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It All Starts with Training

We all know what a sleazy salesperson looks like by now. Even if they’re dressed nice, we still get an oily feeling when we speak to them. Words roll off their tongues like butter; but in the end, they’re still selling swamp water. When it comes to cars— whether used or not— we see the slimy tactics all too much.

The question we have to ask is if the pupil is this disgusting, how diabolical is the teacher?

Those selfish, egocentric salespeople have to learn it from somewhere. It didn’t just appear from out of nowhere one day. They had to work hard by honing the skills to manipulate and confuse. In fact, if you have one on your team, you better take a serious look at your training.

Whether you have a training program that slides those impressionable students down the evil scale— or worse, you don’t have a training program at all— everything lands at your feet. It’s time to review your program.

I’ve discussed at length about how a process needs to customer-centric. In today’s digital world, with educated buyers who may know more about the cars you’re selling than you do, you have to be customer-centric. It isn’t enough to just have the right cars. You have to have the right people. If you don’t put those customers first, the door is all too close.

So what elements do you need to get your people prepared?

Teach the basics

Every member of your team needs to understand what customer-centric means. You need to teach them so if you ask ten different people in your organization, you won’t get ten different answers— you’ll get only one.

Consistent Training

Once someone understands why you believe in a customer-centric model, then you can establish a unified training program that applies to everyone equally. It’s imperative that everyone be on board so the collective goal is to achieve the excellence you have defined.

Take ownership

Everyone needs to think about how their actions affect the customer experience, whether it’s the front line staff, or the janitor that forgot to wipe the grease off the chair last night. They may never interact directly with a client, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an effect on how that customer experiences the dealership. Make sure you teach them how their actions affect others.

Action

It isn’t just enough for your people to have empathy and understand how their actions will affect the clients. When you teach them how to act and empower them to do so, then you’ll see amazing results. Those empowered employees will come up with innovative ways to show they care— whether it’s thank-you cards from the service team or follow-up calls from the sales staff. Teach your people how to reach further so that the experience is always better. Then, make sure your employees understand how to get those things done. Don’t let them sit idle because they don’t know who or how to ask for permission.

Tongue in cheek or not, simply telling a salesperson not to be evil isn’t good enough. You need a consistent training program that puts the customer front and center, and teaches your employees how to think, not what to think. Though some will say it’s a badge of honour to have learned by a trial of fire, it isn’t. You need to know your people will make the right decisions every time and if you didn’t have a hand in crafting or molding those decision-making skills, how will you ever know?

 

Tongue in cheek or not, simply telling a salesperson not to be evil isn’t good enough.

You need a consistent training program that puts the customer front and center, and teaches your employees how to think, not what to think. Though some will say it’s a badge of honour to have learned by a trial of fire, it isn’t. You need to know your people will make the right decisions every time and if you didn’t have a hand in crafting or molding those decision-making skills, how will you ever know?

 

The next time someone enters your dealership spouting their ten or fifteen step success program, delve into what they’re saying. Don’t let them teach how to speak with a silver tongue. Run them out of the dealership with pitchforks until you can select a training program that keeps the customer at the center. The result is a strong increase to your ROI.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more content.

Cheers,
Jason Harris

 

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