Understandably, the number one focus of any business, not just dealerships, is accelerating revenue. That usually involves investment in technology, inventory, and marketing. But if you’re relying on your people to use these tools, it’s just as essential to make sure they’ve got the right attitude to be successful.
As industry professionals, customer experience is always top of mind. But as we prepare for a new year with new unknowns, it’s also essential to take a fresh look at your employee experience. Here’s how you can start from the inside out in the new year.
Find Positive People
An indifferent, aggressive, or negative attitude can ruin a sale. Your team’s outlook alone can produce results that impact your bottom line. Why?
A “glass half empty” type focuses on all the reasons something couldn’t or didn’t happen. There’s an excuse for everything: The customer’s expectations were too high. There just aren’t any good prospects. I can’t sell at these prices.
They’re waiting for the ideal sale to come in the door, and that might take a while.
However, suppose your team sees the glass half full. They’ll recognize that there are options when they face challenges, from asking better questions to learn more about customers to increasing prospecting efforts. Every customer is a fresh start.
Remember, you can teach skills, but you can’t teach attitude or motivation. It’s critical to look for soft skills like optimism during the hiring process and work to maintain that positivity amongst your staff, no matter how veteran they are.
Find the Why
One of the biggest hurdles I help dealers overcome is finance managers who are burnt out. Hours grow, they’re exhausted, and it’s because they don’t have a purpose or feel good about what they’re doing.
Look at turnover in the industry. On average, people in this role only last a year or two before moving on. Managers often hire to fill an immediate need—and sometimes candidates take a job for the same reason. It’s imperative to be more than today’s paycheck if you want a fully invested team. High turnover rates may not be for the reasons you think. It could simply mean the job wasn’t helping employees reach their goals, and there was another option that could get them a little bit closer.
But you can’t help connect the job to their goals if you don’t know what they are.
Here’s an exercise I go through at the end of trainings. I ask each student, whether they’re experienced finance managers or brand-new sales associates, to tell me what they’d do if they earned an extra $500 a month. When you go around the room, it becomes clear that the work is for more than just a paycheck. It’s to send children to college, retire early to volunteer, invest in a family member’s small business, plan for a baby, or buy a first home. More often than not, there are tears. Suddenly, everyone in the room understands what they’re all working for and how they can help each other achieve their goals. What can you do to get them a little bit closer?
In my experience, nothing compares to stores where managers are motivators and personal development coaches. They are more successful, hands-down.
What does this look like on paper? No matter how motivated your team is, they can’t succeed in this new environment of digital retailing and economic uncertainty without the right tools. Do you invest in your employees with training and development opportunities? What kind of growth does your dealership offer? Does your compensation plan let you compete in a job seeker’s market if your top performers start looking elsewhere?
If you’re continually developing your team, you can see their confidence grow. That positivity shows when they’re with customers and coworkers. A positive mindset is a powerful thing in this business. Make it a priority in 2022.