Spring ramp-up: Tips to hire and train great sales staff

Publish Date: 
Mar 19, 2014
By Tory Hornsby

For many dealers, spring means bulking up inventory levels and hiring additional staff. It also means training your staff to offer the best customer service and salesmanship they possibly can -- especially the new hires. 

Whenever I hire an account executive or inside sales rep for Powersports Marketing, they spend at least a full week in training before they’re ever allowed to talk to a prospect or client dealership. I start by leading my staff through The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey and through what we call “Selling by Tory,” and more.

As an industry, we have to stop throwing new hires into the shark tank to see whether they make it out.

Every staff member is given a job description and a daily training checklist used for two weeks to ensure they fulfill the duties in the job description. We cover the five core values and the three core responsibilities of our business.

Core Values:

  1. Do what you say you’re going to do.
  2. What Gets Measured Gets Done: We inspect what we expect.
  3. Your attitude determines your altitude.
  4. Commit to teamwork and system.
  5. Dedicate yourself to continual improvement in business and in life.

Core Responsibilities:

  1. Acquire new sales through consistent communications with targeted prospects.
  2. Maintain and grow repeat and referral business with detailed, thorough follow-up..
  3. Take care of our clients better than any company can, or will.

We train on the technologies we use. We PDR (practice, drill, rehearse) our scripts. (My staff “PDRs” to the point of absurdity. Really.) Then, they pick up the phone and PDR some more with another staff member before they’re ever allowed to speak with a dealer.

Then, every morning we have a “Start Your Engines” meeting where we inspect yesterday’s performance, talk about the plan for today, and PDR some more. We end this meeting with a Sales Strategy of the Day.

As an industry, we have to stop throwing new hires into the shark tank to see whether they make it out. My hiring and training process has evolved over the past 10 years, and you must evolve yours as well.

Specific duties of a sales associate: continued on next page