Dave Medrano wants the field staff of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. to think more like dealers.
The man behind Toyota's "Mind of the Dealer" training program wants the company's field travelers to end the misunderstandings and misconceptions that sometimes go with dealer relations.
"Dealers have strong ideas of how to run their business and how they define success," Medrano said. "Our people might have a different point of view. The training helps our field staff to negotiate that impasse."
For instance, how does a Toyota field representative persuade a dealer to add four service bays?
"It's about negotiating value and not stuffing solutions down a dealer's throat," Medrano said. "The field guys are always communicating sales and parts information and attending the charity golf tournaments, but the job is more than that."
He said field staffers have to make concessions and need to change their perspective from what Toyota can't do to what it can. The training also helps them to find solutions in sticky situations, such as persuading a dealer not to fatten the margin on a new vehicle in great demand.