‘First 90 days is critical to reducing sales,’ says Symco

The automotive training specialist claims that the average franchise dealership loses nearly a third of its sales staff every year, so has introduced an online coaching programme designed to sharpen skills and build confidence.

Developed for new sales staff during their first three months of employment, the ‘The First 90 Days’ programme includes a series of short videos (with one emailed to the new recruit each day), quizzes, tasks and coaching tips.

Symco’s owner Simon Bowkett (a car salesman himself before launching his business) said many dealers are reluctant to invest in training new staff until they’ve passed a probationary period. Bowkett believes this to be a false economy, saying: “The first three months can make or break a career in car sales so it’s critical that the time and money spent in recruiting a new person is not wasted. This doesn’t mean sending staff away on courses but instead, giving them the tools to learn skills at their desk, which they can apply in every sales situation.

“New starters are often left to their own devices with the added pressure of competing against colleagues who, understandably, may not wish to pass on their hard-earned skills.

“By enabling sales staff to learn proven techniques from day one and helping them grow in confidence, it’s much more likely that the business will benefit from retained, profitable staff. Too many dealerships make the mistake of failing to assist sales people from the outset, which ends up costing them more if they leave.

“The motor trade is quick to say that people are its greatest asset but in reality, the industry is doing itself a disservice when it comes to getting the personnel right. There needs to be a change in attitude towards new staff, which will deliver better returns down the line.”