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On any championship team, in any given sport, there are the stars. We all know who they are, the quarterbacks, three-point shooters, home run hitters that get the glory spotlight. So are the demographics of most dealerships made in the same way, the “top dog” sales guys that are catered to, the GM that basks in his own brilliance, the desk manager who brags that he has the highest per car or the finance guy with the most gross.
While these personalities are embedded in nearly every dealership, might I suggest that it is detrimental to become one of them or allow them to flourish? The damage done to the others around them far outweighs any benefit they bring. How many of your “10 car” guys would be 14 car guys if they didn’t live under the shadow of “Mr. Superstar?” How many deals are missed because no salesman wants to bring a “skinny” deal to the gross king of the desk? How many great opportunities for innovation are lost because no one can approach the G.M.? For so long we have been trained to strive for the next position, the higher rung. Those at the bottom may give up before they even know how to climb while those at the top jealously guard power fearing perhaps to lose limelight. It’s no longer enough to define roles but rather to empower and celebrate them.
Thank the janitor for the clean mirrors and orderly offices, give the credit for the win to the salesman even when the manager spent 3 hours closing his deal, thank the F&I guy who flawlessly fills out every detail and has the vest CIT time and ask how the dealership could improve from their perspective.
When we fear change or loss of glory, the luster wears off all and a sense of isolation can build. Let’s face it, nowadays our success hinges on employee satisfaction as much as the customer’s and the uncelebrated offensive guard that threw the perfect block to enable that touchdown deserves as much recognition if not more than the guy who had the open field to run down.