Open the Doors to the Dealership

“I like to tell my managers to keep the main thing the main thing. APPOINTMENTS are one BIG main thing.”

Too many managers in the car business (and probably many other industries) get sidetracked from the main thing. They spend too much of their time telling and insisting that their people do things the “right” way. The problem is, the “right” way almost always is “their” way. I see it a bit different. There are certain parameters, processes, or daily routines that need to be followed. Take for instance, greeting a guest. It is most important that we greet every guest warmly and make them feel comfortable. “How” each employee executes is up to interpretation (as long as it is socially appropriate). Many managers get involved right there. Everyday. All the time. Stuck in the mud of “how” each employee executes, and stepping over the fact that they are in fact executing. It is surely the micro approach. It frustrates the employee and increases the turnover and decreases the gross profit. If an employee does not have the freedom within a process to be themselves, then the manager is simply spinning plates. Because once the manager is not watching, people are less inclined to follow that parameter, process, or daily routine at all. They need the freedom to respond in their own style, their own warm way, and certainly it will pay more dividends.

I like to tell my managers to keep the main thing the main thing. APPOINTMENTS are one BIG main thing. If the manager ensures that appointments are being booked in sales/service, then the door will open. The more frequently the doors open due to guests coming in, the more opportunity. When that happens, leave your people alone. If you have set processes in place, then let them do their job. Allow them to be themselves and follow the process. Don’t be hung up too much on the ancillary stuff. If a guest drives into sales/service, the employee will do his/her job within the processes that are in place. The other employees will then do their job, and ultimately the store will have happier employees and happier guests. SIDE-NOTE; if someone has strayed from a proven process that will create a calculated result, it is important to discuss and set them back on track. This is not to think freedom means full autonomy.

So, in closing, hire great people and set a solid process. Then get out of their way. You’ll find them to be much happier, which will bleed over to the guests and make their visit to your store that much more enjoyable. If you are to focus on any one thing, I would suggest driving the traffic to the store and let your well-trained people give your customers an experience far and above the competition. Whenever I hear a door opening in my store, I think to myself “opportunity”. So, set a plan in place for 2018 and get your doors to open . . .A LOT!

Photo supplied by original_photography123 (Instagram)

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