Sunday, June 01, 2008

Education Plan for New Sales Associates


To make this succinct: No new hire should be turned loose on the lot to greet consumers without proper product knowledge or having been taught the process, duties and responsibilities of a professional sales associate in your dealership. The education process (product knowledge, combined with the selling cycle) should take about one month.

New sales hires should also be required to sit in the service drive for a few mornings each week during the first month, so that they can see what types of repairs customers are in the shop for. This activity provides them an appreciation for not over-selling either factory warranties and service agreements.

New hires should also sit with F&I managers for a few mornings so they can see that the F&I team really tries to secure financing for every customer. Then perhaps, they won’t listen to those in the sales force who think F&I only work for the deals they make a profit on.

New hires should also sit with the title clerk for a few mornings so they can obtain an appreciation for accurately recording VIN numbers and mileage for the sold vehicle, in addition to the trade vehicle. This allows them to see firsthand the additional paper work that must be generated to correct misinformation. They will gain an appreciation for paying attention to the details in the documentation of every deal.

New hires should also sit with the receptionist for a few mornings to learn how to answer telephones and how to transfer calls. They should be taught a script that will help them to obtain an appointment with an incoming sales call. Practices, drills and rehearsals will make the difference between success and settling for whoever walks through the door.

Prospecting should be high on every sales associate’s daily “to do” list. Yes, many of you will hand out orphan owner lists, but do the managers review their progress? Do you send out post cards announcing the new sales associates employment status to their circle of influence? Do you run an advertisement introducing your new addition to the sales team to the community? Prospecting should be done daily, and by everyone. Appointments are easier to sell when they know you, like you and trust you.

The adjacent chart is a copy of the beginning two weeks program for a new sales associate. The plan should be expanded to fill the first month.

When a new member of the team has a sound foundation followed by consistent education in a standard process, the result can only be success.

Dealer Marketing Magazine, June 2008 Issue, P. 42-43