Online career path and leadership training courses introduced to dealer market

Updated Nov 29, 2017

Cutting-edge eLearning and truck typically aren’t associated. Until now. GPA Training, Inc., founded by longtime sales trainer and former Navistar training manager, Ian Coburn, is releasing a series of eLearning courses.

GPA Training says dealers may deliver and track this highly effective soft skills training with or without an LMS, on any computer or mobile device. Courses are grouped together into development programs for roles in the dealership, such as parts counterperson and truck sales manager.

Additionally, the concepts framing the 60 bite-sized courses are laid out in Coburn’s new book, “The Customer is NEVER Right: Sell More Trucks, Cars, Buses, Parts… Anything in One Month.”

Coburn also supports dealers with live training, but the book and eLearning provide additional, more efficient avenues for dealers to access him. Three dealers have him on monthly retainer.

“We discuss a concept from the book or eLearning every few weeks on a call, then they implement it,” Coburn says.

“eLearning has infinite value,” he adds. “You can show applicants career paths. You can have them take a short course online, then participate in a mock exercise, such as a cold call or answering the phone, as part of the interview process. Why not simultaneously train counter staff at all your locations to schedule new appointments for outside sales reps who are too busy to cold call? You are limited only by your imagination.”

Coburn fully appreciates the importance of eLearning, saying: “If we don’t immediately get in front of the tech and training younger generations seek, we won’t be able to hire people who want to work for us; rather, we’ll be stuck with people who have to work for us. What will that mean for customer service and our bottom lines?”

Coburn says he immediately saw the need for the training when he was hired by Navistar.

“I spoke at a regional parts conference on sales soft skills for fifteen minutes and was then scheduled to speak at all parts conferences moving forward,” he says. “By my fifth one, I was slated to speak for two hours.”

So many dealers requested Coburn come live train at their dealerships, he couldn’t keep up. “Great people make up these dealerships and I want to support them all, so I wrote the book and decided to form GPA Training, Inc. to release eLearning,” he says.

Dealers like what GPA offers. Lakeside International Assistant Parts Operation Manager, Brad Josephitis, says, “Ian makes a difference unlike anything I’d ever seen here at Lakeside.”

Visit or email for more information, including excerpts from his book.

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