Why Change?

Why do we always keep changing things around here?

Why can’t we get it right?

These are questions people often ask when change happens in your organization.

Those are legitimate questions when you’re having people changes.

Changing people once in a while is part of being in business. Too frequent people changes will keep you on a roller coaster to nowhere. If you’re the leader and you’re having too many people changes, the common denominator is looking at you in the mirror.

That said, there are times when if you can’t get people to change, then you do need to change the people.

If you’re struggling when changing processes, selling systems, pay plans, procedures, etc. then it’s likely the culture needed to move you to the next level hasn’t been properly developed.

Besides establishing the right culture, the clearer you can be about the specific change you’re hoping for the more likely it is you’ll actually achieve it.

Getting buy-in is critical to enacting successful changes.

Of course, you may have the power to change anything you want, but that doesn’t mean you should always use it.

You’re not running a democracy, you’re running a business. But…

Most changes should start with a “trial balloon.” Toss it in the air with those that are going to have the greatest influence on the implementation and those who will be impacted the most.

It doesn’t mean you go with the wind.

It doesn’t mean you’re wishy-washy.

It simply means you’re figuring out how hard and how much groundwork you will need to lay in order to have the best chance for a successful change.

The most successful changes you will ever implement are when people think it was their idea.

The least successful changes you will ever attempt to make are when people think it was your idea.

When you’re through changing, you’re through.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Are You Mediocre?

Being able to inspire people can be complex and tricky. There are times when people in leadership positions actually un-inspire their team more than they inspire.

Even with good intentions, we often overthink whatever it is we’re trying to improve. Keeping it simple and real is always the best approach.

“A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.” Harvey Mackay.

Keeping It Simple:

1. Challenge them with reasonable objectives. Not too easy, not too hard. The key is the objectives have to be achievable. Achieved success will lead to even greater achievements.

Success breeds success. It’s great to be an optimist. It’s even greater to be a “realistic optimist.” Tossing out “pie in the sky” numbers doesn’t challenge people; it defeats them and they eventually just ignore them.

2. Show encouragement by leading from the front and pushing from the rear. Cheer and cheer some more. Sometimes you have to show them “how” and sometimes you coach them “how.” You do that by being in the “now moment.” Never miss an opportunity to coach people up.

3. Watch what you say and how you say it. Saying the right things, in the right way, at the right time can do wonders. Choose your words carefully. Remember the whole world is watching and listening to everything you say and do.

4. Show them that you care in a sincere way. It has to be real. There’s nothing more powerful than a leader that truly cares. You either care or you don’t. You can’t fake it.

I’m pulling for you. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

A Better Selling System

Finally, a new and exciting selling process is introduced. It has 6 amazing steps:

1. Sell Yourself-You can’t sell a car until you make a friend. Selling yourself can be confusing to some. It’s really very simple.

The more you take an interest in the other person the more they will like you. The more you take an interest in the other person the more you will learn about them. Some call it “fact-finding,” some call it “qualifying.” Call it what you want, but remember you don’t sell yourself by talking about yourself. You sell yourself by asking the right questions and listening.

2. Sell the House-How much are you and your staff talking about your dealership during the selling process? Are the key points about what your dealership is all about being put on the table? What are your defining principles? What’s the history and culture of your dealership?

3. Sell the Product-Never in the history of the car business has it been so important to know your product. Are you constantly reviewing product knowledge? When was the last time you did a walk-around presentation? Do you and your sales staff walk the lot and know your inventory from one end to the other? Does the team know as much as the customers know about the benefits and features of each model?

4. Write the Best Deal You Can-Even if you’re a one price dealer, the deal still has to be presented. Even ridiculous offers need to be served up. Once a person puts their name on the dotted line they are much more likely to adjust their thinking as you present a counter offer.

5. T.O.-the Golden Rule should be “never let a customer leave without checking with a manager first.” It’s the most fundamental of all selling processes. Sales would increase by another 10 to 20% if this fundamental process was followed.

6. Follow Up-the mentality should be follow them till they buy or die.

So there you have it. The most amazing selling system ever invented, which by the way was the selling system I was introduced to back in 1972. Has the business changed? Of course, it has. Do we shape the selling system a little differently today? Of course, we do.

But the fundamentals of the business never change:

1. Sell Yourself
2. Sell The House
3. Sell The Product
4. Write The Best Deal You Can
5. T.O. The Customer
6. Follow Up

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

The Frog & The Plan

My father passed away this past year at the ripe old age of 96. One of his famous sayings was, “plan your work and work your plan.”

He lived by that motto by keeping a yellow pad close by so he could write his “to do” list each day and cross them off as he accomplished each task.

It was his equivalent to the Franklin Planner & Task List before there was a Franklin Planner or Task List.

If you want to improve your performance, make a list either very early in the morning or late in the evening for the upcoming day, and make sure you note the “Frogs” on that list.

Mark Twain had a saying “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

One of the best ways to ramp up your performance is to get the most difficult issues off your plate first thing in the morning.

Often there are things you don’t want to do because they are messy and uncomfortable such as a customer complaint, employee issue, screwed up paperwork, or a decision on a used car that you know is going to cost you money.

The sooner you do it, the more productive your day will be.

I’ve got some frogs to eat. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Are You Running

It’s January and we’re off and running.

Actually, some of you are running, some of you are walking. The runners have been training hard for the last few months. The walkers have been talking about training hard.

The runners were getting into shape back in November and December by laying down “the plan” for 2021. The walkers were thinking they needed to get in shape and get a plan for 2021.

Runners are never happy. I’ve never seen a runner smile. Walkers are well, walkers. They often smile because they are dreaming of the things they would like to do. Whatever they are dreaming stays in their dreams.

The runners have a firm plan going into 2021. The walkers have a “kind-a-sort-a” plan going into 2021. Walkers talk about a plan, runners actually execute the plan.

Walkers are afraid if they make a plan they might have to change it. Runners know there are mud puddles and they just have to jump over a few to get where they want to go.

Runners like challenging their leadership skills by changing the plan.
Walkers are afraid of change and would rather go with the flow than rock the ship.

Runners love Dave Anderson’s book “If You Don’t Make Waves You Will Drown.” Walkers would rather read “Winnie the Pooh” and dream about Pooh Bear.

When I do a workshop, I recommend, suggest, and urge those in attendance to write out an action plan for the next 90 days using the top 3 or 4 processes from the workshop. At the end of 90 days re-write the action plan adding 3 or 4 more processes to it.

Any time you’re planning, there should be 30 day, 90 day, 180 day, and 365-day action plans. The weather and the terrain are going to change and you need to be ready for a change.

Walking along whistling a happy tune will make you feel good for that one little moment in time.

Running hard with a flexible plan will exhilarate your soul and brain and will allow your team to leap tall buildings with a single bound for a long time to come.

Runners take money to the bank. Walkers go to the bank to borrow money so they don’t go out of business…yet.

Becoming a runner means harder training, greater commitment, and disciplines that most people don’t have and will never have.

That’s why there is so much room at the top. Some will, most won’t.

It’s very simple to go from being a walker to a runner. Just do it. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

P.S. Do you need help getting your inventory under control once and for all? I can help and will do it for free. Just reach out.