I heard it again this week. The same statement that I've heard more recently than ever before. “I must provide consistent training for my dealership partners … Can you help me?” The disruptive time that we live in has increased the demands upon general agents to drive income development to unprecedented levels.
If we are completely honest with ourselves, just showing up everyday and performing has never really maximized production.
There is no magic product or process that will provide the desired result. The breakneck speed of change over the last 12 months has been like a rollercoaster ride for everyone in our business. But some needs have risen to the surface and the need for consistent training for some of our most productive people in the dealership is more of a priority now than ever before. Dealers know that to drive production in the F&I office the products must be presented correctly, their value built with an interactive process and the ability to answer customer objections consistently reinforced. They ask you for help with one word: training!
You can provide products to your dealers and they will love you today. However, when you provide consistent training for their finance managers, they will love you forever. There are two types of training that will lead your dealerships to record profits and income and solidify your value to their overall proposition to their customers.
Otherwise known as a training class of several days. Taking a new finance manager or even an experienced one away from the dealership and placing them in a setting where they share with other finance managers an in-depth look at an effective and up-to-date process along with skill sets that will drive production, is tremendously effective.
We learn great insights by learning together with others that are facing the same challenges that we are. This is the “foundation” that every training effort should be built on. Regardless of experience level, no one should get a pass on the opportunity of being immersed in a process for several days and having this effort supported by the camaraderie and input of others in the same position. Currently that may be a combination of virtual classroom or in-person training. There comes that disruption again! Your most tenured finance managers normally become your greatest advocate of the value of this training.
Consistent Ongoing Training
Professionals of any field in sports and in business know that consistently training throughout their career is one of the most effective ways to stay sharp and maximize production. Online training that is accessed throughout the month is a combination of improving skills and batting practice to stay sharp on the ones already learned. Every professional on every level would benefit from this type of training and it should be part of a training regimen for your team.
We are a product of what we do consistently, not occasionally. It must be consistent, and the effort to complete it must be tracked and everyone must be held accountable, to assure that it is being used. Combine this with spending 30 – 45 minutes every day, researching your craft or working on increasing both your readiness for your next customer and improving your skills, and it will lead to increased levels of production. Every time with every person. Developing a strategic plan every month is one the most valuable products you offer to your dealership partners.
When these two training efforts are combined with the years of knowledge that an agent brings to the dealership, as well as the wisdom on how to structure products to be most effective, will allow you to be disruptive to the simple effort of just showing up every day and performing. If we are completely honest with ourselves, just showing up everyday and performing has never really maximized production. We just simply didn't have an economy disruptive enough to make us admit it. Let's do that now and drive performance in the coming year.
Rick McCormick is the national account development manager for Reahard & Associates, which provides customized F&I training for dealerships throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has more than 20 years of auto retail and finance experience.