Forget What You Lost…What Did You Gain?

The Manus Group CEO_CFO ConversationWhen it comes to training and investing in the skills and knowledge of employees, many dealerships jump immediately to the question of “what happens if they leave?” They focus on how the time and money they spent on that employee is now, effectively, thrown away.

But the real question they should be asking is, “What happens if they stay?”

The sales position at every dealership, in every city across the country, comes down to one simple truth: it’s retail. And just like the people who sell clothing in department stores or ring up food in the grocery store, there will be some individuals who stay for life, working their way up the management ladder, while others will only stay for a short while before moving on to other opportunities. Turnover is an inevitable aspect of retail and the automotive industry is not immune to its impact.

Rather than focus on those who will drift away from the dealership, taking with them the skills and training you invested in, dealers should instead be focusing on those who choose to stay and make car sales their profession. These are the people who have the potential to become the rock stars. They will never reach those record-breaking heights, however, if they aren’t given the right tools from the start.

By choosing to focus on the fear of losing people instead of preparing for those who stay, the dealership is depriving it’s salespeople of the essential training they need to become valuable members of the team. Without training, they have no reason to feel like they have a stake in the success of the business. And with no stake in whether the sale is won or lost, they don’t have any incentive to invest in the customers who walk in the door. And if customers don’t feel like the salespeople want their business, they’ll take it elsewhere, to the competition down the street who is investing in their people.

Yes, it will cost the dealership money and time, both to train new hires in the basics and to keep the people who stay sharp and up-to-date in their skillsets. But without that investment, the dealership will never have anything more than mediocre salespeople who bring in a mediocre profit. For the dealership to find true success, it needs rockstars. And rockstars aren’t born: they’re developed with training, dedication and hard work.

The next time you look at your sales team, don’t ask “What happens if these people leave after I train them?” Instead, ask yourself, “What happens to the people who stay if I don’t train them?”

 

The Manus Group Stephanie YoungAbout the Author

Stephanie Young is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Manus Group, where she is an active blogger, social media contributor and spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading automotive recruiting and training firms. In here spare time, Stephanie mentors and encourages  young woman to pursue their interests in STEM field careers and is the driving force in her “Share the Love…Be a Volunteer” program.

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Copyright © 2016, Stephanie Young All rights reserved.

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