Why should you care about automotive or car sales training? The last time you had a position open on your automotive sales team, how many of the applicants had a sales degree? Probably not many. Sales degree programs exist, but they are uncommon. Only a few focus on auto sales. Even if you were able to put together a team consisting solely of people with sales degrees, the car sales training they received likely varied widely. If you want to provide your customers with a consistent auto sales experience, you’re going to have to put together a car sales training program. It’s an intimidating prospect. You can be the best salesperson on the planet, but articulating what you know for students is a different matter entirely. Let this article act as your guide to the basics of car sales training.
Car Sales Training
The stereotypical car salesperson is a middle-aged ex-high school quarterback living in his hometown and trying desperately to cling to his glory days. He sells cars by the sheer force of his personality, aided by the memory of when the 1989 football team went to state. He’s also a myth.
Roughly 15 million people work in the sales industry. Salespeople come from a wide range of backgrounds, and few of them set out with the intention of becoming a salesperson. Instead, it’s a job they stumbled into and discovered they enjoyed. In part, this is because of the flexible educational and experience requirements for sales positions. Some technical positions, such as pharmaceutical sales representatives, usually require a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field. Most sales positions, however, do not. Every company has its own specific sales strategies and processes, so there is no point in hiring someone who will have to unlearn their existing sales habits or mindset, particularly if much of what they know is theoretical.
As long as a potential hire is friendly, willing to learn and has communication skills, he or she will likely excel in a sales position. Even communication skills are negotiable. They are teachable. With the right training program, almost anyone can become a phenomenal salesperson. The training program is essential though. It’s true across industries, but particularly in car sales. Buying a car or another motor vehicle is an expense that your potential customers aren’t undertaking lightly. Your salespeople need to be trustworthy, charismatic, and knowledgeable. Those traits are easy to list, but they’re challenging to teach without the right resources.
Automotive Sales Training
Automotive sales include vehicles other than cars, such as ATVs, snowmobiles, golf carts, and tractors. Any motor vehicle you sell falls under the umbrella of automotive sales. The principles are the same, but the technical knowledge and target markets differ from car sales. Most people will need a car at one point or another in their lives. Few will require a tractor or other specialized vehicle. The knowledge your sales team will need depends on what sales niche your company occupies.
Knowing your market is essential. Research so you know what your potential customers are looking for, who they are, and what they are willing to spend. Make sure your sales team has this information as well. Demographics are fine, but every individual is unique. Ensure that your sales team is comfortable making small talk with customers. Your customers will see it as friendliness, warmth and openness. But, it offers you and your team a valuable opportunity to learn about the customer. When you know their circumstances, you will be better able to offer them the product most likely to meet their needs.
Your sales team needs to be knowledgeable about every single vehicle you sell. Many people do extensive research before buying a car. The customers looking for more specialized vehicles likely have experience with them already. Neither group will be impressed if one of your salespeople stumbles over a name, fact or statistic. Rote memorization may be the best way to go in this instance. With enough practice, it will feel second-nature.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is another general sales topic about which it will pay to be knowledgeable. With CRM, you and your sales team can analyze past interactions with customers to discover what works and what doesn’t. You can apply this knowledge to future customers to make more effective sales.
Your work and the work of your sales team will be for nothing if they don’t know how to close a sale. Every part of the sales process is interconnected and therefore vital, but this final step is where the payoff is. Make sure everyone on your sales team is confident, not just comfortable, when it comes to closing a deal.
Best Automotive Sales Training
The best automotive sales training balances industry knowledge with personality. It will not matter how many statistics you can rattle off or how fast you can do it if potential customers find something about your manner off-putting, just as it does not matter how nice you are if you do not have the necessary knowledge. Find a program that has this balance, but make sure it’s convenient for you and your sales team too. Consider whether the program is conducted virtually or in person, how long it lasts, whether it focuses on topics relevant to your team, and the price. There is no point in paying for sales training if it isn’t going to generate an increase in revenue.
Companies like Selling Revolution offer you the opportunity to build your own sales training program. A custom-built training program ensures that you will get the most for your money. Everything you need will be included, with nothing superfluous or time-wasting. There is no busy work and no boredom, just results. A custom-built sales training program is a great choice. If you know what you want to get out of training, the customization provides it. If you’re not sure, someone will go over the available options and make recommendations about what they think will work best for you.
