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On December 31st, noted marketing consultant Dan Kennedy published an article titled “Change is a Matter of Choice.” He began his message by stating that now is the time when millions of people make utterly empty New Year’s resolutions. He went on to say, “the truth is, most are empty of resolve all year long,” and although I hate saying it, this phenomenon is far more prevalent than it should be within our great community of retail automobile dealers.

Way too many dealers carry the same unresolved problems over year after year. And if you are one of them, it’s important that you look in the mirror and recognize that it’s your choice to change!

Kennedy follows up by admitting that he “always starts the year with a short list of nagging, misery-making problems he intends to erase during the year. It’s his hit list, like an assassin’s kill list. He is rarely 100% successful at scratching items off the list. But he has 80%, even 90% years, and he is more successful at it than he would be without the list! Cumulatively, the list is shorter now than in years past.”

When I perform a needs analysis with my clients and prospective clients, I frequently learn that employee compensation change is one of the items on the dealer’s hit list…but usually, I also learn that this item has been recurring on his hit list every year for the past several years! It’s not because compensation change doesn’t make sense, and it’s not due to lack of importance. And it shouldn’t be a factor of waiting for the right timing…the timing will never be right! Based on the way our industry has transitioned in the last decade, the need to move away from traditional compensation plans is a given!

So why doesn’t this hit list item get resolved? I think there are two reasons. The first is a “knowing” issue…most dealership organizations don’t have internal resources with experience in analyzing, developing, testing, documenting, communicating, implementing, monitoring, and enhancing (or adjusting) compensation plans that best meet the needs of both the dealership and the employee. The second reason is a “doing” issue…and in most cases the “lack of doing” is related to fear. Many dealers are just plain scared to make a change in their method of compensating employees! But fear is natural! Change is scary! Particularly when we are dealing with the employees’ pay checks!

If you are one of those dealers who is wondering how to deal with the uncomfortable prospect of implementing needed changes in sales, management, and/or administrative compensation, Garry House & Associates Co. will very capably assist you with this challenge. Although our industry abounds with qualified management consultants, I am one of the very few trusted subject matter experts who specialize in compensation analysis, planning, and application. The complete client list of dealerships and dealer groups with whom I have worked in this very specialized consulting area demonstrates my experience and is available for review at I expect and welcome your due diligence.

I wish you a Happy, Healthy, and Successful 2015.

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