Successful car dealerships start with nurturing their teams

Priorities post it

More than ever car dealerships are looking to drive the best possible performances from their teams.  Some are trying to deliver a budget performance on a smaller than budget headcount, a metaphorical quart from a pint pot.  In the current climate this is perfectly understandable, we all need to manage cost and optimise revenue.  But how do you know if your team are as productive and effective as possible?

Of course, everyone has a target and as long as those targets are being met everything is fine, right?  Except this does not tell us whether each individual is performing to their full potential or not.  We can never expect every member of the team to deliver the same results consistently.  A team is made up of varying levels of experience, expertise and personality and it would be wrong to expect identical results from everyone.  It goes without saying that the least experienced will demand more management time to try to develop their potential, but this often means neglecting the needs of the rest of the team.

Managers need to manage people, not just car dealerships

There are huge demands on management time.  Reports to complete, stock to manage, deals to stack, part exchanges to review, customers to meet, manufacturer relationships to manage.  But our single most important resource is so often left to its own devices with minimal training.  Once a sales exec has the basics in place, they are often left to pick up the rest from colleagues and those colleagues may not be performing to their potential either.

Typically, our managers manage reports, processes, manufacturers, compliance, but have little time to manage people.  Furthermore, we don’t coach our managers, who in turn don’t coach their teams.  This may be because they are not trained in coaching and therefore feel uncomfortable with the responsibility.  As an industry we bemoan the shortage of good people and how the best are not attracted to the motor trade. But we don’t engage with our teams enough on a formal basis, conduct performance reviews, identify training needs and plot a development programme to make them feel valued and help them to see a career path. 

How to manage your team

Clearly there are time constraints and everyone has to prioritise, but if senior management don’t lead by example and find the time to coach middle management, then the cycle of mediocrity, dismissal and replacement will continue at huge cost to a business.

At the heart of this dilemma is time management.  We can all make excuses for where our time goes, but management needs to find time to engage with individuals formally and with written feedback and agreed actions as an outcome from each meeting as a start point.

More than ever before we need to ensure we sweat all our resources as hard as possible.  In our car dealerships, now is the time for leadership, coaching, mentoring and motivation.  If you would like any advice on how to coach and train your teams to top performance, please contact us or visit our training pages for further information.

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