Dealer Candidate Development Program – Farm Equipment

Dealer Candidate develops well-rounded operations managers, equipped with the abilities and resources for success now and in the future.

In this competitive and unpredictable economy, many leaders are challenged to find the know-how they need to run a complex business and generate sustained profitability, stability and growth.  Dealerships seeking the competitive edge realize that although the knowledge they gain from day-to-day experience has value, additional industry-specific operational training can give them an advantage.

The Spader Dealer Candidate development program has been designed to make sure current and future managers have the capabilities and tools they need to develop their own management abilities and the next generation of managers through quality, industry-focused training.  This course provides practical, proven best practices for current and potential general managers and department managers to become more successful leading the dealership.

The primary focus of Dealer Candidate is to develop people into well-rounded leader-managers, equipped with the capabilities and resources for success now and in the future. Participants gain the tools and skills necessary to understand how to lead and manage dealership operations. The design and delivery of this training is by experienced specialists and experts who know first-hand how dealerships operate. Reasonable, realistic and relevant additional job-related pre-work, application assignments and testing are included.

  • Pre- and post-testing will be given to monitor progress
  • Homework and application assignments will be given between each session
  • Toll-free phone support provided throughout the course

Click the Agenda link at the top of this page to learn more about the course content.

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This development program consists of four sessions. Application assignments will be given between each session. Each session will incorporate a pre-test and post-test to reinforce and measure key learning points. A company improvement project will be assigned and participants will give a presentation on their project at the last session.


First two days:  8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Last day:  8:00 to 12:00 p.m. approximately
Please arrive 30 minutes early the first morning for registration.

Session One: (2.5 days)
Leading and Managing Yourself, Others, and a Dealership 
This program starts with how to effectively lead yourself, lead others, lead departments, and lead a dealership. It assesses your preferred leadership approach, then measures your leadership choices and decisions. We provide an in-depth leadership assessment, as well as a proven model to dramatically improve your understanding and ability to effectively lead and manage the people and processes in your business. It also provides a road map for understanding effective business principles and processes and practices by covering the Total Business SuccessTM solutions model, which describes how to leverage culture, people, processes and strategy. Self-development, interpersonal skills, and team development are also emphasized.

Learning Outcomes

  • Total Business SuccessTM of the dealership
  • Dealer/GM roles as leader, manager and contributor
  • High performance leadership assessment and skill building
  • Attributes of successful dealership leaders & managers
  • Managing and developing key business processes
  • People management and development
  • Understanding Business Plateaus / organizational structures
  • Effectively managing change
  • Core business capabilities
  • Successful strategic practices
  • Creating a winning culture

Session Two: (2.5 days)
Financial Analysis and Balance Sheet
Participants are given a basic to intermediate level introduction to financial analysis and accounting management within the equipment dealership. Learn the basics of sound financial management along with internal controls.  Successful completion of this module equips managers with the tools needed to understand as well as efficiently and effectively manage profitable dealership operations.

Learning Outcomes

  • Financial and accounting terminology
  • Financial relations in the dealership
  • Interpreting dealership financial statements
  • Basic accounting fundamentals
  • Key Expense Ratios and financial metrics
  • Plan, monitor & forecast financial performance
  • Inventory management
  • How/when to grow to different Business Plateaus

Sales Department Management and Processes
Key sales manager attributes are presented for participants to gain knowledge and understand the skills and concepts to effectively and profitably manage the sales effort. Varied interactive exercises are utilized to demonstrate the relationships and contributions of the departments to the whole dealership. Best practices are shared from high-profit and high-performance operations.

Learning Outcomes
• Sales manager roles and responsibilities
• Management, margin and inventory systems
• Sales processes that support total dealership stability and growth
• Key metrics to monitor and manage in the sales department
• How to create and use inventory management systems
• How to create and use a sales process

Session Three: (2.5 days)
Aftermarket Management / Total Company Wrap-Up
Participants develop an understanding of service department and parts department operations and the skills and processes required for managing each profitability. The contribution and relationship of the parts and service departments to the sales department are carefully examined through interactive exercises to realize the overall potential to both the external and internal customer base. Best practices are shared from high-profit and high-performance operations. Sample financial statements are used as a class exercise to illustrate where the numbers come from and how to analyze where operational changes can or should be made. The concentration in this session is on identifying how to create solutions from the key metrics.

Learning Outcomes

  • Service & parts key performance indicators
  • Scorecards – what needs to be measured & monitored
  • Keys to managing multiple departments
  • Plateaus at the department level
  • Pricing, recovery, and capacity
  • Parts and service planning
  • Financial analysis
  • Asset management
  • Maximizing profitability
  • Principles of effective pay plans
  • Role of parts & service departments in the dealership
  • Parts inventory management
  • Total Company wrap-up:  how to “make more money”
  • Business Plateaus-based department-specific org charts

Session Four: (2.5 days)
Leadership, Hiring, Course Project Presentation and Graduation
The final session consists of the course participant teams presenting their applications projects to the entire class, as well as discussion and review debriefs after each.  Attendees may be invited from participating organizations.  Other summary activities may be included.  This session concludes with a graduation ceremony and awarding of certificates for successful completion.

Learning Outcomes

  • Leadership motivations assessment
  • Effectively influencing people
  • Hiring winners
  • Review of key management practices and principles
  • Team application projects sharing
  • Selective presentations
  • Summary development activities
  • Graduation and program development sharing


Who should attend the Dealer Candidate development program?

    • Branch or General Managers in farm equipment dealerships
    • Successors of the business
    • Mid-Level Managers who are being groomed for promotion or are assuming greater responsibility
    • Dealer Principals who can benefit from a better understanding of the financial, operations, strategic and people management aspects of the business

What are the enrollment criteria?

  • Participants in Dealer Candidate typically have a minimum of two years’ experience in an equipment dealership, are an owner, or an employee under consideration for future leadership in the business.

Do you offer additional support?

    • Attendees may opt to receive a review and analysis of their financial statements. Bring your last year-end statement to the first session.Each participant takes home a full set of materials that includes the tools, processes, tips and forms needed for implementation and reference. You’ll also receive access to our help desk via email or toll-free phone for help with any questions you have when implementing what you’ve learned.

How much does this course cost?

$7,425 per attendee

This development program may be available on demand or may not be currently scheduled.  Contact us at 800-772-3377 to discuss scheduling for your organization or team.