Automobile Dealer

Every automobile dealer and general manager recognizes the increasing costs of sales training. Take a look at your monthly statement. Factory sponsored training costs are on the rise. Training programs from outside vendors continue to become more costly.

What return are you receiving for that investment in your sales department? The feedback I receive tells me not much is changing. High turnover and low productivity continue to plague the industry.

In 2004 I was contacted by the COO of large dealer group in the midwest. He wanted to talk with me about sales training. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at his office and saw a pile of books, manuals, cd's, dvd's and tapes. Not a small pile. This pile was 3 feet high.

His first question was..."Do you have any idea what this pile is?" The answer, of course, was automobile dealer sales training materials. He said,"yes, and take a guess at what I am spending annually for them."

The figure astounded me. It was in excess of $300,000.

Then he told me his grosses had remained static for over 2 years. He also shared with me his employee turn-over figures in his sales departments.

The best store had a salesperson turn-over percentage of 112%, the worst in excess of 400%. Yes, 400%.

Then he asked, "Why do you suppose that is?" Obviously no one answer can cover all the reasons so I asked him a question..."Who is responsible for training your salespeople?" He told me, like I thought he would, "the sales managers." My response was, "Who taught them to train?"

His answer wasn't what I expected. What he told me was each manager used training materials they liked and the GM's of his stores contracted with outside automobile dealer sales training companies on a regular basis.

I had to stop him right there. I asked him one more simple question..."What vested interest do outside training companies have in your business?" None, of course.

Their interest is in coming back, at hefty fees, for follow-up sessions. Any of this sound familiar? Your showroom, break room and training room probably have unused piles of this stuff just like he had on the floor of his office.

"Program of the month" is the derogatory term your managers and sales department call them.

To the point; I know you're busy, just like every other automobile dealer or GM. What is the single biggest problem in automobile dealer showrooms today?

We try to cure before we diagnose.

Here is how most managers, just like the ones you pay a lot of money, get on the "cycle"...

  • I need to hire more salespeople
    The perfect cure before diagnosis. They don't stop to think why they have to hire more people, they just look up and they are short handed. Find the diagnosis here.

  • I need to train more
    Of course. Another cure before diagnosis. Who taught the manager to be an effective trainer? Do the salespeople see training as beneficial or just another thing they have to do ? How much time does a sales manager spend preparing to train? The diagnosis is here.

  • I am the sales manager
    That is the title, not the job description. Find out what it's really about here.

    This site contains everything a general sales manager, sales manager or salesperson needs to have a successful automobile sales career. The best part is this site is "live". New material is being added continually. You and your management team can automatically receive each update by clicking here.

    Stop spending your training budget on programs no one uses. Don't hire outside trainers for your salespeople. Your managers need to step up, it's what you pay them to do.

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