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Automotive Sales Training: The Need To Do It Right
Automotive Sales Training, while not necessarily a glamorous topic, is a subject that needs some attention. Dealers, as they continue to battle the manufacturers with the higher and higher CSI demands, the need for continued and professional automotive sales training will only grow.
Think about it for a second as we walk through a typical scenario. A guy/gal just finishes college, or they have heard from a friend how lucrative the automotive sales business really is...so they wander on down to their nearest dealership. (I am obviously over simplifying here).
Once the dealership and this guy/gal decide that there is a good fit; the automotive sales training begins. The problem, however, is that we have found that the majority of fast paced dealerships simply don't have the necessary time to sit down and ensure that their new staff members are properly trained.
Sure, many of them are trained on the "steps-to-the-sale," but in today's day and age, automotive sales training needs to go much more beyond the basics. Here are a few areas that automotive sales training programs can no longer go without:
1. Sexual Harassment Training
An effective and efficient Automotive Sales Training program that goes without proper "Sexual Harassment" training is setting the dealership up for a future lawsuit. Ok, having someone come in…do a 1 hour compliance seminar, then having the entire staff sign a document stating that they understand the elements of sexual harassment is not going to cut it. Not in the least. We are hearing of dealerships that still maintain 100% of the liability, as a sharp attorney is easily able to pierce that "piece of paper," arguing that it is merely a piece of paper and not a true intention of the dealership to act in good faith to prevent these actions.
Speaking of effective automotive sales training programs. If you do not take the next step and have "Human Resources" training, the dealership is once again looking for trouble: trouble that you just don't need and can easily eliminate. Look at it this way, by simply engaging in a simple once-per-month course for all 1st year employees to sit with the Human Resources manager and go over the policies and procedures of the dealership, you will be miles ahead of any future lawsuits.
Last, but certainly not least, is "Contract" training as it relates to your automotive sales training program. What do I mean by "Contract" training? Well, as we all know, most of the individuals working in the automotive sales industry do not have a finance degree. They do not understand the related contract laws that apply in their state. However, these are the same individuals that we rely on to ensure that applications, customer statements and final paperwork are documented properly. Granted, the finance managers in most states are required to have some form of "insurance license," but this does not mean that they get the proper training around contract law and the nuances associated with the contract. We are seeing day in and day out, simple mistakes being made by staff at the dealership nullifying the legality of contracts every day. This can easily be avoided with a proactive management team.
My message here is simple: automotive sales training does not end with the "steps-to-the-sale," but actually should just be the beginning of the new salespersons training program. Dealers need to protect themselves in every aspect, and this is not something that they can decide to do later.
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