The Importance Of Education In Our Industry

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Article by Charles Cannon

I have had the privilege of recently moving into management at the dealership I work at.  Very quickly, I learned that it is different managing other people vs. having to only worry about yourself and your clients.  I knew immediately that I had to learn a different skill set if I wanted to maximize the opportunity of being a manager.

When I was a salesperson, I took pride in learning all that I could about the product, sales skills and marketing.  This helped me tremendously!  Now, as a manager, I realize right away that not all sales people have the same mentality.  This is one of the things that I continually strive to instill in them on a daily basis.  I speak to them about a philosophy that I learned a long time ago from Darren Hardy, the former publisher of Success magazine.  It is called CANI (Constant And Never ending Improvement).

Why should you have this same mentality? A few come to mind:

  1. There is only 1 way to coast.  Think about this: is it possible to go up a hill with no effort?  Assuming you are only using your own energy, then you know that you can only “coast” downhill.  It takes you constant effort to work and stay your way to the top!
  2. If you aren’t improving, be assured that your competition is.  Competition is very fierce for salespeople to earn the business of their clients.  Clients want to deal with professionals and  if a client has an option of dealing with an amateur or a professional, who do you think will win?  The professional every time!
  3. You will have more confidence! When a salesperson is educated about the product, marketing themselves, closing the deal, etc. they are a more confident person vs. a salesperson that lacks these skills. Confidence shows and clients appreciate that!
  4. You will make more gross!  When you are constantly looking for ways to improve yourself (and implement what you learn) it will naturally lead to more sales with higher grosses!

Now the question becomes, “How do I educate myself?”  Even if your dealership doesn’t provide training, there are many other ways to instill the CANI attitude!  I would suggest that you write down the skill(s) you want to work on and start with the one you feel is most important.  Then, look at the following options to work on this skill:

  1. Facebook groups.  There are plenty of Facebook groups out there to help educate salespeople for FREE.  Some are better then others so make sure you do your due diligence when joining the groups.
  2. YouTube.  For example, if you are looking to improve your repeat and referral business, there are videos for that.
  3. Podcast/audio books. Find podcasts and audio books that target what you are wanting to improve and make your drive to and from work the time you listen to educate yourself.

Have the mentality that you will do just a little something on a daily basis to impose on any weaknesses you have and you will slowly but surely become the professional that your client deserves!