(Written in April 2020 in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.)
There’s never a perfect time to make changes.
That said, we should certainly do our research, do some strategic planning and pick a time and place that gives us the best chance to succeed.
Many dealers are likely going to be making tough decisions about staff and business strategies in the near term.
One of those most likely to go to the top of the list are pay plans.
Part of that evaluation is to determine if you’re incentivizing the right behaviors that are going motivate the mindset of current and potential team members moving forward.
Dealers have known for years that paying on gross has its issues but evaluating options and making changes often gets put off because of the concern of upsetting the staff and the “timing” is always wrong.
There may never be a better time than right now to make that change.
In the end, a smart Dealer/GM would be wise to seek input from the sales staff and sales management.
Buy-in of the “new plan” has a much better chance of succeeding when the team believes it’s their plan.
Maybe this is also a good time to review:
1. The selling process.
2. Used car aging policy.
3. Recon time to the front line.
4. Website (I dare you. Go look at it. Click around a little.)
5. Ability to sell a vehicle remotely. Do you have a real process in place? (Electronic Signature and delivery procedure.)
6. Staffing. The right people? The wrong people? People doing the wrong things for their skill level? “The right people on the bus, sitting in the right seats, doing the right stuff.”
7. Advertising & Marketing. Are you spending the money in the right places? Better yet, are you holding those places accountable for the numbers they are generating or not?
8. F&I process from the turn-over to F&I to contracts in transit. Is F&I a part of your online selling process?
9. Factory receivables. Are your factory receivables in shape and being followed up on? Are you getting every dime they owe you?
10. Never has there been a better time to evaluate your leadership and communication skills than right now.
Right now, more than ever before in your store’s history, your team needs to see and hear you. It can be a one-on-one session or an all-hands-on-deck meeting. It just needs to be.
There’s no perfect way for you to deliver the message. Just make sure you keep delivering.
People often feel they are left in the dark about what’s going on.
You are the light. Shine your light. You are their light and hope that we will get through this hot mess.
Go shine your light. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs