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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Bryan Armstrong

Bryan Armstrong e-Commerce Director

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Are you SHARING the Vision?

In every Dealership or business organization I have ever had the fortune to be involved with, I have been privy to the inner workings and directional planning of its success. The only reason I bring this up is that I don’t believe it’s a widespread phenomenon. Whether it is in their advertising platforms or business models CEO’s and G.M.’s will often map out plans weeks, months or even years ahead with key stepping stones toward growing the business. Yet day after day we require our people to focus blindly on the minutiae i.e. some sort of daily task list or the handful of hot new leads or recently sold prospects.

               Personally it’s easy for me to make that one Management CSI call because from a 30,000 ft. perspective I know how it fits into the plan as a whole. At the same time, it can seem a fight to have every task (read opportunity) completed by a sales/service floor that we whip into a frenzy to secure the daily result needed for our monthly success. Sales people by and large are paid off of what they produce within certain chronological parameters and have little or no motivation to begin the touch-point process years ahead of any sales culmination. I suggest that the best way to overcome this prejudice is to share with your key personnel the vision we as management so viciously guard as “upper-level” information.

                As we move (hopefully) to a more transparent sales process, it only makes sense to do the same with our Management styles. Begin hosting Monthly and Quarterly review/planning sessions with all key dept. personnel and share with them the goals for the Store, the advertising calendar that will help achieve the goal and the costs and benefits both monetary and personally that said plan will provide to them. By getting your entire team behind a quarterly and yearly goal you will not only empower them with a sense of belonging  but also turn them into key advocates to the rest of your staff. By tying inclusion in this Visions Team to key performance criteria you can create and foster a Leader culture and Team vision while enforcing and rewarding personal accountability.

                Information is power but the hoarding of information is counter-productive to team building. We assign feature/benefit analysis to our clientele each day in motivating them towards a specific (buying) action. Doesn’t it make sense that doing the same with our teams could produce the same type of desired results?

                Key points covered should include:

  • Potential Ad points – brainstorming will occur
  • Costs vs. benefits of campaigns
  • Staffing issues
  • CSI trends
  • Inventory allocations

If your lot tech understands the 3 month snapshot as well as the cars that need detailed today the buy-in achieved will produce more quantifiable results and foster a more productive work atmosphere. Goals set by the Store, to achieve personal level buy-in and make sense to the very people we depend on, must be clearer to all. Then and only then their daily achievements may begin to be the building blocks we see them as. Everyone needs to understand and feel included and empowered towards a Stores success not just accountable to the daily task list.

We gain power by giving it away and Leadership does not have to be limited to Title holders.

 

 

Jim Bell
Great points to consider Bryan. I think that a lot of dealerships will have their manager meetings and go over reports, etc., but forget about talking points for down the road. I feel that a lot of dealers will fly by the seat of their pants and just plan month to month, and we are all guilty of it at some point in our careers. When all of the management is singing out of the same hymn book, we all will see success sooner than later.
Bill Playford
You've touched on something near and dear to my heart. Despite the empowerment movement that has swept the business world over the past 20 years, many car dealerships still adhere to the command and control management style. I firmly believe that if the staff fundamentally understood their roll, what was expected of them, and how their work effects the business as a whole (JOB DESCRIPTION), productivity, commitment, and job satisfaction would soar. If you want happy customers, start with happy employees.
Chris Costner
Thanks Bryan for bringing up such a great point. What manager doesn't dream of having enthusiastic, committed employees who can "make things happen" without constant direction? Including them in the "big vision" can certainly set them in that direction. That is of course if the dealer has long term goals and a plan on how to get there instead of the month to month syndrome Jim discussed. If the coaches keep the playbook to themselves, how can the players possibly succeed?
Lindsey Auguste
RIght on, Bill. You took the words right out of my mouth. Being a spoke in the wheel doesn't engender value unless you know how that spoke shapes and strengthens the wheel itself.

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