Sometimes I think I am the luckiest person on earth. I have the great privilege of traveling all over this beautiful country working with dealers to help them learn and prosper in our business. Being a moderator of Twenty Groups is a passion, and I have the utmost respect for all our clients. They take the time away from their businesses to train on how to be more profitable. Back at their stores they are the leaders, trainers and decision makers. They have chosen to train themselves — train the trainer. As a result they will be as prepared as they can be for the challenges in front of them, and be able to call upon their fellow group members and their moderator when they don’t have the answers.
This training, however, is only as good as it is implemented. I heard a saying the other day from one of my members: “There are two things for certain in his business. The sun will rise in the east and there will be training everyday!” What a great philosophy to live by. Do you ascribe to a similar philosophy? How good are you at getting this complete? More importantly are you doing it at all? I will make you one promise that I can guarantee is true. Someone in your dealership is doing the training. If it is not you or your management team, sales personnel and other staff are taking it upon themselves during the smoking huddle or bull sessions!
What I do find is most dealers over complicate training, and make the mistake of training everyone on the same topic. Not everyone needs the same training. The true art of training is looking at each team member’s performance, identifying their strengths weakness and training on them. Monitoring the personal performance of each member, sales or management, is how you determine what training needs to be done.
If I decide to do a training meeting for the entire team on “Meet and Greet,” yet half my team is the best at it, they will instantly develop the attitude that I am wasting their time. To be honest I am. If I have a sales person that gets 85 percent or more of his ups inside the door and seated, why do I need to train them on this subject? Knowing the numbers and performance of each team member easily identifies the weak areas that need to be addressed. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your entire team needs the same training, because they don’t and never will.
The second biggest mistake I see in this business is a training meeting that occurs prior to opening hours and are too long. You will never win the battle of demanding employees come in 30 minutes early to train. You will always wait on one or two. This will lead to frustration and the trainers will not have the right attitude for the session. You should hold daily training meetings, although only a part of the team each day should participate. Identify the weak areas and bring those selected members in for training that day. Also make sure that these sessions last no longer than 20-30 minutes. After that, you have lost their attention and they lose too much of the discussion.
At the end of the day, as the owner you are accountable for insuring that your team is the best of the best in every step to the sale. Only then can you build your business to withstand the ups and downs of market conditions. Make it your goal to spend time every day one on one with your managers. If you are a small operator spend one on one time with your sales staff and hold them accountable for keeping track of their plan. As George Dans, the Human Torch, says “Those who come to work without a plan, plan to fail!”
Do you have a plan?
Written by Butch Moore
Leedom and Associates, LLC – Sarasota, FL