Why management training can make or break your car dealership – David Lewis

On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome back David Lewis, President and CEO of David Lewis and Associates, and also the host of CBT’s original series, Straight Talk. He joins us today to discuss the vital importance of management training.

Lewis begins the conversation by discussing who is actually training today’s managers. Lewis says it’s the same people that trained them 35 years ago. It’s the sales manager you just fired. Managers come from our salesforce. Dealers should ask themselves, what management training do you have in place for your management staff?

Training the manager of today is not the way it was 20 years ago, says Lewis. What you should train on, is how to be a leader and how to get people to do what they’re supposed to. You have to put people first, how to work with each person’s emotions, and getting them better at what they do.

Lewis says one of the biggest failure points we have in our industry is recognition. We don’t recognize our people when they do a good job or thank them for a job well done. A good leader when trained properly knows how to do those things. Lewis also says a leader who’s out for himself or herself is not a good leader. A leader is someone who wants to see other people succeed, how they succeed.

A lot of dealerships are on cruise control. Lewis says some dealerships are starting to get inventory. He also says, if he was a service manager, he would sit down every day with his advisors for 10 minutes, they would watch one or two videos and discuss them. He would ask, what did they like or didn’t like, and what are they going to implement immediately? You’re following through with the conversation, that points forward, and that’s effective. People enjoy participating. Good leaders know they have to involve employees in the training process and learn how to listen.

Lewis wraps up the conversation by talking about what you can expect from him at NADA, next year. The topic this year is, ‘Understanding the Service Customer’. This topic is critical because it’s all about creating extra customer pay revenue. The biggest mistake that service departments make is they don’t understand their customer. Lewis says he’s going to share how to make better presentations when the customers are there and the power of video. Lewis says, whoever takes a piece out of what he shares, will see an immediate increase in customer pay revenue.

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