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Jared Hamilton
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Gary May

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It's no coincidence that by using the term 'resolutions' as temporary markers, we're able to miss our goals and targets. In an industry that's usually more comfortable with what worked 10 years ago, why waste time with "I wish"? Fact is, by resolving to do something it means that you're going to do it.

If you're lacking resolve, find someone that can help you with it. This is not a plea for you to run out and get a shrink, not at all. Rather being resolute about how you manage your business, as a GM or a sales person or a porter, is entirely up to how well you plan your work. And when you think about the work involved with your entire online presence, business and infrastructure, it's not about being the 'do it all person'. That method will lead to disaster. 2010 will be a dividing and defining year, but not by the forces of government intervention, the factory guillotine, lack of the 'perfect' new model or even that location you've been eyeing for years. It will be a year of the haves and have nots: either your 3 P's (plan, people and partners) will provide you with the better option or not. Here is the best starting point that we can recommend rather than spitting out another list of vendors, processes or simple recommendations that can be easily duplicated next door: 1. Where are you? Why are you there? Think about this in terms of where your greatest opportunities are for growth. Some things are completely transparent, like Google rank results, conversion rates and revenue per PO (just as examples) and some are not, like sourcing, third-party expenses and advertising in untracked media. 2. Who's with you and who's not? If you've not weeded out your staff in a while, you're lying to yourself. There is some huge talent out there that can not only move the needle forward, they can likely add some sorely needed spark and sizzle to the rest of the people that claim to love coming to work. 'Stick In The Mud' and 'On The Bubble' are not a fun games to play for two years in a row... 3. What changed that you ignored or missed? Usually a massive change in results comes from more than the other franchise having a stellar month while you tanked. If something big shifted, start with asking your customers, your prospects and those that opted to go somewhere else. The insight will do more for you that pulling the wool over your eyes. This is not a 'social media play', this is a 'get yourself dirty play'. 4. Do you have buy in? Another thing to consider is who's behind you. If it's not a majority or all of your staff voting on how things get done, it's time to be open. Not humor, Not simply listen. It's do or die time and if people don't think you care about them , they won't care about you. (hey, customers think the same way. wow!) The 1976 way of handling sales and staff meetings should be 86'd. We could go with 'finely tuned engine' or something cheesy like 'firing on all cylinders' but you have to do the things that will really impact your business. Aside from that you MUST fire vendors that don't do their job and stop excusing poor performance. Today a dealer talked about taking the bold step of letting a vendor go that was so far from doing their job. At a rediculously low price. For something the store didn't really think about. Tomorrow, they're going to take it in-house, spend more money, get the job done right and will likely see the results from their efforts...two to three months from now. What are you doing that, if you'd take five minnutes to think about it, doesn't make sense. If you can't find anything that's broken, here's another recommendation: Walk into a non-automotive business and whatever you notice that absolutely bothers the $#&^ out of you, ask your employees to stop doing it and take suggestions from them to improve. Why? Because there's a 95% chance that your business is doing the same thing. 2010 is full of promise. There will be those dealerships that hit the ball out of the park. There will be those that barely get on base consistently. There will be those that can't even get the batting helmet on. There will be those that aren't even in the game. Your chance is to own the whole frickin game... Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results You can find more IM@CS posts here on DrivingSales.com or on our blog here

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