Years ago, I worked for a guy who beat a couple of sayings into my brain. The first was, “A goal without a deadline is a dream.” We’ve all heard that one before — everybody dreams of success; that’s why we’re in this business. And yet, the most important word in that phrase is not the one you think — it’s “goal.” A goal is concrete. A goal is tangible. A goal is measureable. Which brings me to the next saying drilled in my brain: “What gets measured gets managed.”

​You want success? Start with a goal that is a number that can be measured. It’s really that simple. Is your goal is to sell 150 cars a month? Here’s how you get there:

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  1. Calculate how much money your sales team makes if they move 150 cars in a month.
  2. How many deals does each salesperson need to close to reach your goal?
  3. How many Ups does each salesperson need to be face to face with to close the goal number?
  4. With all this in mind, you now you have a daily goal for each salesperson.

Here’s how this looks in practice:

Joe wants to make six grand? Great! What is his average income per deal? Take the average of the cars sold and income paid and figured it out. If Joe averages $500 a car, all in with spiffs and commission, we figure he needs 12 deals. Then we figured how many Ups Joe needs to get to his goal number of 12 cars. If the store averages a 25 percent close ratio, then we know Joe needs to talk to 48 customers a month.

That’s the plan, but you’re not done yet. Manage this down to the day. When is Joe going to talk to the 48 customers he needs to speak with in the month? To reach this number of customers, Joe needs to be on 22 days of the month. We figure out Joe’s appointments; if he had a 50 percent show rate, he needs to have about 100 appointments plus the fresh up here and there. Now you have a concrete, measureable plan for Joe that directly feeds into your dealership’s goal.

Once we have this plan, sit down with Joe at the beginning of every shift and measure what matters: where he is on his plan and, if he is off, what we need him to do to get him back on track. This may sound like a lot of work, but I promise it is easier to work this program and make a big check than to come to the monthly meeting and make excuses about why we couldn’t get it done.


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