The automotive business is the greatest business on earth. There is no other business that I know of that a person with no experience can make a 6 digit income in 3 years if they do the right things. So what are the “right” things and how do you teach them to a new salesperson?
I know! Tell them about all the money they can make, hire them, and then let them walk around the dealership until they find a client that you probably paid around $500 to get in the store. Then sit back and watch the magic happen.
Doesn’t work very well, does it?
Let’s talk about fast food for a minute. Chick-fil-A is a fast food phenomenon. They are closed on Sunday, they only sell chicken products, the hourly pay is about the same as their competitors, yet they make two times as much per store as McDonald’s. How do they do it?
There are 3 things that Chick-fil-A does that has led to their incredible success. A mission statement that is clear and understandable, training that teaches processes and sets expectations, and lastly, accountability
A mission statement may not seem like a very important thing. After all, we are selling cars. Isn’t that enough? A mission statement is important because it tells your employees and your clients what your “Why” is. If you want to know more about the importance of your “Why”, please see last months post. The Chick-fil-A mission statement is: “Be America’s best quick-service restaurant.” “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” It is clear, concise, and easy for anyone to understand. It also conveys a message that there is no reason to work for them if this does not align with your beliefs.
Although a mission statement is important, it has no meaning if it is not backed up with a commitment to proper training. Chick-fil-A recruits very carefully and then introduces the new recruit to 4 hours of training videos and a process manual. These videos not only teach the recruit how to perform the mechanics of the job, but they introduce the recruit to the culture of hospitality that Chick-Fil-A requires. The training teaches them required verbiage such as “My Pleasure” and about the notion of “Second Mile Service.” Then they require a new recruit to shadow a long term employee that helps them to put their training into practice. All of this preparation just to serve you some waffle fries and a chicken sandwich.
Lastly, Chick-fil-A coaches their employees during their shifts and they celebrate the small wins that occur throughout the day. When an employee does not perform as expected, they rarely run into a situation where the employee “didn’t know.” Due to the training and expectations that have been expressed, the manager can ask the employee what got in the way of them performing up to expectations and the employee can answer based on their knowledge of those expectations. This leads to a culture of employees that feel confident in their positions.
What is your mission statement?
How much time do you take to prepare for a new hire?
Do you have a process manual?
You are not serving $7 sandwiches, you are selling the 2nd most expensive product your client will buy. What does your training look like? Are your people prepared?
Better employees and less turn over will occur when we legitimize the position of sales consultant and stop giving the position lip service. We must hire carefully, train well, and hold our employees accountable. Now here is the hard part, we have to hold ourselves accountable as leaders. We must set the bar at our store AT LEAST as high as a fast food restaurant and make a commitment to implementation.
Wouldn’t you agree?
If you really want to increase sales and profit at your store, invest in your people, your culture, and train! Take it from Chick-fil-A, your clients will appreciate it, your employees will be happier, and your bottom line will be greater.
This is their competitive advantage, why can’t it be yours?
What's Your Reaction?
Andy Buck is a Christian, husband, and father of 2. He has been in the automotive business for over 25 years and is skilled at team building, processes, sales, and training. Andy has held every position from salesperson to General Manager and is currently a Recruiter and Trainer for Automax.