The 50/50 Training Technique (Spending training dollars wisely in 2016)

Would you ever consider letting a member of your sales team on the floor to sell cars without any training?  Could your sales team sell cars without knowing the features and benefits as well as your process?  Most dealerships spend a lot of time and money consistently training their sales departments with strict guidelines and processes in place.  Yet developing a process and training for your service team is a critical element that most dealerships let fall by the wayside. Your average sales team member is lucky to see 5 potential clients a day while one service advisor can see 30 or more.  Why wouldn’t you make training your service advisors just as high of a priority as training your sales team?  Shouldn't it at least be a 50/50 split?  Let’s face it, with profit margins on new and used car sales diminishing every year it is fair to say that your service department is a big part of your profitability as well as customer retention.  If you have not trained your service team in the past, no problem!  I have created a simple check list to help you get started. 

  • Do you have a company mission statement that everyone can quote?   Yes I know, it is on the wall but does everyone know it, believe in it and strive to accomplish it!


  • Do you have training resources available for your staff to easily develop or review?  Most service managers do not have the time or the skills to develop a training programs, so a resource to supply material of help with training is just as important to them as it is to your sales managers.


  • Does your training program consistently teach your team communication skills along with how to excel in their careers delivering higher hours per RO, effective labor rates, and customer pay?


  • Does your service team have weekly meetings, role-plays, incentives, and rewards for outstanding performance?


  • Is your shop staffed according to your current levels of production and can they handle getting the work done in a timely manner?


  • Do you have leaders and management staff in the right positions to deliver your consistent message, motivate your team, keep your morale up, and develop long term employees?

The service, sales, and parts departments should work together as a team.  Joint teamwork meetings or special events would be another way to accomplish building these relationships.

I see many dealerships that have a “separate department” mentality that feel like they’re working against each other instead of working with each other.  Have you ever thought of having an incentive program that involves both departments?  Be creative and make training fun and interesting.  After a while it will become second nature to you and your team and the results will make it well worth the effort! Service drives need a continuous training program that works. 

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Comment by Amy Kern-Smith on October 29, 2015 at 9:06pm

Excellent points Kris.  Clients can certainly tell the difference when there is a cohesive teamwork approach! 

Comment by Kristopher Hampton on October 22, 2015 at 11:39pm
Thanks for the comment Sally. When you are talking about completely updating operations on a service drive it takes 100% effort and involvement from the "TOP" . All employees must be on the same page with processes and procedures especially management . When you are trying to create a culture of professionalism and production you have to invest in your people with a consistent training program that excites and actually advances relationship building with clients.
Comment by Sally Whitesell on October 21, 2015 at 4:49pm
All great points but the last one really stood out to me. If the standards and changes don't start at the top, it is hard to make progress. Make sure everyone is 100% invested in your training.

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