A fresh, innovative approach to automotive sales training has hit the market and is the brainchild of longtime industry trainer George Dans, who has for more than two decades trained, motivated and inspired thousands of sales people across the globe.
iMobileTraining.com, launched earlier this year, has a simple mission: to improve the lives, both personally and professionally, of automotive, RV, power sports and motorcycle sales people around the world. It is geared specifically for Buy Here-Pay Here, Used Cars, New Cars, Power Sports and RV sales. Each industry now has modules geared for them instead of trying to blend the training all together and hoping that watching a New Car series is the same as Buy Here Pay Here.
Dans, known throughout the industry as “The World’s Greatest Closer,” is renowned for his high-energy, passionate keynote addresses at seminars and conferences, as well as one-on-one training for sales teams at large dealer groups, single point buy here-pay here operations, and Twenty Groups meetings. Those who have heard Dans speak or participated in one of his training sessions will readily agree that yawning or tuning out simply isn’t possible.
“We’ve taken what we have learned from many years of working with sales people, and seeing what the proper training and implementation of best practices can do,” Dans said. “We’ve put that on an easy-to-use, online mobile platform that gives sales people and their managers a powerful tool they can use anytime, from anywhere.”
Dans was a fireman and worked as an appliance salesman in California before taking on what is one of the most competitive spaces in the automotive retail vendor space — sales training.
“You just can’t get out there and command respect,” Dans said. “You have to earn it. You have to deliver the right message, in the right way, and deliver results. That’s what gets the dealer to call you back to inspire the team again. It’s what gets a dealer to suggest your training as a best idea at Twenty Group meetings.”
He said everyone has a cellphone in their hands most of the day, and his platform takes advantage of that fact.
“Most people have become adept at ‘self-directed learning,’” he said. “They either click to Google or YouTube when they want information or to see how to accomplish a task. iMobile puts the training and learning right in the palm of their hand. The days of training on desktop computers, or dealers trying to organize training for their team, are over.”
Dans said that putting the training platform together was both a challenge and a joy. He said he spent nearly 15 months developing the training curriculum, shooting and editing the videos, and developing the training questions participants need to answer correctly before having a “command” of the training.
“Fortunately, I have spoken in front of people for so many years, we didn’t have to do a lot of reshoots and not a lot of editing,” Dans said. “We have a great team we worked with to plan, script, write, and produce these training videos.” Dans said the 500 training videos, some brief, just a few minutes, and many longer, five to 10 minutes, live on a proprietary platform that allows extremely fast downloads.
“Say a sales rep needs to overcome a customer objection. He or she can easily look up the topic and view it while walking back to see a manager,” Dans said. “What I demanded when we developed the program is that it was easy to use and fast. Closing deals on the spot is much more effective than watching your customer leave without buying and racing down to the next dealership to buy.”
MidAtlantic IADA President Tom Brandis has used the new platform for several months, and said he has seen the benefit.
“I was impressed,” Brandis said. “It’s a mobile platform, and it’s lightning fast. If your customer has an objection, you can literally say you have to check with a manager, view a 45-second or 1 minute video, and come back with a solution.
“Your sales reps have their phone within arm’s reach nearly every waking hour. There’s no excuse for them not to use it, and it’s beneficial. If they are truly interested in improving themselves and earning more, this is the perfect tool for them.”
Dans said dealership owners and managers know they need a system like this, and there are few, if any, who will say they don’t need some type of training platform. He said dealerships move so fast, they don’t often have time for training. He said he didn’t want a platform where a rep or manager had to be at a desktop, login, and view and sit and answer questions.
“We knew it had to be mobile,” Dans said. “Consumers are doing their research and searching online. They can build a car, order a car, and know the value of their trade. Technology has brought transparency to the marketplace, and our job as dealers is to show them the value of doing business with us, and creating more value in the process. The most successful salespersons in this industry have stated that people buy from people they like, trust and respect. The researcher is your new customer, they are searching for you. They’ve found everything else.”
Dans noted that there is so much training in the vendor marketplace, and that much of it has been used for many years. He said that while some training has been updated, few training programs have taken a clean whiteboard approach and developed fresh, trending training content.
“We have developed a platform that reflects my training style and personality,” Dans said. “It’s a common sense approach, but it employs positive thinking, creativity, and the need for constant improvement and faith.”
Dans said the topics covered in the training are too numerous to name, but among the highlights are: phone skills; using the Internet as a tool; social media, network marketing; content marketing; and sales basics.
He likened the platform to some of the more popular music apps.
“We have employed playlists, tags and favorites,” Dans said. “We also collect data from all the users, and track the Top 20 most popular and Top 20 Most played training videos,” Dans said. “We’ve tried to make this as up-to-date, and as user-friendly as it gets.”
It’s also interactive. Managers can track the time their reps have spent on the platform and track their progress. Managers can assign training modules to their entire team and work on specific training over a period of time.
Costs range from $499 to $1,199 per month based on package level chosen and the number of users and the needs of each dealership.
“Our plan is to disrupt the automotive, and related training industries with a state-of-theart package,” Dans said. “We’ve kept prices down as low as we could, and understand that dealers do not want to be entangled in long-term contracts. So we don’t have them. You can come in for 90 days and take a demo with us.
“My job has always been to help sales people understand what the possible objections are and either avoid them all together, or be able to respond in a way that closes the deal,” he said with a laugh. “That’s what we’ve done here.” You either close or lose, it’s black and white.