There’s nothing sweeter than looking at a hot P&L statement. Sitting back in the chair throwing air hoops for a job well done. Or maybe you’re browsing online for another Rolex to add to your collection. All of this is well and good. In fact, it’s fantastic. What’s not so fantastic are the problems dealers will face in the coming months. It’s a telltale sign when vendors come in hot with their latest tech products to assist your dealership. Offering much of the same products they have been for the last three years. Touting that without their products, your dealership will not be as successful.
Sure, having the right tools in place is necessary, but before we can even get into whether or not the tools vendors offer will solve your store’s problems, we first have to talk about what those problems are openly and honestly. It’s no secret that the average dealer’s statements are starting to reflect a different picture and one that should make you stop and pause before pulling the trigger on that new Rolex.
In that brief moment of pause, let’s not get sucked into the whirlwind frenzy of cutting this to save that. Instead, let’s dig into the core of the issue (which really is an opportunity). Before any cuts are made in the budgets, it’s best to ensure that you have the right people around you. What good is it to cut products and services or cut all of your ad spend (my personal favorite) without ensuring your teams are in good standing?
And no, this isn’t a flash meeting where you randomly pull your GSM or BD Manager into your office on a whim and tell them to figure it out. After all, causing a frenzy amongst your teams isn’t going to solve anything. You might feel good in the moment, telling someone to fix it, but what are they fixing exactly?
Instead, the goal should be to look into their performance as managers. When was the last time you sat down and reviewed your CRM metrics? When things are hot, it’s easy to forgo reviewing the results, also known as tunnel vision. It’s always important to look and see if the calls are getting answered, how many appointments your teams are setting, and whether or not those appointments are getting sold. More importantly, are your teams working with unsold leads and following up with unsold customers? Chances are some customers have slipped through the cracks. Something that’s easy to happen when leads are bountiful, and customers have been held in a FOMO situation. Though let’s make no mistake, with customers starting to have more options – with dealers even beginning to run TV commercials touting their inventory selections – it’s going to get a little more challenging in the coming days/weeks/months.
That said, once you have your goals or benchmarks in place, then it’s time to have a conversation with your GSM and BD Managers. Where you can have a conversation about the goals versus beating them over the head with what is or isn’t happening. If the goals are not being met, then the conversation becomes about how to address the core issues. Chances are the core issues stem from the Sales Consultants and BD Agents not following a solid process. Everything from answering inbound calls and emails correctly to not following up with unsold customers. The best part about all of this is that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Yet we make it out to be some revolutionary change in the industry when we have to get back to the core of running a retail sales business. But it’s just that, the core, that which should never have changed to begin with. Do we ever sit back and wonder why we make it so hard on ourselves?
But I digress. Now that you’ve gotten a handle on what is or isn’t happening, it’s time to evaluate the tools and resources you’re paying for. If the tools and resources are not going to be managed (notice I didn’t say used!), then no, it doesn’t make much sense to keep them around. But if they are beneficial to your sales process or can assist your managers in managing the sales process, then yes, you should keep them.
Lastly, while training is often excluded from budgets or the first thing to be cut, it’s the single most important thing for Dealers to focus on in an ongoing manner. The dealers who continued to train their teams throughout the last three years are far ahead of the game. A game that can make or break your store in the coming months. Besides, who wants to be left in the dust eating stale cake leftover from the customer lounge versus selling vehicles in a challenging climate?
So, before you throw another air hoop, click “buy now” on the next Rolex, or monogram that new fancy pen, let’s focus on what really matters – our teams. They’re only going to be as good as we train them to be.
Please take a minute and smash a slam dunk with a FREE Stealth Test to understand where your sales consultants currently stand, and let’s discuss where you want them to be.
As the Vice President of Phone Ninjas, Chris delivers leadership, coaching, and mentorship to 55 team members providing software sales and phone skills coaching. He fosters powerful partnerships and collaborations with leaders across various business sectors, establishing expectations, communicating vision, and escalating performance to maximize productivity and effectiveness.