The most important process COACHING
*5 Point Strategy to grow your own coaches
Coaching = A training or development process
At virtually every dealership in America we routinely promote our top sales associates into management. We promoted them because they demonstrated the ability to sell cars at a high level.
Selling cars at a high level as an individual is a totally different skill set than coaching a team to perform at a high level. The two skills are actually quite opposite.
Typically two failures are about to take place:
1) We fail them because we haven’t developed them. Typically they receive little if any coaching or leadership training. We offer no development, strategy, or any process to identify potential coaching candidates.
2) They are virtually assured of failing us due to their lack of preparedness combined with our lack of commitment to developing them as a leader of people.
-Rather than invest in developing our people we simply hope-
After the promotion we hope. We hope the other managers will show them the ropes of sales management, deal structure, appraising etc. We hope this new promotion is the one who will grow our business.
We hope he or she doesn’t get immersed in emails, frazzled by phone calls, dazed by data, pulverized by pressure, or even worse entitled by a new title. We hope the lack of leadership skills won’t breed stress, poor attitude, excuses, blaming, and ineffectiveness.
History has taught us an onslaught of these plagues will soon stymie our new manager. Our hope soon resembles a man drinking from a fire hydrant.
The excuse for such a flawed business practice is, “It’s the way we’ve always done it.”
Lacking vision to invest in growing our people is much more expensive than investing in growing them. Not merely monetarily, but consider our time, and energy investments as well.
What is the cost of high turn over, inconsistency, lack of inspiration, stress, lack of leadership, under achievers, and bad attitudes?
Confident, inspired, well-trained associates produce better results than beat down, stressed, over whelmed associates. Seems like common sense, but as Will Rogers said, “The problem with common sense is it isn’t so common.”
Do not fall into excuses. “There aren’t any good people out there” or “why develop them they are going to leave anyway.” This is a loser’s mantra to be avoided. Get started today developing your coaching tree!
*Magic Johnson seemed to have all the leadership and charisma in the world as an NCAA champion, 5 time NBA champion, gold medalist, and MVP. He won thirty one percent of his games as the Lakers coach.
*Michael Jordan, perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time, has struggled to even make the playoffs as an executive with Washington and Charlotte.
*Bart Star won 5 Championships (2 Super Bowls) as Green Bay’s QB, but as a coach he had a record of 52 wins and 76 losses. Bart was quoted saying “Coaching was the greatest mistake I made.”
The examples are many. Being productive at playing ball or selling cars does not translate to coaching others.
*Peyton Manning’s father is a former NFL Quarterback. His Brother is an NFL Quarterback. He is the all time touchdown passer in NFL history. He employs a quarterback coach.
*Tiger Woods has earned more money than any golfer who ever swung a club. Tiger employs a swing coach.
-The future is going to be here whether you are prepared for it or not-
Good economic times when sales are plentiful are when poor business habits are formed. During these good economic times the little things are thrown out the window. Our rationale is we are doing just fine without learning to improve the skill set of our people.
However, when times tighten up as they always do, many of us seem surprisingly unprepared. During tougher economic times we must depend on our people being better than the competition down the street. Survival won’t come down to our brand, or location, but our people being better than the competition. This is when some businesses are forced to sell to competitors and some are forced to close their doors.
Why wait for the wolf to get to the door, why not have the best team in good and bad economic times?
Coach’s 5-point strategy
1) We must identify, hire, and promote coaches in our organizations. Managers who are good at pointing out what’s wrong, criticizing, and blaming typically have limited coaching skills. It takes coaching to grow people, and when people grow, production grows exponentially.
2) Implement daily training focusing on developing leadership, teamwork, communication, and attitude. Eighty percent of our success is attitude right? Doesn’t it make sense to nurture it? By investing in developing your people via print, on line training, seminars, and daily in-house training you are securing your own future. Leadership is as much learned as it is taught so be sure you have coaches in management.
*Caution- No brow beating, negative or “how great I was when I sold” training meetings allowed, these are strategically planned, purposeful 20 minute DAILY sessions.
3) Team leader/liner-closer systems promote growth. Watching people grow as leaders is a beautiful thing. If you are not currently doing so implement a team leader/liner-closer system now. Results are positive as each deal is given more attention. Monitor for TLs for indicators of leadership ability. Some people have a God given gift for inspiring others and getting the best out of them, look for those people, as they are gold. The pay is minimal, a small salary and a 5 to 7.5% commission per deal (if your pay plan is 25% the sales associate gets 20% the TL 5% or if you pay 30% the split is 22.5% and 7.5%) The only true cost incurred is the small salary.
4) Avoid excuses such as “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” - “I can’t afford to invest in people who aren’t going to stay anyway.”-“We just don’t have time for training everyday” These excuses will run you out of business.
5) Be prepared to place the people with true coaching skills above all others. Remember coaching is defined as “a training or development process.”
If you find a good coach they improve and inspire the team to achieve their highest level of production. They lift the spirits and confidence level of the entire dealership. They make EVERYONE better. They are constantly developing people. Good pencil men/women, strong closers, and finance people are so much easier to find or replace than a good coach.
The choice is yours, get serious about developing your people or begin looking for a buyer while you still have value. Stop waiting for what you want and start working with what you have.
“The Automotive Coach”
Corporate Sales Manager
Fletcher Auto Group
this is a spectacular piece
Dead on the money right !!!!!!
Roger thank you for sharing with the dE team
Absolutely. Correct and well put
Good article, Roger.
Does the GM of a medium sized dealership often fill the role of coach?
Great subject. Everybody wants to agree and everybody wants to buy in to the idea but many are frozen by a deep fear. The deep fear that someone might be better than they are in their job. It takes a person of noble character to hire someone who might just be their own replacement.
Every dealer principal want to maximize the success of their organization but are reluctant to push themselves to be better by hiring and cultivating better managers. It goes against human nature to allow someone to have a better knowledge and more direct control of the business than the guy at the top.
Slowly but certainly things will change. Those who aim to survive will be replaced by those who aim to succeed. The list of those you must be better than is growing. The market is broader and more diverse than ever and much less tolerant of mediocrity.
Your lowly car salesman