Any dealership can sell more vehicles for more money right now. It’s a fact, not an opinion. The only thing keeping you from doing so is you. It’s your dealership and it’s your choice. You choose to win and you choose to lose, but make no mistake about it; it’s always up to you.
Step 1: Decide — The root of the word “decide” means “to cut off.” You must cut off any possibility of anything else. You must decide that you can and will sell more for more money. The first step of getting anything is deciding to have and experience it.
Step 2: Stop Making Excuses — Part of deciding what you want is to decide what you don’t want and stop making excuses as to why you must stay in that condition. It’s a “condition,” and conditions are not permanent unless you allow them to be. You create your own prison, and are incarcerated by your excuses of why you cannot sell and make more.
Step 3: Focus On the Right Things — When you decide what you want and stop making excuses, you must then clearly focus, speak, feel and act on only that. Eliminate anything that allows any energy towards what you do not want. Stop whining, stop complaining and stop being a victim. You are not a victim. You just happen to be at the scene of each wreck you are involved in. You can only get a better reality by focusing only on where you want to be.
Step 4: Get Clear With Your Expectations For Yourself and Others — Get extremely clear and concise about what you want for you. No matter what you have been conditioned to think your whole life, it is OK to be very clear about what you want. You must always be clear about what you want from others and what your overall goals are. If you are not crystal clear, you are playing what I have heard referred to as “blind archery.” Next, clearly communicate your expectations to your team every day. If you communicate this message every “once in a while,” you will experience success every “once in a while.”
Step 5: Get Clear About Tolerations — Your team must know what is not expected or tolerable. Set your tolerations, and be firm in your tolerations. You are getting exactly what you have tolerated. This is true of yourself and others. If you wanted to lose weight but you ate sweets all day and never exercised, would you tolerate that as a weight loss program? So, why do you tolerate lazy and bad behavior from your team? Hold yourself and others accountable.
Step 6: Stop Believing You Are Always the Smartest Person In the Room — If you are always the smartest person in the room, you aren’t in the right rooms. Seek out, communicate with, listen to and get advice from brilliant people. To be your best, you must get around people who are better. Put your ego in a box and start embracing that you will always have a “teachable spirit.”
Step 7: Understand That Being a Great Entrepreneur Does Not Make You A Great Business Person — It is common that dealers who have started and created their businesses with great entrepreneurial skills and spirit can be less-than-desirable business leaders. The skill sets are very different. What got you to where you are is rarely what will get you where you want to be. Get brutally honest about your talents and skills.
Step 8: Start Thinking Long Term — Dealerships are often run by impatient people. Start thinking long term in all your actions. Dealers often fall into the “this month” thinking habit. Short-term thinking will keep you chained to up-and-down results and acting in the mode of emergency and need. You never get what you want by focusing forever on what you need.
Step 9: Stop Blaming Everyone Else For Your Mistakes — If you turn over managers like you change underwear, then you need to realize it’s all about you. Either you are horrible at recruiting and should either educate yourself or let someone else do it, or you must realize that you really don’t like your own shortcomings and you are taking it out on someone else.
Step 10: Accept That Most Likely You Do Not Truly Understand Marketing, and Your Ad Agency Probably Does Not Either — Being a dealer and having years of experience advertising does not make you a marketing expert. Nor does being a media production house and buying media time make your advertising agency marketing experts. If you have not engrossed yourself into massively learning advertising and marketing, you cannot be knowledgeable about what is the lifeblood of your business. Even if you have the best advertising company in the world, you need to start a massive self-education program about marketing.
Step 11: Start Educating Your People Properly and Often — If you have the right team members, they not only want education, they deserve it. Education creates a culture of success, happiness and winning. Get rid of anyone who does not want to get better through education.
Step 12: Process, Process, Process — Create a process for everything. Continually train and reinforce your processes. You will encourage peak performance with strong processes.
Step 13: It Boils Down To Culture, Environment and Leadership in the 4 P’s — You are the leader. You set the culture, create the environment and you are in charge of the 4P’s: People, Process, Product and Positioning. What are doing to get better at each one of these every day?
If you would like specifics on how a dealership increased sales by 20 percent and gross profit by more than $1,300 a vehicle in one month, e-mail me with “Case Study” in the subject line.