Move cars off the lot faster than you can drive them
Want to spice up your auto sales training sessions? Overcome new employee learning curves with in-depth role playing and powerful sales questions
When you think back on the training you received as a new salesperson, what lessons were essential to your growth? Many of the tips and tricks necessary for sales success are “outside the box” of typical training sessions. If you have new employees coming in, how will you prepare them to service today’s buyers? It’s time to integrate new auto sales training techniques for better results and less turnover.
You already know the essentials to teach: product knowledge, steps to the sale, and overcoming objections. But sales excellence is all in the details—the everyday tips left out of training manuals and video tutorials. That’s the juicy stuff you need to expose to new employees.
Outside the norm: valuable auto sales training for new employees
1. Read the superstars
Give your new employees an outside perspective on “selling.” There are a plethora of seasoned authors and speakers who give excellent advice on sales development. Don’t overlook this opportunity to use expert knowledge!
Research “must read” books for sales professionals and pick two that best fit your management style. One can be a classic, and the other new with modern methods. You can build your sales training meetings around topics covered in each book and work with sales reps to discuss and implement what they’ve learned.
Here are a few books to consider:
- Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
- How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less by Milo O. Frank
- The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy
- Spin Selling by Neil Rackham
- The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
2. Act out tough scenarios
If you haven’t utilized role playing in your auto sales training, now is the time to start. Acting out scenarios is an effective way to teach newcomers how to react in the moment. Seasoned employees can illustrate typical conversations with customers and give tips on responses, actions, and behaviors to look for.
Ideas to get you started:
- Overcoming common objections. For example, how to sell to a customer who is “just looking.”
- Going through the steps to make the sale, from greeting the customer to closing the deal.
- Questions to ask during certain points in the sales process, such as the test drive.
- How to stay away from price negotiations and focus on value.
- Showing different situations to use closed and open-ended questions.
3. Reveal the power of a good question
Building rapport with customers is essential to sales success. You have to understand your prospect first, and then focus on making the sale. Customers want to work with salespeople who listen well. See that your employee is attentive, genuine, and working for the customer’s best interests. To reach customer service mastery, you need to know when to ask the right questions.
The three main forms of sales questions to cover:
- Open-ended questions: getting the customer to reveal his pain points and explain his wants and needs.
- Close-ended questions: how to get concrete answers when you need them, such as budget concerns.
- Trial questions: seeing where the customer is emotionally. Is he ready to buy?
4. Take action on the test drive
Be specific with your auto sales training. Focus on the sales process, and how to succeed in each situation. The test drive, for instance, is a crucial step to master. It’s the moment when the customer is at his highest emotional state. He imagines himself driving the car every day, sorting through his feelings about owning the vehicle.
These moments of vulnerability are great opportunities for salespeople. With the right amount of positive reinforcement and good questions, you can close the deal on the spot. Have a seasoned salesperson walk your new employee through a typical test drive, and how to handle it efficiently.
- Role play the test drive and walk through the process.
- Develop effective questions and master when to ask them.
- Hit the tipping point with the “pull over” method (have a spot to stop and ask a strong trial question).
5. Focus on follow-up efforts
Get your new employees focused on developing repeat and referral business. Drill it into their heads that the sale isn’t over when the customer drives off the lot. Developing strong follow-up habits makes a big difference for the continued success of salespeople. Once they gain a referral base, their jobs will be much easier.
What’s one of the most effective follow-up techniques? A hand-written letter. Short, sweet, and genuine.
Get your salespeople into the mindset of delivering unexpected levels of service quality. Give them templates for follow-up letters and emails. Request that they send a hand-written note to every customer!
- Include business cards for the salesperson, sales manager, and service department.
- Congratulate the customer on their new purchase, and thank them for choosing you.
Bring increased value to your auto sales training efforts
You want to think outside the box with new employees. Of course, the basic stuff is important, too. But mix in different techniques to spice things up and keep the job interesting. Remember: professional development is a never-ending progression. Keep new employees engaged with quality training and your staff will want to stay at the dealership.
Can we get your opinion? How do you feel about these training ideas? If you have any to add, share with everyone in the comments!