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Look to Your Vendors for Sales Training

Look to Your Vendors for Sales Training

Today's automotive sales training often delivers a poor experience, simply because the programs were not designed with modern retailing in mind. Most trainers still teach the old way of selling, but those tactics won't work for today's retail environment.

According to J.D. Power, customers now visit an average of no more than 1.4 dealerships before buying. This is good, because you’re more likely than ever before to sell a car to a fresh lead. But the experience the customer wants and expects is light-years away from old-school selling. These customers have done hours of research online. They’ve likely used digital retailing tools to complete some of the buying process. They’re on the floor to buy, not to be sold.

Current market conditions have pushed us even further away from traditional sales tactics. With so few new cars on the ground, customers are increasingly open to buying virtual inventory or ordering the exact vehicle they want. More and more, they’re doing it all online and even taking delivery at home or the office.

Inventory will rebound, but we can expect these new ways of buying to stick around. In a recent second-quarter earnings call, Ford CEO Jim Farley said his company is committed to moving more toward an order-based system and keeping actual inventories lower than in the past. This is the beginning of an industry transition that focuses on guest experience and is made a lot easier with technology. Is your Sales team ready?

If your answer is “no,” you’re not alone. However, a traditional sales training company is not the answer. Instead, you should look to the software vendors you already have, such as those who provide your DMS, CRM and digital retailing tools. Software vendors have great consumer insights and are well-versed in consumer behavior because they work with thousands of dealers. They can share what’s working and what’s not when it comes to selling in this market. Training is typically free, and your Sales team may learn how to better use the technology you’re already paying for.

Today’s sales training is about helping consumers navigate the technology tools you provide. It’s about answering every question instead of immediately pushing for the appointment, and having the flexibility to sell 100% virtually and on the floor.

The way to close sales today is much different than a decade ago. You need to train for what’s important to your customers’ process, not what’s important to your dealership process. So take advantage of your vendors' insights — for free or for a nominal fee. And start delivering the buying experience your customers want.

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