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When you strip away your bricks and mortar, Website, CRM systems, inventory and everything else, what really matters? It’s your people. The bottom line is, people make a business successful or unsuccessful.


If you are a dealer or a leader of a dealership, what are you doing to recruit, hire, train, motivate, educate and retain good and even great people? If you truly want to see what is most important to you, then all you have to do is review where you spent your time last week, last month and last year.


No matter what lip service many of you will give to how much you want good people, you will notice that you spent most of your time on everything but your people. You may have worked on upgrading your facilities, buying inventory, talking endlessly with advertising and marketing companies about the next great magic bullet to drive people in the door but, at the end of the day, how much time did you spend directly with and for your people?


Jack Welch, the retired CEO of General Electric and widely regarded as one of the better business leaders in the last hundred years, has said often in interviews that some of the most productive time he spent as a CEO was in training and educating his managers and people.


Do you have written, quantified, actualized and reviewed plans for recruiting, hiring, training and retaining your people? Most dealers do not have any formalized plan for the above items and never will. Those dealers/managers will bitch, moan and groan all day about the problem of getting or keeping “good people” but are doing little to nothing about changing it.


Here is the reality: If you have people you don’t want, doing things you don’t want, getting results you don’t want, ask yourself who hired them or developed them. Either you hired the wrong people, or you did not do a good job in developing them. Stop playing the blame game and take personal responsibility for the state of your business and the challenges you face with your people.


Your challenges have nothing to do with the economy, location, brand or the nature of generation X,Y, Z or any other alphabet description we give to a generation. Your results all boil down to how good a job you do or don’t do in recruiting, hiring, training, educating, motivating and retaining good people.


Here is a quick checklist:

• I have a written, actualized and reviewed plan to recruit people to my business using multiple sources everyday in an ongoing fashion so I am recruiting from a position of want not need. Needy people rarely get what they want.

• I have a written, actualized and reviewed plan for interviewing potential employees that involves set interview questions, the amount of interviews and who is to do those interviews.

• I have a written, actualized and reviewed plan that includes an “Ideal Employee Profile” for all positions to quantify exactly what I want in an employee before I begin recruiting.

• I have all the tools necessary to add some science to the art of hiring using different test, predictive indicators, etc.

• I have a plan to educate and train my employees everyday or every week and not just when the factory tells me to train them on product.

• I am monitoring and know in detail my turnover situation including total numbers, percentages and why by providing exit interviews and management discussions about how we might have failed in recruiting or training this person.

• I am providing consistent coaching sessions with my employees in assisting them to grow and learn while avoiding potential pitfalls.


To change anything, you must first take stock of where you are and where you want to be. Where you are today is because of decisions you made in the past and where you will be in the future will be based upon the decisions you make today. The most important decisions you make today will be people-based decisions.


For my free special report “Ten Tips for Recruiting Salespeople Successfully” e-mail me at with the word “Recruiting” in the subject line.

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