. We've used non automotive trainers with only limited succees. Sure they learn from non automotive trainers but it's not converted into increased sales.

This is an industry that really needs to adapt traditional sales training into the car business..... there is a business here, maybe i'll sell my dealership!!! - by Tony Dunne
Sharon Drew Morgen is on the forum. She created the "Buying Facilitation Method". Have you looked at her training programs? - by Houston
Thanks Huston

I'll check out Sharons work. - by Tony Dunne
Training for my sales managers so they could become better trainers. We've used non automotive trainers with only limited succees. Sure they learn from non automotive trainers but it's not converted into increased sales.
What do you think got in the way of converting the material into increased sales? - by SalesGuy
Snowman ... you may find some of the "virtual online training" helpful if you are in an area devoid of Automobile sales trainers. Joe verde has an excellent online program. - by Gregoire
By the fact that it's industry focused, customer and sales person friendly and something that i would implement at my dealership.
What do you mean by "sales person friendly"? - by Liberty
What do you mean by "sales person friendly"?
Sales person friendly in this context is; they relate to the training, see a benefit in it and actually do something with it. Without being forced to.

Friendly may have been a poor choice of words :bl - by Tony Dunne
We've used non automotive trainers with only limited succees. Sure they learn from non automotive trainers but it's not converted into increased sales.
Snowman,
I DO believe that perhaps "car selling specific" training would in fact benefit your business and your trainers...but the truth is, is that ANYTHING can be applied to ANYTHING if you take it in principle. I sell JEWELRY, but I still can take advice from REAL ESTATE articles, or COLD CALLING threads etc... The point is that no matter WHAT you are selling...it is not what you are being told to do...it's HOW you choose to apply it.
Aside from varying product knowledge from different areas of selling, I see NO reason why it is that your trainers cannot implement the material they have been provided. For it may not be a problem with the information being provided....but the mindset of HOW to apply it may be the culprit. :thup - by truesaxman
Trueaxman

I agree with you that we can all learn from crossing over skills and experiences then applying what you learn into your own business and Iíve done that over the years with varying degrees of success.

The delivery of quality training strategies, techniques and philosophies vary wildly as we would all know, just as the willingness and capacity of the participants to digest and act on the new things theyíve discovered varies.

The best results that Iíve seen in my business are from 1 guy who adapted new ways from non automotive sales and put them into a system for the car business. The sales team could relate directly on how to use these new ways/ideas etc, because they where in real life examples that they understood intimately, because of this the improvements and changes where immediate and lasting in most cases.

As a consequence this is the guy I use and Iím happy with his work, the thread was really to find out what is out in the USA Europe etc that is car specific to see if I could complement my guys excellent work.


Thanks
Snowman:thu - by Tony Dunne
Snowman,

One of the problems I find with sales people is that I never get a straight answer. I understand there are certain questions that should be asked to find out what is of interest to the client, but this is the second page and I did not see anyone suggest a single sales training which was specifically designed for car sales. Instead individuals tried to convince you that sales is sales. I know exactly what you are talking about because I too want only specific sales to my industry, I do not want to, or have people in my company have to convert it over to work for them. If I want training I want it converted already. I do not go to the store and ask for flour when I want bread and I feel that too many sales people try and do this. So what I have found is a website for you that deals directly with vehicle sales. You will find other sales training in there but I already have some of the material and some of it is directly related to car sales. I hope this is what you where looking for. - by Jorel
I've been in sales for about 20 years and have moved into car sales management about 8 years ago.

The money is good and i ejoy the business.
There is a lack of good automotive sales training out there, can anyone point me in the right direction please?
Do you run your sales operations in the standard ways that most new car agencies do?

Do our salespeople get to meet new visitors to your showroom in an orderly rotation?

Do you encourage them to make every effort to close the prospects that they meet with, before the prospects leave your showroom?

Are your salespeople required to do any other form of prospecting?

Are your and/or your sales managers involved in closing most of the deals? - by JacquesWerth
Do you run your sales operations in the standard ways that most new car agencies do?

Do our salespeople get to meet new visitors to your showroom in an orderly rotation?

Do you encourage them to make every effort to close the prospects that they meet with, before the prospects leave your showroom?

Are your salespeople required to do any other form of prospecting?

