In 2016, the average turnover rate for salespeople at franchised car dealerships was a staggering 67% every year. 40% of new hires would last just 90 days or less, accounting for massive training costs and lost sales from burned opportunities. While metrics through the pandemic become much harder to track, it’s evident that dealers as a whole have improved on employee retention over the past five years.

Reworked pay plans that often focus less on commission and more on customer satisfaction have helped. Hiring based on personality and potential over automotive experience has been a benefit also. But finding good people for sales is just the start – they don’t earn your dealership any revenue until they convert shoppers to buyers.

How can you get today’s new hires productive on the physical or virtual sales floor quickly? Here are four tips.

Have HR materials in hands before the first day

Your workplace policies and paperwork for new hires shouldn’t cut into what would otherwise be an exciting first day for a new hire. If you can get that paperwork into their hands ahead of time so they can complete it before starting their first shift, that’s ideal. As well, any videos for OSHA, discrimination policies and the like should be made available to complete before their role commences. While it may be only a few days to get these things in order once working, it’s time you’ll have to pay. As well, it dampens their excitement.

Play the long game for training

For candidates with little or no selling experience, it would be a great idea to enroll them in training before they begin greeting customers. Programs from Joe Verde, Grant Cardone, Andy Elliott, and others can develop core competencies to start your new sales hires on the right foot.

These training sessions, whether live, virtual or remotely, are a great way to focus on the right steps to making a customer completely satisfied while making a sale. Doing it the right way is crucial or you’ll either have a burnt-out salesperson or a ticked-off customer.

Make mentorship a key component

Few sales training tools are as effective as your long-term staff. After years of being on the floor, they understand what motivates the buyers in your community, have established a high-functioning routine, and have proven themselves. Pair up a new hire with a mentor who can show them the ropes and put their course training into practice. How long that mentorship will need to depend on the individual.

Mentorship should not be a practice that causes the mentor to suffer financial hardship at all. Consider either boosting their base pay handsomely during mentorship periods or having them participate in the commission the new hire earns.

Have tools on hand to foster success

It’s impossible to learn both the techniques and vehicle information perfectly before dealing with customers. Even seasoned salespeople need support with the nuances between trim levels. Rather than having the salesperson get flustered or confused with details, they’ve tried to memorize, provide them with a tablet that lets them demonstrate a vehicle more confidently.

Obviously, not every new hire will work out or achieve productivity quickly. It’s in your power to help them along as much as feasible, and it will benefit your store financially by doing what you can to keep them around long-term.

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