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Quick Tip... Training vs. Coaching: The True Benefits


Where first impressions and lasting relationships are currency, the key to sustained success lies not only in the vehicles on the lot but in the continuous development of the sales team. Training and coaching emerge as the dynamic duo, each playing a distinct yet interconnected role in sculpting a team that doesn't just sell cars but fosters an unparalleled customer experience.

While training is often the focus its actually coaching that makes the difference. In a recent study when training is engaged regularly a 23% lift in performance is experience however when a coaching component is added that rises to a staggering 88% improvement. So, let’s delve into how this synergy is effective.

The Foundation: Training Excellence

Training - Building a Solid Groundwork

Training serves as the cornerstone, providing the essential knowledge and skills needed to navigate the complex world of automotive sales. It's akin to handing your team a detailed roadmap, ensuring everyone is equipped with the same foundational knowledge or standardized metric.

1. Product Knowledge: Beyond the Brochure

My good friend, Ken Tyzio often stated product knowledge is KEY, and in the automotive realm, product knowledge isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a non-negotiable. Design your training sessions to delve into the intricacies of each vehicle in the inventory, ensuring every team member can articulate the features, benefits, and unique selling points with confidence. From engine specifications to cutting-edge technology, product knowledge becomes a powerful tool in the

hands of a well-trained salesforce.

Pick a unique feature that showcases the brand legacy to the market such as the seat belt in a Volvo and develop a presentation around it. This will be remembered and discussed repeatedly by the customers many times after the sale driving repeat and referral business organically.

2. Sales Techniques: The Art of Persuasion

Selling cars is an art, and training provides the palette. It instills effective sales techniques, from the initial customer greeting to the final handshake. This process includes mastering the delicate dance of negotiation, overcoming objections, and creating a seamless, persuasive sales process. A well-trained team can turn a potential buyer into a satisfied customer, navigating the intricacies of the deal with finesse.

The catch here is to ditch the script only using the foundations into building your own unique styles and presentations. Today’s customers have script meters that register warnings when pushed too much, better understanding the premise of Facts Tell, Stories Sell engagement.

3. Customer Service Excellence: Beyond the Sale

Training extends beyond the sales pitch, emphasizing the critical importance of exceptional customer service. The relationship doesn't end when the customer drives off the lot; it's just the beginning. Long term customer value should be the focus of career success in the industry. Engage training modules that concentrate on building lasting relationships, addressing customer needs, and exceeding expectations. Exceptional customer service then becomes a hallmark of the dealership, creating a brand trait ensuring a positive reputation and repeat business.

The Personal Touch: Coaching Dynamics

Coaching - Nurturing Individual Growth

While training provides the foundational knowledge, coaching adds the personal touch, tailoring the learnings to the unique strengths and areas for improvement of each team member. It's the difference between a standardized approach and a personalized growth plan.

1. Individualized Development Plans: Unlocking Potential

Coaching recognizes the diversity within the team and tailors development plans accordingly knowing each team member has a different “Why” and life requirements. Going beyond the generic, addressing specific skill gaps it provides a roadmap for individual growth. A well-coached team isn't just a collective force; it's a group of individuals unlocking their full potential, contributing unique strengths to the overall success of the dealership.

2. Motivational Leadership: Inspiring Excellence

Coaching isn't just about identifying areas for improvement; it's about motivation and inspiration. Effective coaching creates a supportive environment where team members feel empowered to take risks and learn from challenges. It's about instilling a growth mindset, fostering a culture where mistakes are viewed as opportunities for improvement, and successes are celebrated.

Engage your inner Ted Lasso here. Lifting the team is collective effort by all for the benefit of all. Each member can excel at a given task by recognizing it and promoting it we can also address weakness at the same time without reducing confidence. This support keeps the team focused on the positivity and the momentum moving upwards.

3. Real-time Feedback: A Continuous Dialogue

Unlike the structured and periodic nature of training, coaching is an ongoing dialogue and fluid. It involves providing real-time feedback, addressing challenges as they arise, and celebrating successes in the moment. This real-time approach ensures that the team is not just learning but evolving continuously, adapting swiftly to the dynamic nature of the industry.

Always pinpoint and lead with the positives when engaging in feedback as the absorption and adoption will increase as negativity removes attention.

The Synergy: Training and Coaching in Harmony

The Power of Synergy - Crafting Excellence

The magic truly happens when training and coaching work in tandem. Training lays the foundation, providing a standardized set of skills and knowledge. Coaching then takes these skills and tailors them to the individual, creating a powerhouse of talent development within the dealership.

1. Skill Refinement: From Proficient to Mastery

While training imparts the fundamental skills, coaching refines them to a level of mastery. It's the difference between knowing how to sell and becoming a master at the craft. The combination of the two ensures that the team is not just proficient but continually evolving, pushing the boundaries of their capabilities.

2. Crisis Management: Turning Challenges into Opportunities

In the world of car sales, unexpected challenges are inevitable. The synergy of training and coaching prepares the team to adapt swiftly, turning challenges into opportunities. With active listening and critical thinking, a well-trained and coached team navigates the uncertainties with resilience and creativity. Whether it's a shift in market dynamics or evolving customer expectations the team will be ready for any challenge presented.

3. Building a Cohesive Team: Beyond Individuals

The combination of training and coaching goes beyond individual development; it fosters a cohesive team. It's not just about understanding the 'what' and 'how' of the sales process but also the 'why' behind every action. This shared understanding creates a culture of collaboration and support, where each team member contributes to the collective success of the dealership.

Last night in David Long’s All Things Used Cars Clubhouse Room it was discussed on how to inspire a team culture. Place them in a room together, ask them to make three appointments each, once completed they all can leave the room, watch how fast the stronger will help the weaker so they can exit the room. This is not just a culture building exercise but will display your leaders of the future.

Conclusion: Crafting a Legacy of Excellence

In the ever-evolving landscape of car dealerships, success is not just about selling cars; it's about building lasting relationships and creating an experience that resonates with customers. Training and coaching emerge as the catalysts for this success, providing the necessary knowledge, skills, and personalization required to navigate the complexities of the automotive industry.

Investing in both training and coaching isn't just an operational decision; it's a strategic move towards building a legacy of excellence. It's about creating a team that not only meets customer expectations but exceeds them consistently. In the realm of car dealerships, where competition is fierce and customer loyalty is priceless, the dynamic duo of training and coaching becomes the key to unlocking unparalleled success.

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