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You know this story: The new GM comes in, sweeps out the current management, and replaces them all with "his" or "her" guys and gals.

Maybe this is smart, but it doesn't seem so. ESPECIALLY with eComm Directors and Internet Directors who are juggling websites, reviews, reputation, lead sources, training, marketing, and CRM, all while very often leading a sales team AND desking deals.

Revolution is a natural affair of human organizations, and--though dangerous and painful--revolution is very different from a radical takeover and replacement of the government by the military in the RESULT. History shows that a coup is hardly ever an improvement.

And just this week a good friend of mine, really an excellent eComm and Internet leader, was swept out. I'm sick of "that's the way it is". Really?

Thank God nothing ever changes in this business. Like the Internet. Do we REALLY have to live with regime changes that decapitate every key department?

I don't think so. That dealership will be a long time recovering from this particular loss. Right about the time the Google Reviews fade, the Internet stops producing, the pay-per-click goes south, and the sales drop off . . . it will be time, sadly, for another GM. And another house cleaning.

House SMASHING, more like it. And we need to stop doing it.

Keith Shetterly
VP of Research, CAR Research

Views: 391

Comments are closed for this blog post

Comment by Keith Shetterly on March 11, 2014 at 7:22am

Thanks Joe!

Comment by Joe Webb on March 11, 2014 at 6:14am

Couldn't agree more, Keith.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on March 10, 2014 at 10:26am

Thanks Toby! The Internet is where sales and marketing/advertising combine in ways never before seen or experienced. Some GMs with years of experience in the business don't understand that, much less so much else. When eComm Director/Internet Director are in the path of GM ascension, that will change. Unfortunately, the dinosaurs need a true extinction event to hurry this along . . . 

Comment by Toby Fortenberry on March 10, 2014 at 10:22am

Keith, so so true my friend. Especially with the Internet. Online efforts take so long to gain momentum that often times new strategies aren't given the time they need to produce the fruits they're capable of producing. Also, I think we too often attempt to measure online efforts' productivity incorrectly. We're constantly using the wrong "rulers", incorrectly in an effort to measure the wrong indicators. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked, "Does Facebook (insert your own example) really sell more cars?", I would be on a beach right now :-) 

Comment by Keith Shetterly on March 10, 2014 at 9:22am

Thanks AJ. I'm ready for a broader revolution against this type of thinking. I know an owner who is 32 years old, worth about $80million.  Young guy, you'd think he would get it. Nope. He's had so many GMs through his store he's had to replace the hinges on the front door about fifteen times. Ugh! It's the OWNERS who need the revolution. It starts with them. I love a progressive owner! I just want more of them.

Comment by Aj Maida on March 10, 2014 at 8:57am

So spot on Keith. Some of it is also they bring in a new manager and of course adjust the pay plan downward. Tell them part of the job is to reduce cost. So they reduce cost with something they don't understand, Digital Marketing. What they fail to understand is that as long as we continue to run dealerships from an accounts payable mentality there will never be enough accounts receivables!!! That is just cutting of the nose so to speak? After all which one do they get paid on?

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