How Do You Call on a Dealer Principal? Throw out that PowerPoint
Part 2 of a two-part series
Last time we discussed the importance of field team training, and how the best program is an interactive workshop, facilitated by Ted Ings at CPI.
Ted recently performed his breakthrough training with Permaplate: a team of retail automotive field experts who have been in business since 1978. The program helped one of the biggest aftermarket protection companies perfect their sales approach.
Training from CPI can do the same for your salespeople – and this is how Ted will make it happen.
Four case studies, four chances for development
Role-play case studies are one way CPI prepares your field team. Each unique act hones skills in a fun, interactive manner, making the material easy to understand and remember.
For example, there's the district manager scenario Ted plays out with participants. The hypothetical situation involves a dealership (with average PVR levels and a seasoned staff) that had never done well with your team’s core products.
Participants in the workshop role-play are given the following assignment-
• What is your approach to getting your products to be a main part of the dealership’s focus?
• Who are you going to meet with?
• What are you going to prepare?
• What materials are you going to use?
• What word-tracks will you use?
• How will you ask for the sale?
• What are 3 "real-world" objections you will be prepared to overcome?
Participants are given a scorecard and divided into groups of three. Each member is assigned a role either as a presenter, dealer decision-maker or observer. Participants take turns presenting their role to the group and get a score on their performance.
Now, isn’t that more engaging than a typical seminar or conference? CPI workshops break free of the norm to provide an exciting, team building experience your salespeople will remember.
Emphasis on communication and relationship skills
Throughout the Workshop, Ted Ings emphasizes what matters most in life: communication and relationships.
To get the point across, all participants engage in a telephone activity. Individuals are set up back-to-back in their chairs and use a domino set to experience the benefits of one-way communication vs. two-way communication in talking on the phone with the dealer.
Also, participants are taught vital relationship building strategies through activities such as “asking for a referral”. Team members work in pairs to play out the scenario and build confidence.
Communication and relationship skills are a lost art – CPI helps your salespeople stand out from the competition by giving them these talents.
Why the process is better with Ted Ings at CPI
Audiences immediately tune out when a PowerPoint starts playing. That’s why Ted uses evidence and props during his presentation while teaching your team to do the same.
Throughout the interactive workshop, both facilitator and attendees use props like charts, handouts, and other materials to provide facts and persuade viewers.
"The workshop was really well done! Positive energy! It forced us to be put in uncomfortable situations to stretch our skills and abilities when meeting with an actual Dealer or General Manager in the real world."
For instance, “Pre-charting” is an excellent way to save time and make the meeting flow smoother as you’re talking. Or if you’ve set up a discussion that requires charting, you can pre-chart the heading only to save time.
Throw out that PowerPoint - It’s Time for Evidence and Props
Here are some professional charting guidelines Ted uses for interactive exercises with your team in the workshop. Since your participants may have retail training functions themselves, these activities are designed to hold their attention and unlike the anything they will experience anywhere else:
• Use multiple colors like Mr. Sketch markers (long-lasting and very effective)
• Avoid using light colors like yellow or pink (use bold colors)
• Make a border around your charts so information stands out (draw everyone’s attention out)
• Use the wide edge of the marker to make the text bigger
• Print the words, don’t handwrite them
And yes, this approach works with your team – you’ll see results immediately!
Preparation makes perfect
Preparation is key, regardless of whether you’re running a triathlon or selling product. Ted’s workshop teaches ways to ready your field team for their meeting with the dealer. These may include:
• Pre-work (e.g., competitive product knowledge)
• What to say on the telephone to set up and confirm the dealer meeting
• Providing an interactive meeting agenda
• How to use “open-ended” questions and statements (we role-play this).
An open-ended question begins with the first word out of your mouth (who, what, when, where, why, how). Open-ended statements are also determined by the first word in the statement (explain, describe, share, tell) and are used to elicit information.
• Developing and using a checklist (for the dealer meeting)
• Testimonials and reviews (trust and third-party credibility in your product)
• How to prepare the dealer/manager for maximum effectiveness (pre-work = success)
• How to ask for a referral (exact word-tracks)
• How to ask for – and conduct – a “closing meeting” with the dealer decision maker at the end of your visit (for maximum effectiveness)
• How to ask to present at your dealer’s next “20 Group” Meeting (why aren't you doing this now?)
• How to properly follow up with the decision maker
Ted Ings prepares your field team for the real world by playing out all types of scenarios, interruptions and objections that may occur. The program is more than just a typical presentation – it’s an engaging, interactive workshop your team will remember and enjoy.
To prepare your team for their next dealer meeting, here are a few tips, courtesy of CPI:
• Prepare by creating an outline and knowing the materials and activities that will be used in your meeting
• Make sure the activities used are related directly to your objective
• Pre-chart (in color) and prepare your materials
• Prepare your participants by providing ways to involve them in advance
Set your field team up for success with training from CPI
Are you ready to take your field team to the next level? Contact CPI to find out more about our interactive training workshops, typically delivered in a one-day format, and also offered as an advanced two-day selling skills presentation. Both are conducted at your location (or off-site) for maximum participation of your team!