We’ve all heard the phrase “people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.” What is your dealership doing to retain strong managers and develop their leadership skills? How are you transforming your managers into leaders? That distinction is key because it empowers your managers to truly lead their teams. This goes beyond regular one-on-one meetings. It’s understanding your team’s personal goals, strengths, areas of improvement and more, in order to create a cohesive and effective team.
There are three elements to every successful dealership: people, process and technology. Let’s focus on people: how can dealership management transform into leaders? Motivation, process evaluation, personal growth plans and professional development are all a part of the equation. Let’s explore these topics.
Create Motivation Among Staff
Staff are increasingly motivated by the “what, why and how” of their jobs because they care about their impact. What impact can they have at the dealership? Why does their role matter? How can they create positive change? Increase your team’s motivation by clearly setting role expectations and by giving consistent, constructive and positive feedback so they understand how important they truly are. Furthermore, team members crave clarity. Courage and competency are important, but clarity is more important. They want to be in the know and feel prepared, so above everything else, have clarity with your team. This transparency can lead to increased sales, retention and an amazing customer experience.
Evaluate Current Processes to Ensure Success
Focus on growth over goals, continuous improvement over results and you will achieve your goals and desired results. Demanding X amount of deals a month won’t do much for your team but instilling a strong process they can follow to get them on the right path to accomplishing that goal can speak volumes.
Ask your team for feedback to ensure processes are efficient. Make this a priority so the sales team can set goals for themselves and have achievable wins to stay motivated. An efficient process will in turn create productive employees.
Create Personal Growth Plan Outlines
Every leader should empathetically care about their team as individuals, while also looking out for the good of the group. An exceptional leader will meet regularly with each individual and track each person’s progress, help them gap-fill skills they’re looking to build or improve upon and align goals to further each person’s career. Each leader should also have a personal growth plan, an outline of where they want to go in their career and steps on how to get there so they can be a model to their team. When people know there is room to grow, be innovative and know they are supported, they will thrive at the dealership.
Never Stop Learning
Personally, I enjoy reading and listening to podcasts to stay up to date on team building and leadership principles. Encourage personal and professional development with your staff through programming and training. Some of my favorite reads include Dichotomy of Leadership and Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, Leadershift by John C. Maxwell, Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss.
When people feel motivated, have effective processes, can outline a personal growth plan and are encouraged to pursue professional development, it allows them to thrive in the fast-paced dealership environment. If you want to have a successful management team and have good business results, you need to invest in your leaders. How does your dealership nurture leadership? If you need assistance or want to discuss your leadership development plan, feel free to reach out to me.