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T J Houghton

T J Houghton Corporate Director

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What is the best showroom design from a customer perspective?

After 24 years in this business I've learned that there are many things that are ego driven.  Ego is great as long as its Super Powers are used for good instead of evil.  From the title and after reading the first two sentences you are probably picking up what I am putting down and already no where I'm headed.

We've got a nice little store that is about to undergo a facelift and I'm thinking we can improve our design efficiency.  If so, we are all the better for it.  My sales managers have an office.  They spend a lot of their time in there unless they are on a smoke break.  (that'll be another post)  I spend time encouraging them to spend more time on the floor monitoring traffic and paying attention to customers that come in and sale people activity.  Maybe a little design change would help me accomplish our goals and feel more natural.  We all design pay plans to give what we think is the proper incentive to accomplish our goals.  I think efficient dealership design can be just as powerful.  Silent, always there helping business flow the way the you want.  The danger is brick and mortar are expensive and that makes a mistake expensive.

I think this would be a perfect chance to build them a nice station right on the showroom floor.  Right in front of the dealer's office overlooking the main parking lot entrance and on the showroom floor right in the open. 

I can tell you they are not going to like it at first.  The mighty EGO runs strong in the car business.  My office is important...  I say things I don't want the customer to hear...  I can't be a boss without an office... 

My response is Yes, Why? & Why? in that order.  If we can be more available, efficient and attentive to our customer wouldn't that be best?  I know sometimes conversations should be private but I think if there is a possibility that something could be said that is inappropriate for a guest to hear then just maybe we would be better off not saying it and should choose better words to convey to our salespeople.  Sometimes people only do the right thing when left with no other option and I think that I like the idea of being more open.  It will definitely be a learning curve.

I'm looking for input.  What am I missing?  What are the other things my guys are going to bring up?  Change is hard.  Are the risks worth the reward?

T J Houghton
"already know where I'm headed"

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