At a time like this we all assess our values, what was important yesterday may not mean much today. You may have wondered about the test drive route that you have pre mapped; all right hand turns, stay quiet for a few minutes then maybe try to get a feed back from the customer as to how the car feels. Now, not only you are lucky if they show up, but you throw the keys at them and say, “Go have fun and come back and let me know what you think”. When they come back, if they are interested, they already know exactly what it would cost them in monthly payments to drive that car. For the most part, there is no overselling, out-pricing or blindfolding a customer. Your best bet is transparency through out the whole process.
Now comes the next question of how you create a culture of effective sales staff in an environment who is used to kicking butt and taking names and get away with it. Remember the days that you sales managers would say, “just go sell the car don’t worry about the price”, how do you think those dinosaurs survive in today’s environment? The answer is they don’t.
We have been talking about organizational culture for about five years now, very few of you have been responsive, oddly, all of the changes taking place in the world now more and more direct attention to the very subject of growing your people and stop treating them like herd. The truth is, individually, you may feel that you are stronger since you are the power, but collectively, they are stronger and the sooner you realize this profound reality, the quicker you will arrive at a paradigm shift of how you need to treat and take care of your people. And yes, this doesn’t always mean to throw money at the problem.
All businesses must connect the dots between their employee’s personal lives and their lives at work. Help them identify this connection so that they can connect their purpose in life with how they perform at work and actually enjoy it. If your people are coming to work everyday and taking a deep breath to go through the day and then exhale, you are just paying for their presence and not their performance. The reality is, if you are the owner, or the leader or whoever you are ultimately responsible for that dealership, you are accountable and no one else.
Its time that we elevate our people to the level of autonomy, so that they do the right thing naturally and not because the employee manual says so. Ask yourselves the question when was the last time you actually went down and had conversations with one of your lot porters, and asked them questions regarding their goals and ambitions in life, ever wondered if taking their kids to Disneyland might have been the dream of their life. Most of you owners do this at your General Manager’s level, because you feel like they are the lieutenants who will get the job done. Wrong, no matter how big you get, don’t give that title away since they would be spending someone else’s money and the ultimate goal may differ from yours. Creating the synergy of authentically making your employees do the right thing is only achievable if they can also connect the dots and feel that your goals are theirs as well. Every time you try to do this and fail to transcend sincerity, they will see right through you, and you can’t just do it at an elaborate X-mas Party, try it one day, put on your jeans or shorts with your flip-flops and go to your stores and mingle with your people, help a porter pull up a car, try to wipe of the water spots prior to a vehicle delivery, stand by the cashier’s office and ask every customer about their experience that day, then wait until the day is over and celebrate the close with your people. You are better than what you have portrayed so far, times have changed, competitive difference is no longer to win with more toys, rather it is with bigger hearts.
We have communicated with you that at Convergent Alliance and our focus has always been your people and the synergies that you create with them. We have the tools to help, it is not an easy task. Remember, I know that you are resourceful, you came this far, that you perhaps think you have all the answers, but think about it, a tailor needs another tailor to saw up his clothes, a lawyer needs another one to represent him in a legal matter, a doctor most certainly will go to a specialist to get help since he knows better. Reach out, I will always be there. for you.
Stay Covid Free,