St. Helens Auto Center’s Andrew Suvanvej advises colleagues to find training that aligns with your corporate culture. 
 - Photo by Charlotte Keith

St. Helens Auto Center’s Andrew Suvanvej advises colleagues to find training that aligns with your corporate culture.

Photo by Charlotte Keith

You just reached a full sales staff, only to have two people quit. According to the latest NADA Dealership Workforce Study, the turnover rate for sales consultants at dealerships is at an all-time high of 80%. The problem is real and relevant at dealerships across the country.

Nearly one out of every three dealership employees in 2018 didn’t last a full 90 days on the job. That’s data from ESI Trends, the consulting firm that conducts the NADA Dealership Workforce Study. Odds are even worse for sales consultants, with around 41% not lasting 90 days on the job.

On top of that, 80% of new sales consultants didn’t make it to their one-year anniversary. With the current turnover rate, you might assume close to 80% of sales consultants are not trained to their fullest, making things more challenging for all dealership personnel, including finance managers.

Read: Is Your Store Suffering From Cultural Lag?

Because of this, now is a great time to invest in your sales and F&I teams. Build loyalty by helping your sales consultants further develop their techniques to succeed and continue to dominate the sales floor.

The payoff is beneficial for all parties. Before you know it, you’ll have a dedicated team of trained professionals who are growing in their careers and leading your market in PRU, CSI scores, profits, and more.

You’ll also cut down on recruitment and hiring costs. According to the data, if you have 20 sales consultants on your staff, you can expect to lose 16 of them this year. If the cost of hiring a sales associate is $10,000 per person, that equates to at least $160,000 in losses for your dealership, not to mention additional dollars lost by not having seasoned professionals on your sales floor.

Here are some specific techniques your team can learn through outside training:

1. The How Behind the Why

Rather than telling your new employees “just go do it,” look for a training program that explains why certain techniques exist.

2. Four Temperaments of Personality

If you can find a training program that dives into the psychology of personality temperaments, you’ll be ahead of the pack. Visual and auditory cues will help your team learn how to recognize these traits in their customers and co-workers.

Your team will be like a chameleon, getting on the individual level of each customer they interact with.

3. How to Get on Your Customers’ Level

Training methods to help your sales and F&I teams become more in sync with their customers will increase dealership sales. Your team will be like a chameleon, getting on the individual level of each customer they interact with.

4. Presentation Mastery

An in-depth training program will teach your team a tried, tested, and proven process on how to conduct a presentation.

Outside training equips sales and F&I teams to better deal with customers through a proven process. Does everything always go down as nicely as a Disney movie? No, but a process will help any member of your team get back on track if they’re knocked down.

“Making sure your outside training complements your in-house training is important,” said Andrew Suvanvej, who runs St. Helens Auto Center, a Ford and Chrysler group in the state of Washington. “When we look for a training company, we look for groups that are attentive to our own unique business model.”

By finding the right training program for your dealership, you’ll empower your employees and create a stronger workplace culture.

“Career path is ultimately what we try to put every individual on,” said Suvanvej. “Providing all the tools, processes, and procedures for everyone is key.”

Tools and processes are constantly changing and by hiring the right outside training company, you’ll not only gain a wider variety of resources, but also a training group that will follow up with your team, checking in on their progress while sharing new, updated insider tips and tricks. You might just find a proven partnership that will continue to help drive your sales, even years down the road.

Mike Holliman is head of SmartDealerUniversity at Innovative Aftermarket Systems.

Read: Top 5 Ways to Increase Profitability Storewide

Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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