Launch two new cars in the U.S., in a way that would integrate product knowledge and enthusiasm for the task with movement away from a model of "pushing cars" and toward a model of "development relationships with customers." Time was short to develop an event for sales consultants at which to launch the Golf III and Jetta III.
Incorporate consultative sales skills into the launch event. Most new car events in the industry are promotional in nature, featuring product knowledge information, test drives and rallies. Interpersonal Development created a two-day, traveling launch event, The Volkswagen Golf and Jetta III-FOR-ALL, that incorporated intensive training in consultative sales. Product knowledge was included, as were test drives of the new car and competitive models. We wrapped up the training with a III-For-All Challenge contest, which gave participants a chance to review seminar subjects. Sales consultants went back to their showrooms with knowledge about the carts, new skills in developing consultative relationships and enthusiasm for the task ahead. We also developed an In-Retailer version of III-FOR-ALL, and trained District Sales Managers and Manufacturer´s Representatives to facilitate the program in the retailer locations.
With the success of III-FOR-ALL, Volkswagen decided that continuing professional development was a priority for sales consultants.
Interpersonal Development wrote a strategic plan that included re-deploying the company´ Manufacturer´s Representatives-product knowledge specialists-as mentors to sales consultants. To prepare them for their new roles as Retailer Training Consultants, we developed an eight-day curriculum of consultative sales skills, coaching, consulting and instruction in interactive training and facilitation.