It's one thing to be great on the phone, have efficient systems in place, or even flaunt a sleek, modern website. But, oh boy, it seems like we're a bunch of klutzes trying to fit a square peg in a round h*** with those tasks. Now, ever wonder why we trip over these hurdles? Maybe we're spewing the worn-out "time is a luxury we can't afford" excuse, or even the grand old "we've sold cars since the dinosaurs roamed, and we're doing peachy." Peachy? Really? Is being stuck in the mundane rut of "peachy" enough when it doesn't hack it anymore? My personal favorite is the guy that’s “so busy” he doesn’t have time to actually manage and just spins…
It feels like we have a crystal-clear view of the monster that is our challenge, but we're too frozen to fight back until it lands a sucker punch. Even when we're swaying from those punches, we lash out impulsively rather than addressing the root cause. That being, the absolute need for our Sales Consultants and BD Agents to be trained in an ongoing manner, our systems to be as smooth as a Ninja, and our website to be a welcoming front door for our clients. But, there's a tricky buzzword, "experience," that often sends us down a twisted rabbit h***, a loop that's been our record on repeat for over two decades. The endless saga of auto industry discussions about change, only to half-heartedly implement and forget about.
Newsflash: roping in a trainer for a day of jargon-loaded sessions doesn't count as training, sorry to burst your bubble. Just as a sudden, impromptu brainstorming session with your GSM isn't a genius move. Ever pondered whether pulling a GSM from the thick of his workday is a brilliant strategy? Blindsiding them with a half-baked problem, expecting them to spew out immediate solutions, which turn out to be just that - rushed verbal diarrhea. What happens to team morale when they go back and regurgitate the same nonsense about their performance? Worse still, let's assume you revisit the GSM a couple of days later for updates, and they give you a blank, deer-caught-in-headlights stare. Sound familiar? Well, you might then turn to a random sales consultant or BD agent for a quick "quiz," only to get the same shocked stare in return. Add to this the GM breathing down their necks while they're on a call, and you've got a perfect recipe for a disaster (and turnover).
So, what does this paint? An unpretty picture, that's what. And no, this isn't about playing pinata with the GM. It's a wake-up call to a rampant issue. Everyone wants to level up, but to do that, you need ammunition - clear goals, training, and seamless processes. Without these, we're basically trapped in a chaotic battlefield, drowning in uncertainty. Nobody wants to be the joke of the lot, but it's a foregone conclusion when a nincompoop is running the show. It's high time we ditch the dunce cap and zero in on what can bring about real and sustainable change at the dealership level. Give your GSM a minute of your time, let them rally the troops to ensure the website is all shiny and new, guarantee there's a refresher on procedures, and crucially, set up a system for continuous training. Stop being the hare and start being the tortoise; because when $h!t hits the fan - and it will - chance favors the prepared.
Investing a little time in your managers can reap the results we want, not just in trust, but in fostering a positive, proactive atmosphere in your dealership. It's common to view training or change as "rocking the boat," in the sense that “if it ain't broke, don't fix it.” But, have we hit rock bottom to the point where we've forgotten how to patch things up? Maybe, but the silver lining is there's no shame in wanting to "repair" the root of the problem. Confronting the issues that can potentially derail us as we adapt to the evolving new normal. If you're genuinely keen on solving the problem at its source, take a breather and complete a free Phone and Web Mystery Shop and let’s see what’s truly what...