As I began to think about why Black Friday is a success for many retailers, it became so obvious. They plan for it. They focus on it. They prepare for it. They have great enthusiasm for it. They advertise for it, and ultimately they have great results. Many people in the car business just keep doing what they did last week, last month, and last year. The customer is bored, the staff is bored, and the bottom line reflects the lackadaisical approach that many Sales Managers, Service Managers, and General Managers take to growing and sustaining their business.
Truth be told, we get just about what we focus on. That is why we create action plans, forecast our month and even our year, and have written goals to run after. After all if we do not focus on growing our business daily, we could be swimming in the red ink, or barely in the a profitable situation. So let’s take a page out of the retail industry. Let’s plan for it. Let’s stay focused on it. Let’s prepare for it. Let’s have great enthusiasm for it. Let’s advertise for it, and let’s have great results all the time like every week was Black Friday.
One very common mistake many leaders in the automotive industry (and probably all other industries) make, is they criticize and tear people down before earning the right to speak into their lives. These are not leaders. They are tyrants. They are used to bullying their way to some level of success, if you will. But if an employee feels you have their best interest in mind, they will be all ears. Have intentional one on ones. Have a cup of coffee together. Ask them about their life. Ask them about their job. Ask them if there is anything you can do personally to help them succeed. Do it often. Once you spend enough eyeball to eyeball time, you will have earned the right to be frank with them concerning their performance, attitude, or otherwise. Remember that timing is everything. Once you recognize the open door, act upon the opportunity.
The employee’s trust must be earned through consistent action. Once that happens, you can speak into their life and they will not only hear you, they will listen and act. So remember to draw your people close to you. Close enough that you see the whites of their eyes. Then you can shoot (figuratively of course).
As I was visiting a Dunkin Donuts recently, I asked myself why does this store run so smoothly, and the one down the street not run smoothly?. The lady that took my order called me, and everyone else that she talked to “hon”. She was quick, polite and pleasant. The person making my bagel, did so quickly, and exactly as I ordered. It left me feeling as you would expect, satisfied. How about our businesses? Do we have the right people on our team? Do they covey the culture the leader desires? The truth is, we need to evaluate our staff and make decisions necessary to make it great. And quickly before we lose any more market share to our competitors.
So the answer is no. All businesses are not created equal, even if they share the same franchise name. The differentiator is almost always the people. Find the right people. Pay the right people. Keep the right people. Heck, we would not even be an independent country if it weren’t for the right people.
This is the post excerpt.
Just as the sun rises and falls each day, so do our opportunities to maximize our financial statement in the form of EBT in the car business. However, for many, the day comes and goes and they don’t even realize that they have not been intentional in their activities that day to increase the bottom line. Sure, they showed up. They may have even “won” that day in their own mind. But unless their actions were decisive and decisions crystal clear, then I would argue that whatever level of success won, it was in spite of their seemingly weak planning and executing. In order to be successful in the car business (or for any other for that matter), it must be intentional. It must be planned, executed, and conquered. So as the week comes toward the end, make this week be the week you decide to take back your business and make a conscious effort to keep the main thing the main thing. Say no to the meaningless time wasters and say yes to the things that use your time wisely. Remember your time is nothing more than a bank account with minutes instead of dollars. How will you spend that time?