Don Rosen Imports
Wynnewood , PA
Overall Rank for 2012: 54
Before you can sell cars at Audi Wynnewood, you first have to pretend to buy cars.
The dealership's parent company, Don Rosen Imports, puts newly hired salespeople through about six weeks of training to teach them the selling process as well as the ins and outs of the brand's vehicles. Part of the intensive program: role-playing and "competitive mystery shops," in which the trainees visit other stores in the area and pose as prospective customers to see what rivals are doing right and wrong, says Scott Kaminski, the group's marketing communications director.
"They are not just put on the floor or thrown to the wolves," Kaminski says.
The company, which operates six stores near Philadelphia, says it gives new employees an average of 200 hours of training before they begin their jobs. Service writers, for example, are taught how to examine a car, how to make sure customers' complaints are resolved and how to look for other problems with the vehicle that should be addressed.
The process aims to make employees feel more confident and comfortable on the job, but beyond that it can encourage them to be more successful and consequently happier in their work.
Another reason the company puts such an emphasis on training is that it only hires salespeople who are new to the field.
"We do a very good job of scouting out talent," Kaminski says. "We specifically look for people who do not have car-selling experience but who fit a certain kind of personality and people that we can train and mold within our systems."
Trainers go over steps from greeting customers to delivering vehicles and teach even seemingly minor details such as how to use the vehicles' navigation systems and where the iPod adapter is located. As evidence of the program's success, Kaminski notes that staffers from the company's two Audi stores regularly reach the national finals of the brand's Q Factor walk-around competition, which tests entrants' intimate knowledge of Audi vehicles.
-- Nick Bunkley