Last week I wrote about some of the reasons you needed to attend the NADA Convention. One of the things I failed to mention was how much you can learn from networking and talking to other dealers.
On Saturday night I attended a dinner hosted by Dale Pollak and the vAuto staff for dealers and world famous people like myself. You would think most of the conversation would center on the car business, and for the most part that was true.
However one of the more interesting things that was discussed was the Zappos Shoe Company in Las Vegas. If you’re not familiar with them, they sell shoes online. They sell lots and lots of shoes.
One of the things they’re famous for is that they allow you to return shoes free of charge for up to 365 days. You can order 100 pairs of shoes. Keep one pair or none and return the ones you don’t like.
Based on the conversation and my research, I found out that they are a really neat company with a cool culture. The even have "chill" rooms where you can take a nap if you’re tired.
It’s my understanding that when they hire someone they put them through three to four weeks of training. At the end of the training they bring the trainees in a room and offer them $2,500 to quit. A few of them take it…Zappos is thrilled to pay those people because they know they are not their kind of people in the first place.
As a dealer for 20 plus years I preached, posted and hammered our corporate culture and core values very much centered around Ritz Carlton and Disney concepts. I’m betting your core values and concepts are pretty close to what mine were.
These are the 10 Values Zappos Lives By:
• Deliver WOW Through Service
• Embrace and Drive Change
• Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
• Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
• Pursue Growth and Learning
• Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
• Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
• Do More With Less
• Be Passionate and Determined
• Be Humble
Now that I’ve given you some “warm and fuzzy,” let me give you some reality. Oftentimes owners, dealers, General Managers, CEOs develop some great Core Values and Corporate Culture, but more often than not that’s all they do.
They talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk. Talking the talk without walking the walk absolutely destroys the morale of your organization.
If the shoe fits wear it, if not return it for a full refund. That’s all I’m gonna say.