I once witnessed a motivational speaker take a volunteer from an audience and ask the person to “tell” him how to use scissors. The volunteer could not use hand motions, could not pick up the scissors, and could only use words. It was hilarious. The volunteer gave up after a very funny 10 minutes. The point? To show the audience that “telling” people what to do may not work out as well as we thought.
We see this in the car business (and sales in general) very frequently. Meetings are full of information only (and glossy eyed listeners). The meetings are full of “do this and do that, and don’t do this and don’t do that” (I am sleepy just typing the words). The problem with using words alone, is that we all hear things differently. We all have had different experiences in life and those experiences shape how we think the person asking wants it done. If you lined up 10 sales people and gave instructions to all of them to demonstrate the features and benefits of a product to a customer, it would be a miracle if any of the 10 did it the same way (it would be a miracle if each of them could name features and/or benefits at all). This is not only a problem, it is an epidemic. So, who’s fault is it that the sales people do not thoroughly know the features and benefits and that they cannot demonstrate? Glad you asked.
Leaders lead. Leaders “show” and tell. Then they allow (and require) the person learning to do the action themselves until they understand it, execute accurately, and have a positive result. When and only when that happens can we give a verbal instruction to the person regarding that particular point. If the sales and service managers would lead and do this on every process the department has, there would be a revolution at the dealership. So, demonstrating exactly what you want from them each and every time. Once that happens, two things will happen. One, the employees will begin doing what you want and have a expected result. Or two, you will know exactly how to counsel them based on what they are not doing that you have clearly showed them. Let’s lead in 2018 and put our business above the competition by putting the team first and equipping them to succeed by telling, showing, and allowing them to duplicate before sending them to the wolves.