Professional Community for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketers and Sales Managers
Why? Although there can be many reasons for dealerships that struggle, after two decades of consulting, coaching and training dealerships, I found consistent themes for the struggles. Let’s start with common theme No. 1: the wrong people.
There are four elements to any dealership. I call these the 4Ps:
Without the right people, it is impossible to make the other P’s work. Struggling dealerships hire the wrong people, keep the wrong people and allow the wrong people to damage their business.
First of all, you must determine who you are looking for and what you want in a candidate.
You must take the time and write down the qualities of what I refer to as your “ideal candidate.” If you do not take the time to identify what it is you are looking for, how would you know if you found this person? When you do not specifically identify the traits, characteristics and talents you are looking for, you are looking to make personnel judgments based solely upon emotion. Your decisions seem to be irrational, with no well-thought-out theme for selection.
As an example, look at NFL teams and the amount of effort they put into the draft.
Hours upon hours are put into research, tests, measurements and interviews of potential draftees. A plan is formulated as to what type of player they are looking for, and what role those players would fill. Fielding a team at a dealership is really the same thing. Nobody ever knows if you will make the best selection — or even the right selection — but with a well thought- out and executed plan, you tend to get much better results.
Dealerships that struggle often have less-than desirable team members, and often that is true of their leader.
I have never seen a dealer principal who has a struggling dealership with a plan for assembling a team. There is no strategy or action plan with the end result in mind. Struggling dealerships continue to spin their wheels and eventually gain a reputation as a bad place to work with bad people (“birds of a feather flock together”). The struggling dealership perpetuates the struggle, and a victim mentality begins to set in about how it is impossible to get good people these days.
After you identify what your ideal candidate would look like for each position, you must put together an action plan to attract these people.
If you are still only running newspaper ads for positions, you are woefully behind the times and, more often than not, attracting lower-end people.
You must utilize as many resources as possible, such as Career Builder, Monster, your Website, LinkedIn, all of your social media sites, industry social forums, referral programs, job fairs, college and technical school recruiting, online and offline newsletters, other industry forums, recruiting military, other industries and businesses you frequent.
Successful recruiting is a well-thought-out and ongoing, never-ending process. Your goal is to reach the level of recruiting from the position of want, instead of need.
Let’s cover some additional recruiting and hiring tips.
When you conduct an interview with a potential candidate, have a long list of interview questions handy that you use faithfully. Would you want a salesperson to address a customer without knowing a long list of well-thought-out profiling questions? So, why do you interview candidates without well-thought-out questions? “Do you like cars” is not one of those questions? Come on.
Do you use predictive indicators, personality profiles and other qualification tools?
These tools may not be 100 percent accurate, but these assessment tools certainly help to weed out bad candidates. You must begin to add logic to the emotion of interviewing and selecting.
Do you conduct more than one interview with more than one manager?
This process is not only about differing opinions; it is about a process that would be expected for a top position. You must have good candidates go through a thorough process because that is what would be expected for a professional position. The key word is “professional.” You must begin to think and act in terms that will create a different belief system. Your belief system must change the environment and culture of your dealership to one of success and winning. Success and winning always starts when the leadership changes the belief system by raising the bar for expectations and lowering the bar for what you will tolerate. You get what you expect and/or tolerate.
Struggling dealerships expect lesser quality and tolerate lesser quality work, behavior and results.
Championship teams start with champion leaders and team members. Begin to turn your struggling dealership around today with a champion attitude, belief system, strategy and execution for recruiting and hiring champions.
For my two free reports — “Hiring Champions” and “Top Interviewing Questions” — e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Hiring Champions.”
307 E. Silver St.
Lebanon, OH 45036