Podcasts 2023

Christmas Special

Released: Dec 21, 2023

This week we are trying something new for the podcast – a book club.  Jason Cranswick joins us to review and discuss one of our favourite books, ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ by Dr Spencer Johnson.

The book is about two mice and two little men who live in a maze, and you’ve guessed it, someone moves the cheese. It may seem like a simple story, and yes, it is a very easy read, but there are a lot of really important career/life lessons that can be taken away from it.


Focus on Failure with Gareth Timmins

Released: Dec 14, 2023

Our discussion with Gareth Timmins, former Royal Marine and author, continues this episode.

We delve into goal setting, if visualisation works and how to cope with the post completion lull!

So much here that can be applied to your everyday life, at home at work, with your finances or even in the gym.


99.9% Need Not Apply – with Gareth Timmins

Released: Dec 07, 2023

We are delighted to interview Gareth Timmins this week, he is a former Royal Marine Commando, and a successful author.

Gareth shares his experiences going through military training, how he kept a healthy mental attitude and how he overcame hurdles along the way.


Happy Staff = Happy Customers” with Sean Kelly

Released: Nov 30, 2023

We continue with the second instalment of our interview with Sean Kelly – Managing Director, Vines Group.

For Sean staff satisfaction is key, and with an attrition rate of less than 20% this year across the group (including technicians), he knows what he’s talking about. Luckily for us, he is happy to share the group ethos that keeps their team and consequently customers happy.


“EV DRIVE TIME” with Sean Kelly

Released: Nov 23, 2023

Back by popular demand,  we have another great discussion with Sean Kelly – Managing Director, Vines Group.

In this the first episode of a two part interview, we discuss the rapid period of change in the motor trade, the impact of the economy and extended buying cycles.

Sean has many years of experience in the OEM and dealer network, and also gives us his views on used car values, selling EV’s and looking after your customer.


Greatest Tips! (Part Five)

Released: Nov 16, 2023

We carry on with words of wisdom from Dale Wyatt, Sean V Bradley, Kenneth Purdon, Umesh Samani and Jack Allman.

This week features advice on measuring progress, referrals, listening skills, honesty and carrying out VHC’s early in the day.


Greatest Tips! (Part Four)

Released: Nov 09, 2023

We continue with our compilation of greatest tips again this week and hear from James Weston, Tom Stuker, David Manchester, Nic Verneuil and Joni Stuker.

The focus is optimism and belief, account management, preparing your business for sale, adaptability and communication skills.


Greatest Tips! (Part Three)

Released: Nov 02, 2023

Another episode of full of golden advice, with tips from William Brown, Tommy Gibbs, Robin Luscombe, Peter Smyth and James Voortman.

Whether you are looking for inspiration, motivation or guidance, this episode looks at retailing, keys to success, aged stock and putting the customer first.


Greatest Tips! (Part Two)

Released: Oct 26, 2023

This week we continue our series of Greatest Tips with Dave Anderson, Frank Genobile,  Jason Harris, David Peel and Chris Wiseman.

If you are looking to progress your career, improve your marketing, make your business a success or be a better manager, then this episode is definitely for you.


Greatest Tips! (Part One)

Released: Oct 19, 2023

Since we stated the podcast over 150 episodes ago, we have interviewed more than 40 Titans of the Motor Trade. This has given us a great catalogue of top tips

Our episode this week, is the first in a series of golden nugget compilations, that will help you in your career, whether that’s in sales, aftersales or management.



Released: Oct 12, 2023

We should offer Gap insurance to every customer so they can make an informed decision.

In this session we talk about hooks that can be used early in the sales process,  which then help you to explain the details of your Gap product later. 


5 Simple Phrases

Released: Oct 05, 2023

We all like to think that we make up our own mind, but do we?

In reality we do copy other people, and there are lots of experiments that prove this.

So, when you are talking to your customers, there are 5 simple phrases that can help based on this.


What’s Your Best Price?

Released: Sep 28, 2023

A much requested topic this week. We look at when a customer asks about the best price at the start of the conversation.

We talking about before they’ve even sat in the car, within the first 2 minutes.


I need to check with….

