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How dealerships can maximize training dollars

How dealerships can maximize training dollars

How dealers can maximise training dollars


DENVER – Ritch Wheeler, an Assurant trainer, offered last month to retailers and others ways for them to develop their staff in order to make sure that budgets don’t go to waste.

Companies need to hire people who are willing and able to learn. They should also create a learning structure and culture, and offer incentives as well as accountability. Wheeler spoke at the Ethical F&I Managers Conference in April 21..

Hiring smarter may help dealers realize greater value from their training, according to Wheeler, Vice President of Training at Assurant’s Automotive Training Academy.

The trick to success is getting someone who can coach you, regardless of whether they are experienced.

” You need to find someone who is willing to learn and grow,” Wheeler stated. He suggested that employers pay attention to this when interviewing candidates.

Job posts should tell candidates what employers are doing to help them succeed, rather than focusing on a need for experience. Wheeler says that Job listings should be clear and concise.

It is also wrong to state that experience is not necessary. Inexperienced applicants will be able to conclude they will lose their job to someone with more experience, he stated.

Dealerships should ensure that the candidate is introduced to the store by a qualified person.

According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), dealership sales staff have an 90% attrition rate. He said, “That’s terrible.”

But 70% of employees with a positive onboarding experience are still at the company three years later. Wheeler stated.

Give new employees a great first day. Wheeler agreed. Wheeler suggested that new hires be shown around the dealership by a host and then have some training on the first day. This will help to establish a culture of education.

Wheeler said that dealerships could foster an education culture by offering a list of courses, similar to what college offers, and giving staff the ability to choose classes. A system he had created with others at his dealership was described by him.

All managers had to create a course that they would offer at least once a month. Each month, the managers would require employees to take four classes. To accommodate shifts, certain days might have two classes — one morning and one afternoon. This worked very well, and helped to foster the culture desired.

This was better than requiring everyone to attend a class at 2 pm or being fined $25, Wheeler.

“Is it a good time? He asked.

You could hire training firms like Wheeler’s for all of your education. But he pointed to the Malcolm Gladwell book Outliers, which proposed that one needs 10,000 hours in a discipline to become an expert. He said that it would cost $3 million to hire a company for staff training. It would require eight hours per day over five years.

“Anybody have a dealer that can sign off? Wheeler laughed and said, “I got a card for you if that’s the case.”

A culture that encourages continuing education is better, he stated.

But accountability is still important, Wheeler stated. He said that employees can be both held responsible and rewarded for their dedication through a carrot/stick training system.

Wheeler stated that it was easy for his company: employees who don’t complete the four required classes aren’t eligible to receive spiffs and bonuses for the next month.

He said that other accountability reward programs could be leveraged to get time off, or provide opportunities for professional development. (Those who wanted to be promoted to finance or floor managers needed to take the course and succeed. )
Wheeler stated that

Gamification is also possible, especially for young workers. It can be easy and affordable. His dealership used to run tests on different classes every month and the top scorer would get a signed baseball bat to keep in the office.

” It’s silly, but it shows that we won the month. That’s quite a deal. “


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