When you hire a new sales person, like most dealership owners, you probably make sure they go through a training process of some kind, right? This is a standard best practice in all businesses, but it's essential for a sales role in the automotive industry. It is so essential in fact, that most dealers will continue to train all their sales people monthly, if not weekly, to ensure they are performing at their best. While this seems like a great idea, it is not the ideal training schedule for your dealership. Why?
Because you are failing to train ALL the staff members involved in the sales process!
Ask yourself this question, when was the last time you trained your desk managers? Or sales managers? I'm willing to bet it's been a while, or NEVER. Usually, the best employees get promoted from the sales floor and become desk managers, or desk managers are hired in from an outside source. Many dealers neglect to train for this important position, and thus leave new employees high and dry. If you are wanting to maximize your profits, you need to make sure that every single member of your staff who is involved in the sales process is making deals the exact same way. Otherwise, you are leaving room for inefficient, ineffective, and ill-advised business practices. Killing your profit margins.
Those of us who have worked the desk know that sales people will go to whichever sales manager they think will be easier to work with on a deal. So, what can you change that will ensure everyone starts and works a deal the same way? The answer was recently brought up in one of my 20 Group meetings …
Achieve higher gross & lower employee turnover
In the meeting, one of the dealers in the room had a higher gross average in their new car department. This dealer had a brand-new point (open 7 months in Dallas), and was selling high volume, with high gross in one of the most competitive markets. I asked the dealer "How did you attain this?" His answer was amazing: He told the group that "Every month, and I mean every month, my organization trains every sales manager, finance manager, and general manager, to make sure they are consistent across the board with how our sales process works." It doesn't matter which manager, which dealership, or which employee is on duty when a deal is being worked, the process is the same.
The results? Above average front end grosses, great CSI,
less employee turnover, and increased market share.
This change in approach to Variable Operations training was simple, and yet in my 25+ years in the automotive business, I have never heard of training sales managers on how to work a deal from front to back (let alone sales manager training every month) to ensure consistency. It was brilliant, and the dealer was reaping the rewards!
I would implore you to pose this question to your organization: "When a sales person starts to work a deal at the desk, will the process be the exact same, no matter which manager desks the deal?" Think about a new salesperson coming to the desk for the first time, the second time, and how the process varies. How can we expect them to have a consistent process when management doesn't follow suit?
Learn more about NCM's training opportunities to help stop profit margin destruction. NCMi offers many courses like F&I Management and Financial Management I & II that will train your team in the best money-making tactics used by leaders in the automotive industry.