Released: Sep 21, 2023

Lots of sales people, even very experienced struggle when a customer needs to speak to their wife, husband, partner or boss etc.

This episode covers techniques to help you discover any objections, that might be masked by a decision deferral.


Unsold Prospects

Released: Sep 14, 2023

When is the ideal time to follow up unsold prospects and what should you say?

This episode will give you an outline call structure, time to call and what to discuss.

Another essential listen in your morning meeting.


Objections – Paint & Fabric Protection

Released: Sep 07, 2023

A highly requested topic this time, handling Paint and Fabric Protections objections. 

We a look at techniques to help explain the benefits to your customers, and also give you or your sales team confidence in the product.

A great listen for your next sales meeting.



Released: Aug 17, 2023

A short business story for you about the growth of Starbucks.

We can learn a lot from Howard’s business journey, his dedication and resilience,  and also the belief he had in selling the experience to his customers.


Innovation, Fairness and Harmony

Released: Aug 10, 2023

Jason Cranswick Chief Operating Officer at MARUBENI AUTO INVESTMENT (UK) LIMITED and Managing Director of Norton Way Group is back with us for the second instalment of his interview.

We look at the importance of a robust sales process, but also having the freedom to work within it.


Cash Conversions!

Released: Aug 03, 2023

A little bitesize sales meeting episode on good old cash conversions! Yes, they are still relevant in 2023, as customers think they will get a better deal.

We look at a few techniques for sales people and business managers alike, to maximise these opportunities.


Make the Decisions

Released: July 27, 2023

This week we delighted to talk with Jason Cranswick Chief Operating Officer at MARUBENI AUTO INVESTMENT (UK) LIMITED and Managing Director of Norton Way Group.

Jason is unusual, in the fact that he has worked for dealer groups, manufacturers and a disruptor.

This background brings a vast wealth of knowledge that we tap into for this two part interview.


Are Car Sales People Still Going to Be Relevant?

Released: July 20, 2023

In this episode Simon and Andrew Clark (Operations Director, Symco Training) delve into the challenges of recruiting.

Attracting the right calibre of staff is becoming increasing difficult, and with agency there is the risk of losing quality sales team members.


Are Car Sales People Still Going to Be Relevant?

Released: July 13, 2023

Alistair Horsburgh, Group Chief Strategy Officer, from CitNOW Group, returns this week to chat about everything from Artificial Intelligence and Sales Agency to looking at future investments.

One of the biggest challenges to sales and service staff is time, and we discuss that there will always be opposing views about AI, but it should be used to help staff and bring efficiencies.


Agency and Emerging Brands

Released: July 06, 2023

Kenneth joins us again to look at the agency model, customer confidence, emerging brands and the ownership journey.

Under the agency model, how are the OEMs going to value trade-ins,  deal with pre-registrations and are they going to proactive or reactive?

Something for everyone in this episode, whether you’re a sales executive, manager or investor.


Can You Wow Your Customer?

Released: June 29, 2023

It’s a pleasure to have Alistair Horsburgh, Group Chief Strategy Officer, from CitNOW Group, with us this week to tell us about the group and his career path so far.

We discuss how a dealer’s digital presence is key but also presents challenges in how  to differentiate a business. This then leads us on to examine the ever evolving decision journey a consumer makes when buying a vehicle.


Where is the Industry Going?

Released: June 22, 2023

Delighted to have Kenneth Purdon from The Specialist Car Buyer Ltd with us this episode. 

We discuss where the market is at the moment, what direction its going in, stock levels, and whether the Chinese Manufacturers will increase their presence in Europe and the UK. This then leads us on to talk about electric vehicles with the challenges and advantages they bring


Agency – The Customer Has To Be Front and Centre

Released: June 15, 2023

This week we have the second part of our interview with John O’Hanlon, CEO of Waylands, looking at everything from acquisitions to agency and beyond.

John explains that the Waylands strategy for acquisitions focuses on region and brand, with a very strong emphasis on electric vehicles. The group is working with brands that can achieve volume and growth, whilst also believing there is strength in dominating an area.


Skills for Handling Service Objections

Released: June 08, 2023

This is the third instalment of our discussions round aftersales with Darren Bedford and Colin McAllister.

