Bro, Switch Off the Microphone

We’ve all seen them; we all know the faces and most of us know the names…. Each industry has them too. They’re the people that just love to hear themselves talk and they actually justify it by saying they’re giving back or they’re helping. I didn’t realize so many worked for charities! Each time I see or hear someone NOT working but professing their “knowledge” it makes me wonder if Coke and Pepsi share trade secrets? Or what about Tesla and Rivian? Last but not least, did Bill Gates and Steve Jobs tell each other and the masses their respective trade secrets? Uh, that’s a resounding NO! Okay, one last one, has Google published their algorithm? To “help” everyone? That too is a negative ghost rider!

Are those “managers” just as bad as the “influencers” who’ve recently come under fire for their over exaggerated content? Content that, well, doesn’t have any content? Since when did a manager’s office become a closed door, chest-pounding, social media photo shooting, exaggerated content box? There’s nothing wrong with sharing ideas or offering how your dealership is successful but that’s what 20 Groups are for. The key in this is that it’s about the dealership, not you. When you see managers on these “bro” podcasts, hyping themselves up harder than an influencer in a vacation photo you have to ask yourself – what is this really about? How (and why) did it get this way?

Take one look on LinkedIn and you will find post after post that makes you cringe. And you cringe because most of those commenting or “engaging” with the content are other managers offering unearned praise and furthering the issue. You can only pat yourself on the back so many times before you realize what a putz you’re being, then again, maybe not. Not to mention, most of these “bro chats” are done during regular work hours. Running a podcast after hours is one thing, but to do so during the day – while you should be running the dealership – is not practicing what you preach.

And no, this isn’t about being bitter. Again, sharing ideas and quality content – on your own time – is commendable. Just the same as being educated by your peers in a 20 Group. Recently I had a conversation with a colleague on the role of the GM. Asking how it has evolved to meet the demands of the dealership in an ever-changing landscape. Digging into whether or not the average “influencer” is equipped to tackle the many challenges they face today: inventory shortages, fixed-ops’ absorption, costs, and dwindling front-end profits that were already in the red on new inventory. Then there’re social, google and personnel. Ugh…. Yet when you listen to these podcasts or read their LinkedIn posts none of the above is discussed (unless they’re plugging the new vendor that did a freebee for their advertising). It’s literally a “bro-five” saying “yeah, we have the best processes, we are top performers!” Or, my personal favorite, “Here are all the obstacles I overcame in my life to become “this” successful….” Uh, okay “bro,” you weren’t married to Ike Turner, so I don’t want to hear it. The “get out of jail free card” is “I’m doing it to motivate you” which is bs. Always let someone else handle your press. Rule number 1.

What do you think you’re best at? What did you think of your performance? Is what you’re doing viable for the long-term? So, while there’s never a shortage of content. There is, however, a shortage of quality content that encapsulates core strategies to address these issues. Instead of these guys spending their days locked in an office giving advice, it’s time they start to practice that which they preach and follow some of their own advice. As a department head you are managing your people, your customers and your departmental goals. Your dealership’s profitability will be determined by the targets you achieve but first you must identify, set, and train for them. Save the car posts, bro bs, and podcasts for the “influencers.” Come on, how often is it that you listen to one of those podcasts, or read a linked-in post and actually follow their advice? You don’t. And you don’t because there isn’t any advice. That’s the point.

Better yet, if after you’ve created goals and your teams are a fully trained – well-oiled machine – and performing, you tag that manager and employee and give credit where credit is due. The better your dealership performs, and the stronger results your managers and employees have the more “influence” you will have in your space. Influence isn’t gained by superficial, nonsensical banter. Less is more in this case.

Oh, and for anyone that doesn’t know, allow me to enlighten: A hot brand, a great location and a low rent factor isn’t the guy babbling, it’s his owner who’s either busy playing Monopoly with real buildings or on his yacht somewhere because he’s the real-real deal.

The reality is every store is unique and every situation different. Without truly and deeply understanding each situation and listening to honest details (not propaganda), you’re at risk of “putting diesel in your gas engine,” if you were to take action, which most do not. It’s remarkable how nobody ever posts their manufacturer audited financials showing a before and after, isn’t it? And by before and after I mean longevity, a statistically relevant showing, not just a seasonal ebb and flow.

Bro, switch off the microphone…

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