What is for the good of the store is sometimes an unpopular choice for the employees. It requires them to do more than what they are currently doing. It asks them to solve problems, take initiative, and complete more tasks. It is very common that salespeople will care more about what is “in it for them” than what is in the best interest of the dealership. At no point should a salesperson’s unwillingness to execute tasks supersede what is in the best interest of the dealership.
Creating policies that benefit the dealership often ruffles feathers. Sadly, a disgruntled sales force scares dealers more than the absence of customers nowadays. The inmates run the asylums at far too many dealerships. What is for the good of the store often is a sales team that tows the line and follows the commands of wise management. They adhere to company policies, mandates, and processes to create the best situation for a profitable, sustainable company. Ownership must not be scared of the pushback when it comes time to pushing their people for better performance.
Accordingly, Sales Management and Used Car Management must adhere to the newer processes and technological ways if it is best for the store as well. We are in an ever-changing industry and the tried-and-true methods from the 80’s and 90’s are no longer tried nor true. They have evolved and sales volume, profitability, vehicle turn, and reputation will all suffer if a more streamlined, advanced, intuitive process is not adopted now. Salespeople and Management must be willing to utilize all of the technology provided to them in an effort to increase productivity, accountability, and thoroughness in the marketplace.
This is a plea to get away from the ego-driven power plays we hold so dear. No more sabotaging tactics or technologies that serve the greater good. No more petty bickering. It is common to see management play politics, not reinforce best practices, and turn a blind eye to negative behavior all in an effort to thwart forward-minded thinking. Strategies evolve. Yet, even though it can be proven that executing additional, technology-focused tasks can have a positive impact on a dealer’s bottom line, if it interferes with the historical rhetoric from a manager in the store, the tactic is discarded and disregarded. Even if the manager or salesperson realizes they are in the wrong, if a new “best practice” contradicts what they’ve been spouting to be true, they will work to sabotage it. People would rather save face and lose money than swallow their pride and make a killing when it comes to advancing their beliefs and efforts. This must stop. No more politics or grandstanding in an effort to keep smart business down.
Salespeople must recognize this is not their job, but a career. They must strive to learn. Strive to do better. Strive to master new selling strategies. Strive to utilize the resources and tools they’re given. There is no one to blame for an 8-car month, but themselves. With that said, managers must manage. And to manage people, you must hold them accountable to their tasks, reward them with positive reinforcement, and punish them when they falter. There is no need to have a manager if they are unwilling to truly manage their people to do it better. Moreover, no one should be given the designation (and responsibility) of manager if they’re unwilling to execute the technological and management duties of their own position either. Not if the duties asked of them are, once again, for the good of the store.
Some employees may not like change. They already fight tooth and nail to prevent it. We must champion the understanding that the needs of the store are more important than the egos of the employees. People must learn to do it better. When it comes to embracing technology or innovative tactics, it is time everyone realizes that what is for the good of the store will, in the end, help them as well. Doing good doesn’t just happen. Doing good takes work.