I am currently an upper level manager in a top 20 new car franchise in the nation. I feel as though it would not only assist myself, but possibly others within the industry to see what and where other dealers stand in the nation with an on going informational blog.
My goal is to make this somewhat of a twenty group free for all, with the conversations open to all levels of professionals in this amazing career. That is correct, I am looking for the outlook of everybody within your stores to make their input known. The reasoning behind my thought is I personally believe as a management staff in stores these days we become disconnected from the front line men and women that we rely on as the face of our business. So many times we get disconnected to the issues that a salesperson, assistant manager, finance manager, and yes even those of our department heads may have. Trust me they don’t know everything you know, and it is your duty to teach them(unless you think you are going to run your department or store forever). The times of managing from a position of fear in this business are far gone. Let me rephrase that, the days of managing from a position of fear SHOULD be far gone. If you want to have a staff that has a real respect for you, you must teach them something. You can not dictate and demand respect you must earn it. Understand that your staff does not leave jobs, they leave managers. Sounds crazy I know. This business is ever changing and if there is not adaption and adoption you will be left behind.
We are coming into a generation that believes they are entitled to everything, and don’t need to work for anything. They really think they will come out of High School or college, be handed the keys to their brand new car, their brand new highrise condo, and magically they will have an income to withstand whatever they want to do. Obviously you can see the problem that this poses for our business, a business that is built on hard work a good personality, a bit of direction and a little bit of fortitude.... We are in one of the last businesses where you can literally start at the bottom and become an owner. These folks will soon be, or could already be working for you. This by no means is saying that your chances of success are lost, it just means you have to wrap your arms around your staff and grow them into what you are looking for. Ongoing training is key.
I recently attended the General Motors eSummit 4.0 and as always received a lot of great information. There were some comments made about Internet business that are extremely thought provoking. Think on this for a moment... We as an industry have still not fully embraced the Internet to its extent, and we are missing the boat. We are setting up Internet departments to field incoming leads and treating our lot traffic as though it is just that...lot traffic. The national average of shoppers that are walking in your doors that has done their research online but never submitted a lead is north of 70%. This is staggering. What we are really saying if we have a secluded Internet department and an enormous retail department is that the majority is assisting the minority, and the minority is assisting the majority (kind of the old school 80, 20 mentality)
Please give me some input of what thoughts this may provoke for yourself. So many times we look around our showrooms with thoughts of success for our normal mediums of advertisement. Understand that the majority of your business is coming from the Internet and yet we whine about the cost. What did it cost you to place that ad in the newspaper full of lost leaders for one day?
As an industry we must get out of the 20th century, and realize we are coming into generations that won't know that you use to have to look in something made of paper to see what was going on around you....astonishing really.
“The day that you realize that you might not be the best at what you do, is the day you might become the best at what you do” - Sean McKinnon