Pay plans for store trainers

Jeff Petrella

I have a background in instruction, having run a training agency for 10 years prior to getting into car sales. I want to approach my GM about setting up a training program for new hires and becoming the store's designated training liaison/manager/etc.  Does anyone have any advise on what to ask for as compensation? A flat rate per employee? A percentage of the trainee's commissions for a time? A flat yearly salary? 

How does your store handle training new hires? Is it just mentor by committee or do you have assigned trainers? How does your dealership compensate you for your time working with new hires?

Derrick Woolfson

There are a lot of factors to consider. That is everything from dealership size, departments you would be training to the cost of the material you use for training. I am all for having an internal trainer; however, I see the role being more of the training coordinator. You would manage all of the training programs and then work individually with those who need additional training. As for compensation, (depending on the market you work in), a trainer could be in the 50-60k range. I would also base the pay plan on retention, the higher/better the retention is the better your pay is as the dealer saves hundreds of thousands of dollars with high retention.  As for our onboarding program, we have the employee visit each location, and spend time with each department. This way they get a birds-eye view of all departments. The program lasts anywhere from 30-60 days. As for compensating you to work with new hires - it is a part of the job. 

Bart Wilson

Derrick, you make some great points.  In my experience, training problems arise not in content but in time management and prioritization.  Managers don't have the time to onboard and train correctly.  A training coordinator would really help with this.  

If you decide to present this to your dealership you must set the structure up correctly.  This position needs to report to the GM.  Training can take a back seat, and the employees need to know you have the ear of leadership. 

Jeff Petrella

Thank you for the input so far. I guess I should be a little more specific to say that I am a full time salesman and looking at how to approach management regarding supplementing that as a designated trainer. 

I've heard that some dealerships use a round robin system to pair up new guys with veterans for training and then give that assigned veteran a percentage of the sales for that new guy for a certain amount of time. If I wanted to ask for this kind of pay, I was curious what was the industry standard if any.

Derrick Woolfson

Agh, I see. We had one or two sales guys that did some training, but they were never paid. I think the GM got them lunch a few times. But the mindset was that it was a part of the job. I have never seen them get spiffed for training. However, it might not hurt to pay someone to train. I will say, though, that the two designated trainers were often too busy to train; there was never any consistency, which is why we went back to hiring a training company. That and we wanted to make sure that the sales process was consistent. 

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