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Sales Driver

7 Team-Building Must-Haves

March 11, 2011

The coaching and development of sales staff always sounds like the right thing to do, but very rarely is it done consistently and, more importantly, properly. Many times, we assume the best person for the job is the one with a manager’s title. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Take a recent conversation I had with a sales manager. He remarked to me that one of his salespeople was on thin ice because he wasn’t closing his customers. I asked about his store’s training program. “We don’t have a formal training program,” he responded, adding that he personally shadows his salespeople and that his experience in the real-estate business served as the only reference his team needed.

Apparently, poorly performing salespeople are supposed to miraculously get better at their jobs. I asked the manager if he could coach his salespeople. “I don’t have time,” he said, which I took to mean he didn’t know how.

See, according to Dr. John C. Hall and John Steuermol — innovators in the field of selection testing — there are seven critical components to becoming a great coach. Let’s examine each one and see if we can turn you into the coach your dealership and your team needs.

1. Be your own ally: The primary focus here is to instill in your sales team a positive and optimistic outlook. You want to keep them from playing mental games against each other and fostering negativity that impedes performance. So, rather than starting another Saturday sales meeting by telling your staff how much they suck, think of a positive way to motivate them to victory.

2. Maximize your return on energy: Coach your sales team to avoid common distractions and unproductive activities, such as coffee klatches, during high ROI times of the day. It is so easy to misuse your time when you work the car schedule, so be sure to provide your team with a game plan for winning the day.

3. Prospect: This is a great opportunity to share and exchange strategies on how to prospect both inside and outside the dealership.

4. Develop a compelling story: Help your team develop sales approaches that speak to the needs of your store’s most common type of clients. All customers are not the same, so why should the sales approach be?

5. Become a master of communication: The core focus here is to help your sales team communicate the brand and dealership’s message effectively. Identify and reinforce particular components of your store’s sales message that add the most value.

6. Sharpen the saw: Although it’s sad to say, the idea of continuous learning among sales professionals is very rarely taken seriously. I’ve been in dealerships all over the country, including some of the largest dealership groups, and can only recall one that had a recommended reading list for ongoing improvement. That dealership also provided spiffs to encourage team members to read and advance their skills. It’s no wonder the store boasted the highest grosses in its area.

7. Keeping Score: Show me a salesperson who doesn’t want to win, and I’ll show you one who isn’t making money or hitting their sales objectives. Top performers who really care about what they do want to know that they are crushing it, so track and monitor your salespeople regularly and encourage them along the way.

We have more technology and widgets at our disposal than ever before, but so does the competition. That’s why your employees remain a critical factor in differentiating your store from your competitors, so be sure to utilize and develop that talent. Change your approach and see what happens. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Comments

  1. 1. MALCOLM6571 [ April 09, 2011 @ 06:34AM ]

    COREY..THIS IS A VERY GOOD ARTICLE..THERE IS A BIT I WOULD LIKE TO ADD TO THAT..THE INFO YOU HAVE IS DEAD ON BUT THE MISSING LINK IS UPPER MGMT HAS TO BUY INTO IT ALL...I HAVE BEEN IN THE AUTOMOTIVE BUSINESS FOR 13 YEARS AND I HAVE ONLY SEEN ONE GM THAT BOUGHT INTO TRAINING..I AM A FINANCE MGR...MY PERFORMANCE IS EXTREMELY HIGH..I LOVE TO TRAIN AND DEVELOPE SALESPEOPLE, I HAVE BEEN A TRAINER AND HAVE ALWAYS TRAINED ON THE THINGS THAT HELP MAKE ME GOOD..FUNDAMENTALS ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO ME..THE THING THAT PUZZLES ME THE MOST IS THAT EVEN THOUGH I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A DRIVEN TOP PERFORMER IN SALES F & I, AND SALES MANAGEMENT, WHY DONT GM'S LISTEN TO ME AND BUY INTO TRAINING ON A CONSISTENT BASIS. IT IS VERY DISCOURAGING..NEVER THE LESS I CONTINUE TO PERFORM AT A HIGH LEVEL AND OVER LOOK ALL THE MISSED OPORTUNITIES AND ALL THE MONEY BEING LEFT ON THE TABLE ON A DAILY BASIS..WHAT IS THE BEST APPROACH TO ENCOURAGE AND EVENTUALLY INCORPORATE TRAINING AND SOME SOLID PROCESSES IN MY DEALERSHIP?

  2. 2. Cory Mosley [ August 12, 2011 @ 01:05PM ]

    Malcolm,
    Thank you for your comments and sorry for the delay commenting as I just happened upon your comment. You have raised a key issue that plagues many dealerships. In ways the answer you seek is similar to the analogy of "how many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?" The answer being none, because the light bulb mist first want to change. This is the challenge with decision makers, 1 way is positive reinforcement of the goal- meaning if you want them to consider investing in training then I would politely and consistent send articles, blogs, videos, emails, and any an all "third party" information that highlights the benefits until they can say to themselves, let's give something a try. Assuming that your dealership and not just you are fairly successful you have to always remember that success is a menace, it convinces smart people that they can't loose. Good luck!

  3. 3. Team Building Courses [ September 13, 2011 @ 08:07PM ]

    Thanks a lot! Love this, really learned a lot of ideas.

  4. 4. Marv [ February 15, 2012 @ 12:37PM ]

    I was rlaely confused, and this answered all my questions.

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Author Bio

Cory Mosley

Dealer Consultant

Cory is a sales training specialist who brings a new-school approach to automotive retailing. Get his monthly take on the opportunities and challenges impacting today’s front-end departments right here at www.fi-magazine.com.

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