Broadway Tyres Lifts the Lid on New Dealer Training
When Broadway Tyres recently took stock of its future direction the company identified a strong need to train its customers in the act – or, as Jonathan West calls it, the art – of selling. The independent sector, he believes, generally attach too low a retail price to their tyres in order to appear competitive, and have suffered for this. To counter this tendency to undervalue product and service, Broadway has developed its “Building Sales Success” seminar, which will be presented to more than a thousand dealers during at least 20 sessions at High Wycombe and Watford in coming months. Before each seminar begins delegates will have the opportunity to visit the Broadway Tyres warehouse and meet with the company’s staff, all part of Broadway’s focus upon relationship building. Then it will be time to get down to business, and for the seminar itself Broadway has drawn upon the expert help of Mike Davey from Pimento.
“Being at work is like fighting in a mediaeval battle,” relates Davey. “Survival is a priority, so people pay attention to what is immediately in front of them. But it is only when one steps to the side of the battlefield that their view changes and a person is able to see a situation from a different perspective without being hurt. This is the point of training, to give people the time to take a look at their situation and to think, so they can go away with two or three ideas and implement them into their business.” Using symbolism and effective mnemonics, Davey spends the hour of the seminar delivering the fundamentals of effective selling in a way his audience will both understand and, just as importantly, remember. The message is divided into 13 key points, each of which is attached to a memory aid for easy recall at a later date. “The first question you should ask yourself before getting out of bed in the morning is whether you are ready to sell,” said Davey as he kicked off the presentation. He is emphatic that a lack of preparation sets many tyre dealers up for lacklustre performance, resulting in unnecessarily poor sales. Preparation can take the form of mentally rehearsing sales techniques or it can be as simple as looking around the workshop each morning and making sure everything is set up the way it should be. And preparedness should also extend to stock, which must reflect the actual needs of your customers, and in the right quantities. Equally important is the customer’s first impression. Many tyre dealers don’t realise that it only takes around three seconds for a person to make a first impression, thus Broadway aims to make sure its customers are armed with techniques that ensure the sale isn’t blown even before tyre talk begins. There should be no reason not to close a sale, believes Davey.
“Nobody goes to an independent tyre dealer to browse, it isn’t like strolling around Currys on a Saturday morning. Everybody intends to buy something.” However he adds that dealers should never forget tyres are often a distress purchase, and this must be kept in mind when greeting a new customer. An informed dealer is an effective dealer, therefore relevant information should be gleaned from the customer as a matter of course. Is the vehicle a company car or the customer’s own? An important question given that drivers of company cars are less inclined to have an emotional investment in their vehicle. Details of driving habits such as mileage and vehicle use can also be used to the dealer’s advantage, says Davey, and play a central role when the time comes to offer the customer a choice of three tyres – good, better and best for their car and needs. An important message Broadway Tyres conveys in its new training is that dealers should never underestimate female motorists. Women now make up over 50 per cent of new car purchases, so it stands to reason that they’ll also, sooner or later, be purchasing tyres. How female friendly is your business, asks Davey.
In stark contrast to some meticulously prepared yet dry presentations the seminar’s hour passes quickly, a sign that Davey’s silver-tongued delivery provides entertainment aplenty. However it is not entertainment at the expense of learning, and even now, days after attending the pilot session, the points raised are firmly anchored in my memory. “We believe this is a first for the tyre industry,” commented Jonathan West when introducing the seminar, the first of what Broadway Tyres hopes will be a full range. Further training modules are presently in various stages of development, with a more detailed advanced sales seminar tipped to be the next implemented. Along with a striking new corporate image and an all-new website that is ready to go live, Jonathan West believes that the training will propel Broadway Tyres to the threshold of a new chapter in its history. “We’re moving from being a great company towards being a world class company,” he says with confidence. “We are setting benchmarks in everything we do.”