Gentlemen: This Is A Football. . .

I was just thinking of a training session I did at a dealership about a year and a half ago. I was there once a week doing training on commercial trucks. The previous trip I did walkarounds on a number of commercial units--just enough to demonstrate the technique, information and excitement of the product.

So, the next week, after a little classroom work, I wanted to see what they had. Knowing they probably would struggle with the commercial product on knowledge of features, I asked each one to give a presentation on a retail car or truck that they should be very familiar with. It was worse than pathetic. I could not imagine they could sell any vehicle on the lot unless the customer already made a decision to buy and buy now. I raised my voice a little peeved, stating that this was the worst I had ever seen.

What's worse, every one of them had passed all of the factory tests on the computer, but couldn't even do a presentation on a product they have been selling for some time. Many dealers have abdicated the training to the factory computer module training programs and this is not a good thing. Training is critical for success--but as far as I'm concerned, the factory training modules aren't good enough. They can be helpful, but I would much prefer to do my own training. People need hands on, real world training and absolutely must learn to present the product they claim to sell. They need to be tested on it and coached on it and praised on it and criticized on it. They need training.

This skill is so basic and so necessary, that it would be a good move to not even let them talk to a prospect until they have satisfactorily given a solid presentation to you or the dealer. Now is a great time to get the training efforts of the store on full alert. We can't afford to have one possible buyer slip away out on the lot.

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