The hardest thing to do is getting your TEAM geared up for the end of the month when they are having a bad month. You have to teach them "Short Memory" on the bad things. Learn from them then forget them. What's past is past. You may be the best manager but even you, with all your wisdom and experience, can't change what happened, and you must train your salespeople to do the same thing. Finishing strong is what we always plan to do, but sometimes you have o reset the frame of mind. Sit them down and let them know they will be fine and that the management team has their best interest at heart and will do everything to help them through it because, it is in their best interest. When the "TEAM" knows you have their backs, they will step up and go the extra mile almost every time. Once you have them focused, you can expect miracles from these members of your team. If your team is winning then all that other crap just goes away. Strive to stay positive and you can make the situation better for everyone. If you harp on the negative, then you will get negative.

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Comment by Matt Hayward on July 23, 2012 at 11:25am

This plays into the advertising side of things as well. Maintaining a consistent ad budget over time, despite peaks and valleys, is always preferable to being reactionary. Being consistent not only keeps your message in front of potential buyers, but also conveys two very important things to your sales team: 1.) That there's no need to panic when there's a bad few weeks, and 2.) That management has the team's backs, and is willing to invest in their success.

Also, I completely agree with Larry Barditch's point about starting out months strong. Oftentimes dealers will build their ad schedules around manufacturer programs, often for co-op reimbursement reasons. Because programs don't usually come out until midway thru the first week of the month, even if you have a strong ad agency that can turn ads around quickly, you're still losing out on at least the first week. Many of the dealers I work with have found that having a used car sale in that first week of the month really helps to get the month off to a fast start, and then we can jump in for the 2nd week onward with the new-car ads that will receive co-op funds.

Matt Hayward

CBC Advertising


Comment by Larry Barditch on July 23, 2012 at 10:43am

One thing I've done in the past is highly incentivize salespeople to START strong.  I have found this takes some of the pressure off the monthly annoying FINISH STRONG speeches.  We, as an industry, have created the perception in consumer's minds that the last day of the month is always the BEST day to buy a car.  If your sales team can reach their goals by the 25th, the last few days should be "gravy."

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