Like any well-run organization, success in the dealership environment is interdependent on how clear the processes are and how efficient the associates perform within that system. There's an old business axiom that states “it’s either a process problem or a people problem". Each department is linked together through a myriad of different customer touch points. As you know, one failure in that touch point creates a potential loss to the business.

It’s no secret that your management team has to coach and counsel your associates to perform at their highest level. Creating consistency from your associates’requires consistent management and coaching. Counseling performance is the analytical process where the management team has a formal review of prior production requirements, and the dealerships standards.

Having the proper documentation is essential when reviewing the performance with an associate. Managers must provide specific actionable items in an effort to correct the job deficiency. The goal is to alter the behavior to accomplish a common goal. A proper analysis of the associates’ job production should be compared to prior production, job requirements, expectations and the associates’ potential.

Clear communication is essential and the counseling session should never be performed out of anger or frustration. The associate should always feel the counseling stage is a performance improvement step and the walk-away for the associate is to understand the performance is a job requirement.

The associate counseling session is essential for these specific reasons; (a) the manager clearly communicates any job deficiency and any performance standards, (b) it reinforces the teamwork philosophy, (c) it ensures the associate that we are interested in their success and (d) to correct unproductive inefficient behavior.

Here are is an outline for management counseling session:

· Choose a pre-planned meeting date with the associate in a one-on-one setting that will allow for uninterrupted conversation. Outline your discussion and keep the points simple and direct.

· Have the metrics at hand and measure the performance against production standards (generally a rolling 30-day timeline). Reinforce the behavior that is needed to improve production. If appropriate, review the previous coaching session and reiterate the specific actionable items and the performance requirements.

· Outline the specific dealership requirements for; up count, presentations, demonstration drives, follow-up, contact information, prospecting, dealership tours, appraisals, write-ups, and closes. Use a spreadsheet to track the performance standards, daily, weekly and monthly. Require the associate to input performance daily and the management team to review the performance each day.

· Provide the associate with specific tasks they must perform in an effort to improve the production. Set up a timeline that the specific tasks are to be completed by.

Remember, the key to managing performance is consistency. The most successful managers measure all of their key performance indicators and monitor the actions producing the result – good or bad.

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