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Ron Henson

Ron Henson Director, Dealership Strategy & Development

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Effective & Sustained Training Falls Straight To The Bottom Line

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 in attendance. 

  • What is the intended outcome of the training?
  • Who are the participants?
  • Is this session an open forum or lecture style?
  • 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
  • ALL OF THE ABOVE

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.

Megan Barto
Great post! I agree that the best training start out with "How is this going to you make you a better _________" (insert training goal here). A lot of trainers think they're the 'experts' at something (as they should) but they still need to tailor their presentation to their audience. And listen to the audience, you never know who's sitting in that room and maybe *they* know something that will make everyone better!

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