2019 has drawn to its close my friends. It is usual for this time of year to be a time of reflection and planning. Did we measure up to last year’s goals and where are we heading to this coming year? This is very important in EVERY business, so I encourage you to get away from the dealership, turn off the phone (voicemail is wonderful) and invest an hour in this process.
First and foremost; please come into this meeting with yourself armed with 2 very crucial things – PATIENCE & VISION.
Patience for yourself and your employees; Business can be start-n-stop as we grow to new levels, each with its own set of challenges to master. After all uncharted waters can be both perilous and prosperous.
Vision for your company and its potential.
At this point, it is good to remember that only 2 things stand between unimaginable success and you. The first is LIMITED knowledge. The second is LIMITING beliefs (yours AND your employees). Who do you let in on the vision you have for your growth? If you only have employees — there is no reason to share your vision with them. If you create a family, a team — then it would be best that all share and contribute to your vision.
Connection is the key, employees stay disconnected; whereas team members are tightly interconnected. Tight interconnection promotes COMMUNICATION, which as most of you know, is the cornerstone of any successful business (or given situation for that matter).
Nelson Mandela was once asked what made him such a good leader. His reply was a brief story about his father. When his father sat in council with others, he always made it a point to be the LAST to speak. That way, he had heard the concerns and opinions of the others and could NOW communicate with the input of all. A pretty wise man in my book. This is one I myself am continually working to be better at.
We tend to listen so that we can respond, not hear. A customer calls and starts to BBQ your backside over a minor issue with the vehicle (OK, minor to you)! Most of us within 2 minutes of the tirade tune out the rant ONCE we’ve heard the problem. We have our reply ready – the moment the customer takes a breath … our turn to talk, even if we cut them short!
After all – we have the solution, we don’t need to hear all the “drama” we perceive the customer is espousing. What if, just, what if… you really listened with fresh ears? Yes, we get complaints and put out fires what seems like 100 times a day. Most of it without thinking, ‘been there – done that’ kind of thing.
So, what if those fresh ears spent 5 minutes (that’s usually enough time to hear the whole story) and listened to this person’s fears?
That’s the real reason they called, fear. Is there something wrong with the vehicle they just got from you? After all, they are informed customers and have listened to, read, and researched all the material about how crooked car dealers are. Didn’t cha hear?… Car dealers buy that vehicle for $1000 and just “patch it up”… then sell it for $6000 to some poor unsuspecting, hard-working person. Unfortunately, there is a very small grain of truth to that. There are too many dealers out there that skimp on recon. They spend just enough to sell it.
What is all this rambling about goals, visions, ticked off customers, employees, team members, and connection???? Connecting to your employees, your clients – both groups’ needs/wants/desires will put you ahead of the game. Dealers are always coming up to me asking about sales/advertising/finance/inventory – Why do you suppose that is? I haven’t sold a car in 19 years and still know more about what clients want than most dealers do, by staying connected. I stay connected with the buying public. I stay connected with my clients (dealers) all over the state. I stay connected in my relationship with both the car industry and the government. Not a week goes by that I do not purposely engage someone at a gas station, convenience store, or out in public that has a fresh paper plate on the back of their vehicle (regardless of what state it is from).
Purposely INVESTING your time into these areas will make growing your business faster and much more profitable. When people know (or feel) that you have listened to them – even when you still disagree, things will be easier between you. They feel as if they have been heard. After all, we all want to be heard – even you!
I get asked daily for tips and tricks on how to grow. Connection is the best one in my arsenal of tips. It is always sharp and can penetrate even the most difficult of challenges when used. The goal of 2020 my friends, may be rather simple…Create as many “Fans” as you can. Starting now, begin connecting with your team, sharing the dream, and teaching them new skills to better connect with your clients. Most dealers have customers – yep sold them a car. Great dealers have fans – yep sold them a car, their cousin, a person from their work, and their postman came by too. You ONLY get fans by staying CONNECTED.
Go out to our website at www.carguysagency.com. I have recorded a series of podcasts designed to help YOUR growth process.
Be sure and subscribe as I put the really good podcast out to subscribers only. I figure if you subscribe – you WANT to grow and I’m going to help!
Go out there in 2020 and CONNECT to your prosperity.