Train Staff with a Sales-Driven Focus

train staff

Every person that works in a dealership environment has an impact on your sales. Parts counter sales, service department repairs and maintenance, and, of course, new and used vehicles sales are all influenced by a dealership’s staff members. Regardless of their position in the store, every team member should be involved in sales training in some capacity, and here’s why:

While at an all-time high, sales figures have stagnated and are forecasted to decline this year.

A forecasted decline in sales will be an impact felt across the average dealership as a whole. By implementing some form of sales training for every employee, you’re able to capitalize on every sales opportunity.

On average, car buyers visit a dealership less than twice before making a purchasing decision.

It’s never been so important to make a great first impression. An employee who neither understands the importance of a sales focus nor is able to contribute to a great first impression isn’t just neutral in the experience – they are a negative.

56% of car buyers’ initial visit is by walking in.

In AGame Auto Trader’s 2016 Car Buying Journey, it’s identified that more than half of car buyers initiate their vehicle purchase as a ‘walk-up’. A team member’s ability to identify and assist the customer to find what they need or, at minimum, the person who can help, can help retain business that could be lost.

Customers are willing to drive further for a better sales experience.

73% of customers in the AGame Auto Trader Car Buyer of the Future study responded that they would drive further for a better sales experience. By providing an exceptional sales-driven team of experts, a dealership can expand their reach into their neighborhood and draw customers from further away.

How Should Staff Be Trained in ‘Sales’?

Not everyone will be greeting customers at the showroom entrance or filling out sales agreements. However, each staff member must know the importance of their actions as it relates to new and used vehicle sales, service sales, and parts sales.

  • During the training process, new hires can be introduced to the sales culture at your dealership. Whether lot personnel, technicians, salespeople, or front-end service staff, a consistent message should be integrated into a dealership’s onboarding material. Role playing customer interactions, observing from a distance, and shadowing someone in their role can impact a new hire’s understanding of the importance of a sales focus.
  • Ongoing ‘refresher’ training for tenured team members is important. It’s no secret that a lackadaisical attitude can creep up on anyone. Emphasizing a selling approach to service staff, salespeople, and all support staff on an annual basis during training exercises refocuses those who might be suffering from malaise.
  • Observing employee interactions with customers can unveil problem areas. Be present in the front-line experience. Watch how staff interact with customers. As a manager, interject if there are deficiencies in the customer’s experience, then follow up afterward with the employee to debrief.  
  • ‘Mystery shop’ your store to determine weaknesses that must be corrected. Knowing you’re watching, team members lean away from cutting corners. Have someone you know mystery shop your dealership from several angles to identify weak spots in customer service. These mystery shoppers report back, letting you know who isn’t implementing a sales-driven focus when you aren’t watching.

In the automotive industry, a second chance is rarely available after a poor first impression. Make the most of your sales opportunities by training your staff in sales-driven customer service.