Flexibility Takes Training
💟Dealerships look a lot different than they did just a few years ago. Consumer behaviors have changed drastically, and everything has gone digital, to name a few. But what hasn’t changed is that selling a car—whether online or in person—is still a people's business. It’s just often much more complicated for the sales team. To keep up with the constant changes, your staff needs to be knowledgeable and agile—and that requires ongoing training. It’s the only way to ensure the flexibility your dealership needs to survive.
In our last two articles in our Dealership Flexibility series, we discussed the importance of remaining agile in two ways: how quality data and the flexibility to implement new strategies will help overcome inventory shortages and how flexibility can help dealers contend with heavy-hitting market disruptors🎃. In this article, we discuss one of the most critical variables in today’s climate—the people component, and how a knowledgeable, agile team can help retailers excel in this new landscape.
Why training is worth it
𒀰According to recent , more than half of a dealership’s gross profit margin goes to payroll. And while hiring and training staff is essential in any industry, in auto sales, where turnover is high, retailers are often forced to weigh the cost of investing in training their team with their bottom line.
ꦫFocused training programs benefit more than just the sales team; there are benefits to the retailer as well.
💧Some advantages of professional training programs for dealerships include:
🅰Improving dealer performance: The most successful dealers view sales training as an investment that pays for itself, rather than as an expense. A recent found that the average store increased its gross profits by 10.9 times the amount it invested in training.
🗹Staff retention and growth: Training helps retain happy team members, leading to a more consistent and efficient sales experience for the customer. Without staff retention, there’s no continuity of knowledge, and the dealership gets stuck in a constant training cycle.
♕Closing more deals: Proper training helps your staff interact with your customers effectively, understand their needs better, and offer products and services to match their needs.
🦂Improving customer experience: A satisfied customer can become a brand advocate for your business. They cost less to serve and are typically willing to pay more than other customers.
𓂃Allowing managers to do their job: Most sales managers aren’t equipped to be in a training role. They're too busy, not incentivized to invest in their staff's long-term development, and not trained to be trainers.
🐠Compliance: Federal and local laws change from time to time. Professional training for your dealership staff can help them stay updated on the latest regulations and safeguard your business.
Your training roadmap
🎉Understanding the basics of auto sales is valuable, but what’s even more crucial is understanding how consumer behaviors have changed (and continue to change). Today’s consumers spend less time shopping in person before purchasing a vehicle, so dealers have fewer opportunities to convert shoppers into buyers. How to capitalize on that tight timeframe needs to be taught, which makes a solid training program essential to the long-term profitability of any retailer’s business.
💛Dealerships need to be flexible in how they approach and sell to the modern consumer, however, to be successful in that, it’s imperative to train your employees in the following key areas:
💯The business of sales: Retailing vehicles goes beyond just selling new and used cars; employees need to keep up to speed on things like fixed operations, compliance with government regulations, and evolving rules for sales.
ไGenerational differences: Consumer behaviors are more varied today than ever—particularly across generations—making understanding how to sell to different groups imperative.
🌜What resources are available: It’s unrealistic to expect employees to retain everything they’re taught, but they need to know where and how to find the resources that will help them answer any customer questions that come their way.
🍰Converting leads to buyers—quickly: Dealers today have less time and fewer opportunities to convert shoppers into buyers. Knowing how and when to close a sale in today’s landscape is not something that even the thirty-year veteran has expertise in.
🍰Using the tools available: From diversified lead generation to targeted marketing, selling in the digital world comes with various tools for the sales team to use. But the team needs to understand how to use tools.
🔜Personalizing the journey: Data can help the sales team individualize the buyer’s journey in new and exciting ways for today’s customers that demand a personalized touch.
Work with a strong digital partner (like Shift Digital)
A dealership's success depends on its team’s ability to make sales. And knowing how to make sales in today’s environment requires constant training. But for a retailer, that’s a daunting task. So how can your dealership do it all when it’s more challenging than ever to keep up? Work with a strong digital partner. At Shift Digital, we provide training programs and initiatives to support all your staff-training requirements to keep your team up to speed. We tailor these programs to your needs to help ensure your staff has everything they need to succeed for themselves and your dealership. Contact us🅘 today to learn more about how we can help you deploy comprehensive training programs that will help your dealership remain flexible.
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