What do you want your dealership to be? What do you not want your dealership to be? Both questions are important, and both merit attention. We spend a lot of time thinking about what we want and, quite frankly, not nearly enough time on what we don’t want. When was the last time your dealership had a store meeting to talk about what you want to avoid, and what you want to be known for?
Knowing what you don’t want is as important as knowing what it is you do want. Your team should know clearly what both are. Your policies and procedures should address both. Will Shakespeare said, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” We are the key to what our dealerships are, what they can be and what they shouldn’t be, plain and simple, no excuses. If you don’t want your dealership to be known for being poor at certain things, do something about it. And why the heck wouldn’t you?
Our work is not easy. Margins are tight on much of what we sell, coupled with less demand for those products. Our clientele is more aware and more knowledgeable with higher expectations than ever before. Our industry is evolving in ways that 10 years ago wasn’t even on the radar screen. We are increasingly more connected. What are dealerships are, or are not, is known and shared quickly with the world’s online audience, as well as our current customers and prospective customers.
Being the dealer of choice, one that folks rave about and tell their friends, now that’s what you want for your dealership. You don’t want to be the dealership that folks say, “Stay away from that place.” Word gets around much faster in today’s world. Maybe it’s time for that store meeting to address with your team the things you don’t want to be. As you all start talking about that, it becomes pretty clear what you do want.
You don’t want to be the dealership that’s known for not getting back to folks in a timely manner — or not at all. You want to be known as the dealer that always responds. You don’t want someone saying, “I walked around the showroom for 20 minutes, and nobody even said boo to me.” You do want to greet everyone who comes through your doors with a smile, a handshake and a greeting that lets them know you are glad they’ve come in. You want to be the dealer that, when an issue arises with a customer, takes care of it promptly and expediently. You don’t want to be the dealer that someone has to come back to repeatedly in order to resolve something.
To be the best sometimes requires looking at what it is you don’t want. What do you want your dealership to be, or not to be? That’s the question. ...
Mark Mooney is director, retail performance for Pied Piper Management Company LLC, a Monterey, Calif., company that works with motor vehicle manufacturers and dealers to maximize performance of dealerships. One of Pied Piper’s most popular services for the powersports industry is Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) sales mystery shopping to help turn more motorcycle shoppers into motorcycle buyers.