More importantly, we have to ask ourselves why we’re continually having to “reset” when things aren’t going right. That is  not hitting sales objectives, low appointment set-rates, low appointment show-rates, low appointment sold-rates, as well as poor results in handling inbound calls or internet leads. The reset on the dealer level often includes position changes, pay plan changes, cutting vendors, or cutting ad spend. Or, in some cases, there might be a training course or two – or worse yet, the cancellation of training altogether! With the hope and goal of getting your team “back to the basics.” In addition to simply NOT working, this method has a number of flaws, one of which is that it is, well, "basic." Getting a highly qualified and properly trained team is far from “basic.”


In many cases, when your dealer has a “refresh” training course, the Sales Managers are often nowhere to be found. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen trainers show up to a dealership where the Sales Managers weren’t aware or unprepared. It was utter chaos as they shoved Sales Consultants or BD Agents in the “back” to fix the problem. And while training is incredibly valuable, your dealership will struggle to get off the hamster wheel of “getting back to the basics” if your Sales Managers continue to have a basic approach.


This isn’t saying that your Sales Managers aren’t capable of managing their Sales Consultants or BD Agents. What this is offering, however, is that for them to successfully approach the challenges they face, they need training too! Training on how to manage their Sales Consultants or BD Agents. Training on how to effectively measure performance. You cannot manage someone effectively if you’re only ever “blocking and tackling.” Where you’re literally “blocking” yourself from moving forward. It also means that your Sales Managers need to complete the training course themselves – more so, it’s best to explain that completing a training course isn’t a “punishment” or a “reflection” of their performance. It’s a chance to understand the methods their teams are learning to improve their performance. But you see, your Sales Managers cannot effectively manage the Sales Consultants or BD Agents if they don’t believe in or understand the training they’ve completed. You’ll most often find that the Sales Managers – despite the Sales Consultants learning a new technique or approach to the Sales Process – will wind up reverting them to their own processes. And while that might’ve worked for them, it misses the entire point of training. Where you’ll only ever be “tackling” the problems instead of proactively managing the situation and anticipating them well in advance.


Imagine having a solid infrastructure, in which case your Sales Managers are equipped to manage their Sales Consultants and BD Agents? Imagine having a training program that is anything but basic? Training that establishes specific objectives for your dealership. Such that, rather than thinking about the next "reset," you can concentrate on reaching the next target with a plan in place. Without the distraction of continually "resetting," your sales managers' efficiency will improve.


Are you ready to abandon the "basics" in favor of preparing to face the challenges head-on? In 2021 you better be and STOP with the “blocking and tackling” mentality as it’s harmful to all involved.


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Comment by Chris Vitale on May 4, 2021 at 7:32am

I don't see the possibility to cut outside vendors and definitely not for training. Car sales professionals aren't teachers, coaches, trainers, even though somewhere along the line it became a part of their job description, they're not. I agree some outside trainers take more than they offer but a proper training and ongoing coaching regimen provides double or even triple the appointment set and show rates and the ROI on that is better than the crypto market!

Comment by Mike Hoyser on May 3, 2021 at 5:18pm

Nice Chris!! The items mentioned ring true to so many stores that I've visited across the country. 

Comment by Pat Kirley on May 3, 2021 at 2:57pm
Cutting outside vendors and going back to taking a fair profit margin and stop following the pack selling overpriced products to increase margin on units.
In-house training on a regular schedule with all customer facing staff responsible for one module per year. External trainers probably learn more at your dealership than they teach your staff.
Comment by Justine Picciotti on May 3, 2021 at 12:58pm

We all forget that sometimes the best tool for growth and learning is just being consistent! 

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