Do Simple Better

Joe Maddon who has managed the Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago Cubs and now with the Las Angeles Angels is a bit of a strange duck.

Some would call him eccentric and for sure an out-of-the-box thinker. He does a lot of weird and interesting things with the way he manages the team, but he’s a winner and gets the job done.

One of his themes is “Do Simple Better.” When you break our business down, more often than not what makes or breaks a dealership is the ability to “Do Simple Better.”

Here are 5 simple things that maybe you can do better.

1. Early Intervention-you can’t manage activity by staring at your computer screen. Get up move around. Look for trouble. Trouble meaning a deal is getting screwed up before it even has a chance. You can do better.

2. Improve Your Selling Processes-odds are the evaporation factor is chasing you like a base runner caught in a rundown. Pay attention. Get on it. Stop the evaporation. You can do better.

3. Don’t Short Cut Your Appraisals-Take your time. Look for a way to make it happen. Do it right. Get it right. You can do better.

4. Speed It Up-It takes too much time to get your used vehicles through service. Find the bottleneck. Fix the bottleneck. You can do better.

5. Listen More-Take someone to lunch. Someone you would never take. Listen to them. Amazing the things you might learn. You can do better.

Make your own list.

Do simple, better. That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs

Your Bench Sucks

Maybe it does or maybe it doesn’t, but if you’re like a lot of dealerships you don’t even have a bench.

Don’t believe me? Answer this question. If you lost a key manager today, who do you have that’s ready to step in and get the job done? There you go…I didn’t think so.

Time and time again a dealer group will seek to expand, or they lose a key manager and here we go again with, “Who do you know that would like to make a change?”

What should you do to improve your bench strength?

First, identify a couple of people that have high energy levels, are good communicators and exhibit some fundamental leadership skills. Some things you can teach. Some things you can’t.

Second, create a well-defined management development program. No, not in your head, write it down. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it has to be a commitment.

If you’re going to put them in a place to succeed when their number is called, you’re going to have to invest some time and money. If you’re the GM or Dealer, then you need to invest some of your time mentoring these newfound rock stars. The more you commit to them, the greater the odds of success.

If you’re a salesperson by chance reading this, you too, need to be willing to invest in yourself. Stop sitting around crying and complaining and start investing.

Part of a management development training program should be to include these management candidates in your manager’s meetings, strategy sessions, and the monthly recap of “the numbers.”

Whenever I’ve done in dealership management training for dealers, I’ve always encouraged them that if they have someone on the sales team that they think might be a manager candidate to include them in the training. In 20 years, I can only think of a handful of times that a dealer invited a salesperson to attend the training.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right now. The best time to start growing your bench is right now.

You can’t grow if you don’t grow your team.

That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs.

When You Get a Complaint

Would you like to improve your overall business model?

Want to improve customer satisfaction?

Want to reduce ongoing daily issues?

Want to improve your work environment?

One of the guiding principles of the Ritz Carlton hotel chain is, “If you get a complaint, you own the complaint.” That’s what you need to instill in every member of your team. “If you get a complaint, you own the complaint,” should become one of your core principles of leadership.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you might not have to hand it off. But, if you hand a complaint off then it’s your responsibility to follow up and make sure it’s been handled.

We often overthink things in business. Keeping things simple is always the best method. If you develop a culture of wild and crazy team members who own the complaints, life is going to be so much easier, a lot more fun, and a much larger bottom line.

You’ll have happier customers and spend a lot less time in court. That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs.