Nov. 10, 2008 – Dealer training event expands in 2009

What could be the largest powersports industry event aimed solely at training dealership department managers is seeking to grow in size and attendance next year.
The multi-day training event drew more than 400 last year, including representatives from 130-plus dealerships across the United States. The event is hosted by the RPM Group, the industry’s largest dealer 20 group provider that is owned by Assurant.
This year’s event, slated for Jan. 24-26 in Atlanta, Ga., will be held at a larger venue and include more than 40 training sessions on a variety of topics.
“You’re going to see a broad range of topics that we’ve never had before,” Sam Dantzler, president of the RPM Group, said, noting some of those training areas will include “following-up on Internet leads and menu-selling in the service department. Just a lot more topics to help the dealers.”
The event, which will be called Assurant Update this year, started many years ago as a way to bolster the 20 group experience. “We realized the 20 club environment wasn’t enough,” Dantzler said. “We have to train the front-line staff.”
Update originally was just for sales managers but has broadened into a three-day event that focuses on different departments each day. The first day, training sessions will focus on the parts and service departments, the second day will feature general management sessions and the final day will concentrate on the sales and F&I departments.
Even though the seminars are focused on aiding the department managers, Dantzler said “the hope is the dealer principals bring their managers and not send their managers. We want them sitting next to them as the event is happening” so buy-in to any possible change in business operations is accomplished at both levels.
The RPM Group also has worked with BRP so dealers can benefit beyond the training classes. RPM Group officials said any BRP dealer that attends at least four classes each of the three days will be eligible to receive 10 points toward the BRP Dealer Certification Program. These points will go toward the 2008 program as the end of BRP’s year is Jan. 29.
Event information
When and where: Jan. 24-26, Atlanta, Ga., Grand Hyatt Buckhead
Who’s invited: All dealers are welcome, even those that do not belong to a RPM Group 20 club or are not currently working with Assurant Solutions
Cost: For information on dealer pricing, contact Dean Morton, Assurant Solutions 20-Clubs, at 303/338-1122 or Dean.Morton@Assurant.com.
Training seminars
The event will include more than 40 sessions on a range of topics. Here is a look at some of them:
Parts and service departments: Driving performance through statistics in service; maximizing inventory turns; maximizing all service hours.
General management: The key to retaining top talent; what a customer costs; coaching to perform.
Sales and F&I: Maximizing priority maintenance; successful F&I processes; improving your approvals in F&I.

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