I sold my first vehicle on the 2nd day of my sales career. That should have never been allowed to happen. Although I was excited to get started in sales, I had no business hitting the floor that early and inexperienced. The message that was sent to me by the dealership was that I would learn along the way and training certainly wasn’t a priority.
They provided some online training, Joe Verde and Paul Cummings, which I took full advantage of when I could. But there was no reward or accountability for doing the training on my own time. And they had a trainer come out for a day to help get me going but he was more interested in visiting with the staff than he was training me.
If you're training your sales consultants in a similar fashion, consider improving your development model first, but if you’re “old school” or think what you’re doing is good enough, then I encourage you to have an open mind to add the following 4 elements to your training program.
#1. Provide Resources
Allow them to find their way through multiple resources. Share your own resources that you use for personal and business development. Or, if you don’t know where to start, this will get you going. There are a lot of free and informative Blog sites, YouTube Videos, LinkedIn Groups, and other avenues for effectively educating your sales team.
#2. Think outside the Auto Industry
Not all of the training has to revolve around the automotive industry. Think outside the box. There are a lot of similarities between Sales Consultants and entrepreneurs. Have the consultants follow and study the stories of the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners you know. Allow them to be inspired by these stories because the inspiration will lead to increased productivity and morale.
I found it hard to find the value in seminars before attending one myself. That was 2 years ago, and the last 2 years have been the best of my life, the seminar was a complete game changer both personally and professionally. We’ve incorporated seminars into our development programs at Woodworth and the reaction is overwhelmingly positive. When you invest in your team personally, you benefit from their professional development. This is the best return on investment for any training in my opinion.
#4. Lead by Example
The best leaders don’t ask their sales team to do anything that they wouldn’t do themselves. If you’re expecting your team to develop themselves but you aren’t doing it yourself, you’ll continuously find it a challenge to have them fully engage in training, thus leading to a lack in reaching their full potential. Plus, when you’re developing yourself, you’re able to share more resources with your team which they’ll respect you for because you’re leading by example.
Make it a great day!