Are your service advisors struggling with upselling?  Sometimes it’s not what we say but how we say it. How facts are presented to the customer can make all the difference. From what the Tech says in the VHC video to how that is followed up by the advisor.


Know Your Business, Know Your Numbers

Released: June 01, 2023

We welcome John O’Hanlon from Waylands to the podcast this week.  John started his career as a chartered accountant with Grant Thornton, specialising in consultancy in the motor trade.  He then set up Ridgeway Garages with David Newman, and built it to a 30 dealer group which was subsequently sold to Marshalls.

John believes that great dealerships and groups all have a culture that cares, with their staff taking pride in the business and having a ‘can do’ attitude.


Educated Decision, Rather Than an Ignorant Risk

Released: May 25, 2023

We are joined by Darren Bedford and Colin McAllister again following on from our discussion last time and look at how we can implement good processes in the service department.

How can your technicians get all the work done, how can your service advisors get time to upsell and how do you keep your customers happy?


Advantages & Disadvantages of Agency with Dale Wyatt

Released: May 18, 2023

Dale continues his discussion with us and this week we move on to agency.

From his perspective the dealership is the physical embodiment of the brand, and the dealer is where the value is. Agency is a huge culture change, which is underestimated by a lot of OEMS.


All Hail The Golden Hour

Released: May 11, 2023

In this episode Simon, Darren Bedford and Colin McAllister look at the service department and strategies for the ‘Golden Hour’.

With current financial pressures, customers are delaying servicing their vehicles. Then when the cars eventually come in to the dealership, more work needs to be done due to the delay.


Measure the Lead Not the Lag with Dale Wyatt

Released: May 04, 2023

From starting his career as a door to door salesperson, to working with Volkswagen Group, Dale has developed a great depth of experience in sales and the motor trade.

He firmly believes that you have to respect the process, and although you can short it, it will catch up with you.


Don’t Prejudge

Released: April 27, 2023

This episode is as relevant to your sales team and it is to your service department.

We focus on not prejudging customers, all based round another popular story about Stanford University and how it came to fruition.


Customer Retention After Warranty with Jeff Cowan

Released: April 20, 2023

We are back again with Jeff Cowan from Pro Talk, he is a partner of the NADA and has spoken at more Dealer20 Groups, than all the other speakers combined.

Losing customers after warranty is an issue for every business, and in some cases, customers leave after their 3rd or 4th visit. Why, we didn’t help the customer with what they needed?


We’ve Always Done It That Way!

Released: April 13, 2023

The motor trade is ever changing, like most markets.  Simon started selling cars when he was 17,  he’s now 49 and obviously the way he sell cars and trains people to sell has evolved in that time

For your sales meeting this week,  we examine some the practices that haven’t actually changed since the Romans.  Or have they!  The danger is,  if we don’t continually strive for improvement and development across the board,  we stand still or get left behind.


Your Service Staff are the Key to Selling Customers Their 2nd & 3rd Vehicles

Released: April 06, 2023

We are delighted to talk to Jeff Cowan from Pro Talk, he is a partner of the NADA and has spoken at more Dealer20 Groups, than all the other speakers combined.

Jeff is also a big fan of the Indianapolis 500, and his book looks at life lessons that can be learnt from the drivers, teams and personalities within the sport.


Qualify, Don’t Jump to Conclusions

Released: Mar 30, 2023

This quick bite episode is ideal to play at your morning sales meeting, to help get your team motivated for the day.

We look at a story about the US Navy, which has been denied, and also claimed that it wasn’t the US Navy but the British Navy. However, although its probably not true, the morals and principals behind the story make it worth telling.


Keep It Real with Steve Curran (Part 2)

Released: Mar 23, 2023

This is the final part of our discussion with Steve Curran the CEO of Total Selling Solutions, looking at top sales people and the key attributes of top performing teams.

Steve explains that communication is essential when selling, starting from the customer’s initial contact and beyond.


Your Attitude Counts – A Tale About Henry Ford

Released: Mar 16, 2023

Attitude is very important in selling, and so often selling starts in our heads.

An example of this is Henry Ford. He never gave up, even when he was repeatedly told something wasn’t possible, he almost took it as a challenge!