Are your and/or your sales managers involved in closing most of the deals?
Jacques

Iím always trying to be different in the way I run a dealership, the main way I do that is;
  • I have a sales process that both customers and sales people enjoy, (that is rare in the car business)
  • We act with honesty and integrity in all our dealings, (that is also rare in the car business)

Orderly rotation is achieved by running a MANAGED FLOOR AND PHONE SYSTEM. This works by putting my best sales people on either showroom or phone in the number one position and so increasing the opportunities that he gets to work. If he is number 1 of 10 sales people and we get 11 people walk in he will get 1 & 11.

We always try to agree a deal wherever possible but we are careful not to push too hard as that can actually cost us sales. This is a balancing act for sure.

Prospecting. This is mainly working the existing owner base, service drive etc. Just like any other business the sales people who can self generate opportunities are typically the top 10 Ė 20 %. If I train someone from day one of their career then networking and self generation is very high on the agenda.

Management involvement in closing. In about 70% of cases a double close is performed. The other 30% either buy a car and pay full price or close enough to it or we donít have time to get to them. It is definitely advisable to double close all prospects. But not too hard, I donít subscribe to buy or burn like many other dealers do.

Hope that answers your questions.

Tony - by Tony Dunne
Tony,

You have a good start at being different and much better than the norm in the car industry. I am not saying that you should do away with the Rotation system. But, you might think about changing it.

If it were true that the Rotation system you are doing now puts too much pressure on your salespeople and your prospects, and reduces profits, how could you change it to make it better?

If your salespeople could spend more of their time with high probability prospects, and less with those who will not buy at a price you want to sell for, what difference would it make in units sold and in total profit? What would you have to change to make it happen?

If many more low probability prospects (the ones with a death pact not to buy today) were to come back and buy another time, how could you make that happen?

I probed those questions before I bought an insolvent car agency. It became profitable within a mater of months. Then, we taught our salespeople how to close without any pressure and their average prices were higher than when we did TOs (double closes). Therefore, we stopped doing TOs. Of course, I structured the pricing and commission plan so that we hardly ever took a short profit.

It meant taking some radically different actions including quickly and courteously disqualifying low probability prospects, especially during high traffic times. We rewarded the salespeople for doing that by putting them back in the front of the rotation.

A large percentage of those we disqualified came back and bought a car.

That was a long time ago. I don't know how it would work today. - by JacquesWerth
Jacques

Thanks for your positive feedback. Iíve been working this way for the past 10 or so years, with both the dealerships Iíve run and the clients I have the results have been very strong, including dealer of the year with 2 different brands so I think itís a little more than ďa good startĒ but off course, like all good businessmen Iím always looking to improve.

My rotation system doesnít put too much pressure on either customers or sales people it just puts my highest performing people in front of more fresh enquiry.

What advice do you have when it comes to working with more higher probability prospects, I could take any amount of those.

We try to agree a deal with everyone but not to the point where we pressure. My idea is to be trusted and professional in the customers eyes and if it takes 2 - 3 visits for the to buy then thatís fine.

Iíve turned around 4 struggling dealerships in the past 10 or so years so letís keep this discussion going and share our thoughts and ideas.

All the best

Tony - by Tony Dunne
wrote in small part:
What advice do you have when it comes to working with more higher probability prospects, I could take any amount of those.

Tony
One way my agency got plenty of High Probability Prospects was with telephone prospecting. Back then, there were no Do Not Call (DNC) lists. You can still get residential prospecting lists now, complete with phone numbers of car owners of specific makes, models and ages in specific Zip Codes. A good list broker can automatically scrub out the names that are on the Federal and State DNC lists.

You should be able to get a list of Companies and Organizations that own cars and trucks with the same demographics. Only residential numbers are subject to the DNC lists.

We invited them all to try our quick, highly skilled service department and we gave them a substantial discount on an oil and lube job. We also told them that they could ask to test drive a new or used car while they were waiting Ė if they wanted to (no pressure). That program also increased our service and parts business substantially.

We had service discount mailers for the salespeople to send out to people they contacted by phone. The salespeople put their names on the mailers and the service writer notified the salespeople when their people showed up.

Salespeople who sold a car to someone they contacted by phone got a substantial commission bonus. - by JacquesWerth
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