Knowledgepool develops global training and e-learning programme for the BMW Groups MINI Dealers

In preparation for the launch of the new MINI in July 2001, KnowledgePool, the worldwide training service provider specialising in IT, personal and management training has developed a bespoke, instructor-led training and e-learning solution for the BMW Group. The programme has been specifically designed to train BMW’s selected Dealers who are selling the new MINI. It provides them with information about the car, the most effective selling techniques and how to empathise with MINI customers, a very different target market to the traditional BMW audience. This is the first time the BMW Group, who has 1.600 MINI Dealers, in 30 countries, has incorporated e-Learning into its training requirements, to demonstrate the uniqueness of the new MINI and the planned sales campaign. BMW has been actively involved in the development of the specialist training programme since work began in March 2000. The MINI is a departure from BMW’s usual range of cars, which Dealers are accustomed to selling to a predominantly older, male market. The training programme had to reflect this so it was essential that Dealers were aware of the differences involved in selling a fun, cult car to a younger, largely female market. “Selling the new MINI will require very different skills from our Dealers,” said Willy Sabautzki, Head of MINI training at the BMW Group. “For us to meet our high sales targets, the Dealers will have to understand the product and demonstrate a passion for it. We believe there is a definite need for Dealers to be able to tap into the emotional needs of potential MINI buyers. Until now, our Dealers have not had to use this skill, they have focused more on the rational side of selling cars.” The MINI Dealer training comprises two core elements; a one-day “Hearts and Minds” instructor-led course and an e-learning element – modularised CD-ROM based training that includes the MINI Competence test.

The one day “Hearts and Minds” training has been developed to capture the interest of the Dealers and involves an exciting, memorable day learning how to successfully sell MINIs and includes driving the MINI in different test conditions on a racetrack. After this course, all Dealers take away a MINI Competence CD-ROM, which builds on everything learned on the instructor-led course about the brand and its customers, contains complete specifications about the car and acts as a reference tool to aid future learning. Paul Butler, chief executive officer at KnowledgePool, said: “This has been an interesting project for us, it is always a challenge to develop training for a brand new product not already on the market. We have also had to carefully consider the global training needs of all the Dealerships, most particularly where translation of the course is required. Our dedicated team of 12 have done a great job, and we hope that there will be scope to broaden the training in the future as new models of the MINI are launched.” Willy Sabautzki, continued: “KnowledgePool has worked successfully with us on this project and we were impressed by the company’s bespoke approach to training needs.” The New MINI One and MINI Cooper will be available in the UK from July 2001, the rest of Europe in September 2001 and Japan and the US will get the MINI Cooper early in 2002.