Dealer Consultants

A success story: How one dealership did it

Here comes fall. Things slow down, and reassessments start – the “What ifs.” What if you did this or didn’t do that, what would be different? Clear-headed assessment can be one of the hardest things we do. But when done properly, it’s like turning on a 1,000-watt light bulb, and it shows what type of leader you really are. Here’s what one California dealer did and what has happened because of it:

The first thing he did was to get back to the basics. He looked at the business honestly. No rose colored glasses, no ego, no blame. He just wanted a clear view.

He saw that he had managers that battled with each other. Service was mad at parts because parts didn’t have something that, of course, should be stocked. Sales was mad at service because that PDI wasn’t being done quickly enough, and service was also upset with sales because that PDI was brought to the department 15 minutes before the employees thought they were going home. Sound familiar? The success story starts here.

It was time to turn his managers into leaders. Instead of separation, he sought unity. He reasoned that this was as much about the dealership as it was about them. After all, they had a stake in all this – it’s called a paycheck. Accountability was taken to a new level with each manager having a stake in all departments. They then had to work together. Each was aware of all department goals, and each department helped the other achieve them. Now everyone had the same stake – improved earnings for both the dealership and for themselves.

All the team members bought in, and customer service improved greatly. You could feel it when you walked in. It just felt good. This all started about 18 months ago, and the dealership now covers all its expenses with parts, accessories and service sales. Vehicle sales are still just as important and always will be, but they don’t have to float the boat anymore. This all started with training and win-win leadership strategy.

It’s easy not to look when things are good, but when there’s a blip, all the issues become important. Training takes on a new meaning and all those “What ifs” are suddenly overwhelming. Don’t wait, initiate. Lead like you did in the beginning. Empower your team for success.

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
~Benjamin Disraeli

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