Lowering the Bar…

Management has to take responsibility for lowering the bar to somewhere between 8 and 10 units a month. Many dealerships have sales people who keep their jobs selling less than 8 units a month. I mean really, how is that possible? How can someone come to work every day, and only sell 8 cars a month? Has management accepted mediocrity?

There’s a difference between showing up for work and actually coming to work. Many, many years ago I had an outstanding salesman who worked for me by the name of Sam Newsome. One of the things I always said about Sam was that when he came to work each day, he "came to work."

You never saw Sam when he wasn’t busy. He was always doing something to create business. If he didn’t have a customer he was either on the phone trying to find one, walking through the service department looking for one or he was busy in the inventory making sure he knew exactly what we had in stock and where it was parked.

I don’t think there are many Sam Newsome’s out there and the problem is many dealers are still looking for Sam. And the reason you continue to look for Sam is you’re not wiling to change the way you view and want to run this business.

I’m pretty sure some of you get tired of hearing me talk about Texas Direct and CarMax, but they have raised the bar and set the standard for the future of this business. You don’t have to like it, you just have to understand it and you have to figure out which parts of what they do you can duplicate. They have the bar set where it works in today’s world with today’s customers and today’s sales people.

The best way for you to start to raise the bar is to raise your standards for the type of people you hire and the type of processes you are willing to demand that your organization embrace.

Raising the bar is exhausting and hard work. Raising the bar goes against the grain. Raising the bar requires one to be a student of the game and have the willingness to change the game knowing there will be serious opposition from the masses.

Changing the game means changing the rules. Changing the rules means holding more people accountable for raising the bar. The bar does not get raised and left in that position. The bar has to be raised every day if you are going to continue to play the game and be successful.

As a kid growing up I loved watching the great Bob Cousy play guard for the Boston Celtics. His ability to dribble and pass the basketball set the standards in the game. As great as Bob Cousy was in his day, I’m doubtful he could compete with today’s basketball players. Today, they are bigger, faster and can do amazing things. The bar has been set at a different level and that level will continue to be raised.

So, doesn’t it make sense that in your business you have to do the same? It can be done by taking action to set a higher standard than your competitors.

Actually, if you think about it, it’s easy to do because so many of your competitors are locked into lowering the bar and accepting the business as it is, not as it could be.

To raise the bar:

Start Immediately
Do It With Enthusiasm
Have No Fear of Change
Raise The Expectations
Don’t Make Exceptions
Create Accountability
Penalize Non-compliance

So, the choices are easy, you can continue to lower the bar, you can raise the bar or you can head to the bar. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibb