By Toni Anne Fardette, President and COO of The Billion Dollar Girl, Inc.
August 24, 2018
I read this morning that 71.9% of auto sales consultants do not last longer than a year in the industry. The clear question is why? And the next question is why doesn’t anyone seem to care? All I ever hear is, “We can’t find good people.”
I wonder why. What does the average hiring process look like in a dealership? You have a pulse and you are willing to work 60 hours per week. If you agree to that you are hired. Then we ask you to show up, maybe you get your own desk and phone and maybe you don’t. We do not provide any training whatsoever, and if we do, its’ usually called training but really is a beat-up session sales meeting that generally takes place every Saturday morning right before we expect you to then go out in a positive mood, get your game face on and sell cars!
Salespeople are belittled for not filling out a guest sheet or buyers order correctly, for sending an incomplete folder to finance, for having weak negotiating skills, yet has anyone ever stopped to ask themselves what training this salesperson was given before we set them loose on the public? Why are they “practicing” on real customers? The same can be said for BDC agents. We give them a computer and a phone and at best, we provide a little training on the CRM. Maybe at best, we throw them some scripts and tell them to use them. But where is the training? Giving someone a piece of paper with word tracks on it is not training.
Let me give you some advice. Don’t throw stones when you live in a glass house. Before you tell yourself, you cannot find good people, or someone needs to be let go, ask yourself this question. Did I do everything in my power to train this person as I would want to be trained? Did I ensure they had all the resources needed to be productive and successful? If the answer is no, then you need to self-reflect and dedicate time to this person before letting them go.
So, what can you do?
First, I would say calculate what you are losing in terms of turnover and if you can afford to, bring in a professional trainer.
If that is just not in your budget, then at least do the following:
Develop a list of bullet point items you know they need training on.
Create a simple one sheeter on each item that explains how it should be done
Spend at least 30 minutes each day training them on one of these items.
Ask for their feedback.
Create “fun” ways to “test” what they learned.
Have them tell you what they still need training on
Set goals with them and review daily how they can attain those goals.
Document it all.
Bottom line-if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Period. Own it because you are responsible for it.