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How to Make Big Changes Stick and Create Success at Your Dealership

At the end of the day, there are no shortcuts. Everybody has to buy in to new processes, otherwise the changes will be ignored, making them a waste of time and money. Don’t let your employees do things the wrong way because that’s the way they’ve always been done.

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Have you ever heard the story about the little girl who wondered why her mother cut the ends off a pot roast before cooking it? The short version is that the mother and grandmother both say they do it because that’s how their mothers did it. But it turns out the grandmother’s mother cut the ends off the pot roast because her first roasting pan was too small to fit the full roast.

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Humans are quick to do things a certain way simply because that’s the way they’ve always been done. As such, it can be difficult to introduce a new way of doing things. I’m sure you’ve seen this at your dealership over the years. The rapid pace of changing technology has certainly brought big changes to your dealership over the years, and those transitions haven’t always been smooth.

Computer systems have changed the way you manage your inventory and operations, while the internet and social media have changed your marketing and sales approaches. You’ve probably experienced pushback from any number of your employees simply because these changes present new ways of managing a dealership.

Whether it’s a business decision that’s intended to cut costs or a new approach to your customer experience, making a big change stick and be successful for your dealership takes commitment from everybody at your store.

Here are some ways you can make sure new processes aren’t ignored.

Get Everybody on Board
Any change you make at your dealership will only last as long as the first employee who won’t follow the new procedure or policy. A front desk receptionist who isn’t committed to your efforts to improve your customer experience can push a customer away before they even get a chance to sit down with a salesperson. If your general manager visits potentially dangerous websites while telling employees not to, your new data security policies already aren’t working.

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Everybody has to commit to the change to make it work. Make sure all employees know that the change is intended to improve the dealership and help it grow, thus helping them be more successful employees.

Hold Employees Accountable
Whether employees should be returning vehicle keys to the appropriate place, following data security policies or even keeping a clean and tidy desk, all of them should know that not following new procedures and policies will have consequences.

Be sure you have a way to track and follow up with employees to ensure they’re following any new procedures. If they’re failing to meet new expectations, they need to be aware that you know they’re falling behind and that they’ll be held accountable for not committing to the change.

Make a Commitment to Training
I’m sure you recognize that training is important within the various departments in your dealership. There’s always a way to improve, and training plays a crucial role in that. However, changes to your processes that don’t involve sales tactics can often fall by the wayside. If employees aren’t properly trained on how to use new computers or other systems, what good does that change do for your dealership?

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If you bring in a new piece of hardware or a new process, make sure all your employees are getting the necessary training to make that investment work. Current employees should get training when the new process is implemented and get periodic refreshers, especially if they aren’t following the correct procedures. Train new employees on the same process as soon as possible to keep them from lagging behind.

At the end of the day, there are no shortcuts. Everybody has to buy in to new processes, otherwise the changes will be ignored, making them a waste of time and money. Don’t let your employees do things the wrong way because that’s the way they’ve always been done.

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