Are You Running?

Successful dealers have a different view, a different attitude, a different swagger about them and a different way of managing accountability.

It’s always a good feeling when we are kicking off a new year.

This time of the year sort of reminds me of spring training for major league baseball. Optimism is running high, as it should be, but in a few months, reality will start to set in.

The stronger teams will have started to pull away and the weaker teams will be asking themselves, “What happened, where did we go wrong?”

A number of my articles recently have been prodding you to get ready for the New Year. Here are a few thoughts to get you moving a little faster toward your goals and some suggestions for changes you might need to make.

Observe-Spend a Saturday just sitting in the tower observing. Say nothing. Take notes. Of course, you’re not going to see the true picture, but you will see enough to give you an idea of where the loopholes are.

Ask Questions-Meet with your GSM/Sales Manager and ask him/her to review with you what the selling process is. Better yet, prior to the meeting, ask them to write out the selling process to bring to your meeting. Make this a regularly scheduled activity.

Get After Them-Tell them what you observed and how far off track they are compared to the list and the discussion you just had. Of course, first, tell them all the things you observed that they are doing well. Do your best to end the meeting on a positive note and create a plan of action to improve. That last sentence would seem to be common sense and something I shouldn’t have to say. I said it because we all need to be reminded of what’s important once in a while.

Re-Commit-Get them re-committed to what they say they are supposed to be doing. Reviewing the processes is the single most effective way to do this. A lot of people talk-the-talk, but very few walk-the-walk.

Re-Deploy-get them on a mission to get back on track through renewed focus, training, disciplines and processes. Get a commitment for the training they intend to do with the sales force over the next 30 days. Training requires an investment of money. Invest some money.

Create Accountability-create a daily checklist to review what they are doing as compared to what they said they were going to do. Continue to observe and whenever it’s not right go back to step one and start over again. Your number one job is to “Guard the Processes,” and therefore eliminate evaporation.

Raising expectations is in part about raising your level of intensity and creating accountability within the team. Human nature being what it is, people will do what little they have to do to get by.

I hope you’re off and running. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs