We often discuss the things that help dealers sell more cars. We look at processes and procedures in the sales and lead management departments. We look at the quality of the marketing from websites to Autotrader. We even look at the pricing, quality of the inventory, and demographic data to determine if there are better ways to make it happen.
At the end of the day, the one thing that dealers often spend the least amount of time on is the very thing that can improve sales the most. This is a people business. Things have changed dramatically over the last decade in the car business. There have been ups and downs. There have been innovative methods to drive people to the website and eventually onto the showroom floor. There has even been a major shift in the way that customers interact with dealers thanks to the little computers in our pockets.
One thing that hasn't changed is that people still buy cars off of other people that they like and trust. That hasn't changed at all. It may never change.
The way that people interact with a dealership definitely has changed. There are often multiple points of contact made between the dealership and the customer with several people getting involved. At times, there's no clear record that they were even talking to the same person. This means three things:
- Everyone needs to be singing the same tune
- Every interaction can be the one that prompts the sale
- Increasing knowledge must be abundant and constant
As we continue to watch this wonderful industry evolve, there's a change that most dealers need to make. You have to invest into your people. Some of you are doing it already. Others don't believe in it at all. We strongly encourage those who are not investing into educating their team to consider adding that to their agenda and budget for the coming year. It can be a gamechanger.
Bring in trainers. Watch webinars. Go to conferences. Hire consultants. I could go on and on about the reasons that all of these are important. I could also write a couple of articles telling you what sort of training works best and which types of education are not worth the time or money, but for now if we can get you thinking about education as an important part of the success of the dealership, then the first mission is accomplished.
Some say that they can't afford to train people and then watch them leave. I would counter by saying that you can't afford to keep people that you don't train properly.