Auto Sales Training
There are several benefits to auto sales training that we haven’t discussed yet. One of them is the effect a training program will have on your employee retention rate. People do not like to do things they feel like they are not good at. It’s human nature. With the added fact that many salespeople work on commission, your turnover rate may be frustratingly high. Every time someone leaves, you have to find a replacement. The job posting, the interviewing process, having to familiarize new hires with the company—it’s a lot of time-consuming work. By providing thorough training to existing employees, you can boost their skills and confidence. They will be much more likely to stay when they feel as if you’re invested in their success and that they are good at what they do.
Auto Sales Training Programs
Another benefit of doing auto sales training is the standardization that comes from having a program you use consistently. You want to avoid sending your sales team mixed messages. It will confuse and frustrate them. That confusion and frustration will trickle down to potential customers, and it will negatively affect their buying experience if they choose to buy at all.
Car Sales Training Tips
There are many instances in which consistency is key. Car sales training is one of them. You can keep your sales team up-to-date and well-versed in the sales methods you want them to use by offering regular workshops. It does not have to be often, somewhere between once a quarter and once a year. Training works best when attendees are being paid to be there, so do what works best for your budget.
It can be challenging to hold a group’s attention, especially if you are covering material they know or think they know. That’s why gamification is such a trend at the moment. By turning something into a game, you make it fun. Your employees will be happier, more engaged, and more likely to remember what they’re learning. Trivia can be helpful for learning and memorizing details about products. Offering the winners a prize, even if it’s a small gift card to a popular local lunch spot, is another way to boost engagement.
Roleplaying different scenarios can be beneficial for learning and team building. Have one employee act as a potential customer and another act in their role as a salesperson. Roleplay is helpful for new and experienced employees alike because it offers them the chance to practice a variety of different situations in a low stakes environment.
Most importantly, create an environment in which your sales team is comfortable asking questions. People need to learn to improve, but they can’t if they’re afraid to ask questions. Many people are hesitant to ask for help in a professional setting. Shouldn’t they already know everything, after all? If they don’t, why did you hire them? No one can know everything. No one can be prepared for every situation they face. Sales and customer service are dynamic industries because they involve two different human elements: the customer and the salesperson. There will always be something new.
To create a work environment that is open to questions, the best course of action is to be patient. That’s easier said than done, but it’s one of the most underrated management skills out there. Communicate your answers clearly, and if an employee asks you something you don’t know, involve them in the search for an answer. Show that person that you don’t know everything either, but that together, you can solve any problem that arises. Make it clear that there are no stupid questions. Explaining something is much easier and less stressful than fixing a mistake for everyone involved, so it’s worth your while.
Car Sales Phone Training
Cold calling is never easy, but it is particularly difficult when you are trying to convince someone to purchase something as major as a car. Depending on the degree of independence your sales team has, either provide them with numbers to call or train them to select the phone numbers of people who may be interested in a new car. It can be hard to acquire accurate, up-to-date information about potential customers and harder still to reach them. Bad data means bad results, no matter how skilled or well-trained your sales team. Useful data is worth the time, money, and effort to acquire.
Once you reach a prospective customer, you need to know what to say. That may seem obvious and like a skill that ought to transfer from the selling floor, but it’s much more difficult. Over the phone, you don’t have body language to rely on to tell you how a potential customer is feeling. You also cannot put the product directly in front of them. It’s amazing how far that new-car smell and heated seats will go toward convincing someone to make a purchase. Once the customer is convinced to visit your physical location for a test drive, your job gets much easier.
Knowing the best time to call is also essential. You can collect this knowledge through market research, your own experiences, or the experiences of other companies in the same or a similar industry. If you’re trying to sell a tractor to a farmer who predominantly works with dairy cows, don’t call when he or she is busy with milking. Likewise, if you’re trying to sell a car to someone who works during the day, try calling at the beginning or end of their shift, or directly after they get home.
Final Thoughts on Car Sales Training
If you’re looking for expert help to develop your car sales training program, book a call with Selling Revolution today. Ryan Chute has worked in eight countries across four continents to help businesses become the best, most profitable version of themselves. He can help you develop a customized car sales training program that meets your needs and specifications. Discover how with a 20-minute, obligation-free video call.
Read on: How To Develop & Improve The Necessary Sales Skills To Succeed