Article by Sophie Williamson-Stothert, Staff Writer Car Dealer Magazine, Article featured in Car Dealer Magazine issue no. 66,http://cardealermagazine.co.uk
When it comes to handling leads, staff who are armed with all the skills and training they need are much more likely to handle them effectively.
That’s the view of Drive Development Solutions’ managing director, James Hudson, who strongly believes the training of staff is one of the most important elements of a successful business.
‘That’s really where we come in; helping sales staff to actually perform to their maximum potential and increase the volume of sales in a dealership. And we’ve done that with a number of our clients already this year.’
The Cheshire-based company is a small yet growing organisation dedicated to partnering with the industry and helping to provide training and coaching programmes that meet business needs and will automatically impact the dealership or organisation.
While staff do receive training from manufacturers and group head offices, Drive Development says customers report that training is often ‘generic, bland and doesn’t have any impact because they can see no difference in the team.’
The company consists of four associate trainers, all of which have previously worked in the industry alongside leading manufacturers, automotive companies or in manufacturing. In essence, they are experts in understanding lead process consultancy and coaching.
According to research conducted by Lombardo & Eichinger (1996) only 10 per cent of training is actually remembered six months after the training event. ‘When we design our training courses, we utilise the latest techniques to make sure that the delegates remember the 10 per cent that is actually going to make a difference,’ Hudson says.
The training and development programmes, including a two-day Customer Service Workshop, will instantly increase the volume of sales achieved in dealerships. ‘We focus on how we can maximise the full potential of our clients,’ explains Hudson. ‘It’s all about developing the skills of the sales team and making sure they are able to perform at their best each and every day in order to increase the volume of sales in a dealership. We’ve done this with a number of our clients.’
While the company can design and deliver bespoke training programmes to cater for an individual organisation, the group also offers highly, interactive public workshop programmes. ‘Our public workshops are very popular. In fact, they’re becoming more and more popular all the time. A dealership can send a sales member to a public workshop, where they will meet a number of other people from within the industry and other dealerships, and they can practise and learn from each other,’ said Hudson. ‘The curriculum we deliver to them is based around the importance of structuring sales conversation, how to handle rejections effectively and how to negotiate a sale.’
Similarly, Drive Development will actually visit a dealership and spend the day with the sales team right on the forecourt where they can guide them through their every day procedures. ‘We’re guided very much by the dealership and its needs,’ Hudson explains. ‘We’re experts in learning and how to optimise sales skills, but our clients are experts in their business and they know their customers. We work in partnership with our customers to understand their business and align our training solutions ensuring that they’re relevant and practical, to suit their business, because every dealership is different.’
Essentially, the team can offer dealerships real life coaching, which gives their customers the opportunity to witness instant results within their work environment. ‘The beauty of sales coaching is that we’re in the moment,’ Hudson says. ‘We’re in their dealership where we can observe the staff and carry out one-on-one coaching with them, and because it’s in the moment, they’re able to see instant results.’
‘We can work very quickly with individuals and provide them with feedback by engaging with staff and providing them with thought provoking questions and feedback.
‘Businesses aren’t successful – people are. Successful businesses are full of successful people who have and use the right skills.’