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Jared Hamilton
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Gary May

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A long time ago we lost focus. Then got it back. A while ago we lost focus, and got it back. A short bit ago we lost focus. Somehow it came back together. Ah, the joys of the automotive industry. Factory, retail, supplier, service provider...all of us. It's about the customer, always has been, always will be. Why does the perpetual machine forget so easily? In a world that where everyone expects to be right, as customers, it's amazing how far off base we are. This goes for how retail thinks about, talks about and, most of the time, treats customers. And unfortunately this is the way most dealers are treated as customers, too. Simply put we're in a world where commitment wins but when you look for support, it seems to have "left the building". This is the case in today's world: consumer controlled content. Dealers wanting to move forward and their vendors standing in the way (many times backed by the factory/headquarters standing in their way). If you sell a car with rear seat entertainment and heated/cooled leather seats, you can't tell the customer "we're working on it, it'll be here soon" or "Oh, I'm sorry, that package can't get those options. Did I tell you it came with those?". So why is that what happens and, more often than not, is accepted by 20,000 dealerships from their vendors? What may need to happen is a reevaluation of what is expected. What may need to happen is putting the customers (along with the chicken and egg) first. What may need to happen is more participation of online groups and communities rather than just a few speaking and providing a real value. Lately we're watched as the value has slipped, content to validate positions is more re-purposed than ever, pitches and and vendor tirades rule. Nobody can hear the egg break above the screaming. Generally speaking, people don't want to be accountable. Are you a dealer or management? Beware of broken focus. Maintain your commitment to improve your business consistently online and offline. Remember that once a decision has been made, every decision is on purpose. We've (happily) watched dealers do this for the past two and a half years. If you're selling, are you treating your business as an entrepreneur? Are you treating every customer as your next ticket or your last? Ask yourself: what's the most important part of my business? The walk, the drive/demo, the pencil, the close or the prospecting? If you didn't answer 'prospecting', and we're not counting walk ups, you've got to ask your self what you're doing. Take time to take a step back and ask yourself why you're in business. If it's to excel, make it happen. If it's for a check, then you know what to do...hopefully. Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

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