Are your sales trainings not making a difference? Try these car sales training ideas focused on revisiting fundamental skills with new methods
Dealership owners with an eye towards professional development are smart investors. Why? Because they’re helping salespeople succeed. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to come up with car sales training ideas that invigorate your team.
Training is not only for the new blood either—it’s an on-going education for all of your salespeople. Let’s face it: doing the same thing over and over again every day is boring. If you’re not learning anything new, or helping others on your team succeed, the job becomes tedious, even if you’re a high performer.
But with a creative, fun, and educational training program in place, your salespeople will get that much needed “refresher” on a regular basis. Plus, they’ll be in a better position to sell more cars (sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it?)
Back to the basics: why your car sales training ideas should be fresh, but fundamental
There is a funny little lie salespeople believe once they’ve been in the business long enough: “I already know everything; there’s nothing new you can teach me.”
Here’s the kicker: successful training is not all about learning new methods or techniques. Sometimes it’s more useful to revisit the fundamentals of sales in a new way.
Even the best salespeople develop bad habits they’re unaware of. Looking at these basic skills with a fresh perspective will shake off the cobwebs for experienced sales leaders while helping newer sales reps learn the ropes.
The top 4 car sales training ideas for results-driven managers
1. Learning how to nurture leads before they reach the dealership
People looking to purchase cars do most of their research online. You know this, your team knows this, but how are they engaging with web leads?
A large portion of the sales process happens off-site these days. When a customer reaches the dealership, it’s likely she already knows what she wants. And you want her to reach the dealership ready to buy, right?
That’s why you need to focus your training on more than face-to-face skills. Your salespeople have to nurture the lead before the next steps at the dealership.
- Training your staff how to properly follow-up by email. Timing, tone, structure, and content carry weight for writing effective emails (more on this below).
- How to conduct a cold call to “lost leads” that never made it to the in-person sales process. You can also teach them how to create a phone sales script to use.
2. Nailing the vehicle presentation in different ways
Showing the vehicle is one of the cornerstones of the dealership sales process. You buff it up to a nice shine, show off the features, and get the customer interested in a test drive. But there’s more than one way to do it, especially in today’s digitally-driven consumer world.
Imagine this: your customer gets to see a virtual presentation before she reaches the dealership.The emotional connection starts before she even smells the car. Of course, she’ll still want to see it in-person, but this is just another way to peak interest.
- Train your salespeople on giving presentations in front of the camera. Create virtual walk-throughs of vehicles, post them on your website, and promote them through social media.
- For in-person presentations, focus on how to tailor it to the individual customer’s needs and pain points. If she’s most concerned about safety, make sure to highlight those preventive features.
3. Asking questions during the sales process
Give your sales team a refresher on how to utilize questions during the sales process. For the veteran salespeople, this will provide a nice refresher; for the new people, it will teach them how to communicate effectively.
You have three main types to focus on: close-ended, open-ended, and trial questions. Each has a specific purpose, but are also versatile enough to use in different situations.
Come up with a quick game for your sales team that implements using these questions.
- Overcoming common objections
- Getting the customer to open up and talk freely
- Asking questions that always result in “yes” answers
- Gauging where the customer stands in the sales process (is she ready to purchase?)
- Using body language to compliment a useful question
- Thinking on your feet (how fast can you respond to an objection?)
4. Focusing your team on self-promotion to drive more leads
Finally, it’s best to train your team on “modernizing” their sales skills. By this, we mean how your sales reps market themselves to customers. How do they brand themselves online?
Car buyers are all about trust. They need to trust whom they do business with, especially car salespeople. You’re working against pre-conceived notions of “sleazy-ness” with many customers. Prove them wrong. Show them how a professional car sales rep does business with good ethics and attitude.
Train your team on how to conduct themselves as self-promoters. Teach them how to protect and maintain their reputations online, and ways to develop trust and confidence with potential customers.
- Show your salespeople how to use social media to their advantage. High-performing professional profiles all have things in common: daily posting, content creation, head shot photos, etc.
- Teach them how to respond to negativity and customer out lash. Handling these customers and building back healthy relationships is difficult – but necessary – for reputation management.
- Give your team a tutorial on creating employee spotlights. Show them how to talk about their experiences on camera in a genuine and professional way.
The best car sales training ideas: fundamental skills applied to modern techniques
The basic idea behind effective salesmanship will always stay true. As a manager, it’s your job to re-visit the basics on a regular schedule and figure out how to look at them in new ways. And then you can implement those skills for modern tools, such as online engagement and marketing.