Adhering to Best Practices with Steve Curran

Released: Mar 09, 2023

Changes within the automotive industry is something we have focused on with a lot of our guests.

Upheaval throughout the pandemic, and issues with parts and electronics certainly took their toll. So in this week’s episode, Simon talks to another fellow Aussie , Steve Curran about where the industry is going and how it has changed over the years.


Referrals, Referrals, Referrals with Joni Stuker

Released: Mar 02, 2023

This is the second and final part of Simon’s interview with Joni Stuker.

It’s fair to say that Joni is the expert on dealing with Call Centres or Business Development Centres as they’re known in theUS. Onthis episodeSimon and Joni discuss asking for referrals , that fear of rejection , the future of the motor-trade and theimportance of communication to the customer and your team.


The Future of Call Centres with Joni Stuker

Released: Feb 23, 2023

It is my absolute pleasure to have the brilliant Joni Stuker on the podcast this week.

Joni has spent 36 years as an Automotive Consultant and Trainer and is one of the people who I met early on in my career and has molded the way I train.


Avoid Being Ghosted (and other great tips)

Released: Feb 16, 2023

In this episode we speak again to The YouTube Diva herself, Elise Kephart, in the last of this four part series.

Elise now runs her own sales training organisation in the United States, and in this episode, she offers some inspiring tips on closing sales , earning customer trust , avoiding being ghosted by the
customer and much more!


Interview with Jack Allman from Bumper

Released: Feb 09, 2023

This week we are joined by Jack Allman who is the co founder and the Chief Commercial Officer for Bumper – a company that’s really helping service departments maximise every single result.


The Car Business is Not a Cake Walk!

Released: Feb 02, 2023

In this week’s episode I am chatting again with Elise Kephart (if you’ve not watched episodes 1 & 2 then please check them out!)
We discuss how Elise got started , how becoming a mum changed her outlook , and how the concept of TEAM is so important in this business


Is The Bubble About to Burst?

Released: Jan 26, 2023

Today myself and Ian Parker are discussing a crazy phenomenon where people are buying cars for £15,000 and then bringing them in, trading them in, and getting the same if not more than what they originally paid for them. It’s unprecedented!

Will this continue or is the bubble about to burst?

And if it does , where does this leave us all?

Read more…

From Camcorder to Smartphone -Elise Kephart part 2

Released: Jan 19, 2023

In this episode we continue our conversation with The YouTube Diva herself, Elise Kephart.

Elise now runs her own sales training organisation in the United States, and in this episode, she talks about how video has always been in her arsenal, right back
to her first sales positions in the industry.

Read more…

The Rise and Fall of the Disruptors

Released: Jan 012, 2023

I’m joined today by Darren Bedford and Andrew Clark and we’ve been looking at what’s happening in the future and asking questions such as:

Where’s the motor trade going?

Read more…

Knowing the objections and Having that Gameplan – interview with Elise Kephart

Released: Jan 05, 2023

In this episode we speak to The YouTube Diva herself, Elise Kephart.
Elise now runs her own sales training organisation in the United States, and in this episode, she talks us through her very first car sale while still working unsociable shifts at Starbucks, and the
long road to success that followed from that first paycheck.

Read more…

About Symco Training:

Symco Training was founded in 2000 by Simon Bowkett and it was his belief that the business had to offer its clients something different. That difference was clear to Simon from his days in the dealership when he experienced many sales trainers who had all the answers, but were unable, unwilling or both to actually  show the delegate how they could be implemented. It remains the ethos of the business today. You see, Symco only employ trainers that are committed to delivering not only inspiring and insightful training, but are equally as happy to demonstrate these skills and techniques with real customers in your own showroom.

We believe in order for sales training to be effective and in Simon’s words ‘real world’, it needs to be tried and tested in the only place it matters the showroom floor. There is no room for theory when your goals are for your team to sell more cars, hours or parts and retain more profit. In dealerships around the world the focus applied by many of the sales executives is to try and sell a deal. Symco specialise in getting your teams to focus on selling themselves, the product and then supporting this with the deal.

To find out more visit www.symcotraining.co.uk