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Training is important, but Effective Training rings the register!

By Ron Henson on Jun 14, 2013

In my 20+ years in automotive retail I was always a firm believer in the notion that the dealerships that spent the most time training their employees were the ones that would thrive rather than simply survive.  I am still a believer in that way of thinking, but with the caveat of “Training for Sustaining.”

What do I mean by that?  Sometimes as a dealer executive it’s possible to get caught up in the egocentric method of training.  Have you ever had a conversation with someone that you could immediately tell really enjoyed hearing themselves speak?  I’m sure it is gratifying to them, but not so much for the person at the other end of the conversation. 

When preparing to conduct a training meeting of any kind (i.e. sales meeting, managers meeting, staff meeting etc.) it is imperative that we keep the best interests in mind of those that will be receiving the training. 

  • What is the intended outcome of the training?
  • Who are the participants?
  • Is this session an open forum or a lecture?
  • Does the topic have relevance to all those in attendance?
  • Do I carry enough credibility on the topic to conduct the training session?


One thing is certain; conducting a training session is much like delivering a speech or performing stand-up.  You have to capture your audience’s attention quickly and show them that their favorite radio station (WIIFM…What’s In It For Me) is broadcasting loud and clear.  Illustrate that the training topic will accomplish one or more of the following:Make them more money

  • Make their job easier
  • Increase Customer Satisfaction
  • Increase Employee Satisfaction


There is little doubt that once your meeting attendee’s realize that there is a benefit to attending the meeting other than being there because you told them to, your training effectiveness will increase right along with your bottom line.


This is good Ron! There are so many automotive "trainers" out there that have little to no experience actually working in a dealership let alone being the owner of one. The quality of the training is key. There are definitely a few trainers in the industry that know what they are doing because they used to be a dealer. Hire them! Or think about hiring your own on-staff trainer. We have a training department and they do amazing things with new hire and ongoing training for our staff.

Jun 20, 2013

Great points. Training isn't just learning. Learning is an element of training, but training is conditioning. Those who embrace this mindset stay fresh (avoid shortcuts & keep consumers' perspective in mind), commit, and see long term benefits. There's a lot of solid training content out there, but the most effective ones are those that package the information and convey it in a user friendly way to their audience. That's why is by car people, for car people in a fun way that doesn't just talk about training, it shows it.

Jun 20, 2013

Hi Guys,
The mindset behind this article was to help managers in positions of authority improve thier training techniques. 3rd party consultants and trainers are a whole different topic for sure. Many, if not most dealerships, use managers to provide their sales training and they can lose their audience if it's more about the trainer than the trainees.

Jun 24, 2013

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