If you don’t it will be like an orchestra without a conductor
Vehicle headlights only illuminate the road ahead for about 200 feet but you can, even with this limited vision, go from Maine to Florida in these incremental steps if you are willing to trust in the small steps to get to where you want to go.
Similarly, we have been talking about a leader shift taking place where some dealers are finally recognizing that they need to implement new steps of the business development road in order to arrive at new places of dealership success through growing their people. These dealers are taking the incremental steps of training and retraining their management team to go from watching to doing or going from tourist to tour guide leading people to greatness. Too often we see managers on their lofty perch watching and waiting and hoping for a different increased business result instead of seeing and doing. Three year old parakeets can do that. Show me the Tour Guide to take us to places we dream of.
Give me a well instructed leader that can show and prove to his or her team that ‘what you think and what you feel and what happens is always a match.’ In other words, if you are providing constant tours through solid contemporary sales practices and encouragement, your team will improve and your sales will increase to new levels. Conversely, if you are beating up your people to do better without the necessary new elements education and tools to do so you will fail.
Is it your time to take your team to greatness? Are you ready to do things differently? Are you ready to cast a new vision and show your people where to go? If you answered yes, then be prepared to start the increase engine and watch what happens when you implement the things you want to happen. Then your people will follow you for the tour because they want to. Be vested in their success and they in return will give you their vesting.
You know, you may not understand electricity but you do not reject it. Instead you trust in it to turn on the lights and other gizmos in your home and business. So why do we reject the ‘new school’ solid business development solutions which teach and deliver extraordinary effective sales processes which in turn grow people and the store to new heights? Most often it is because we do not have a full understanding of how or what this actually involves so a little trust in these processes is imperative. First, remember this, because it is critically important to make it work;
1. Focus always precedes success and
2. Your thoughts become things, good things or bad things so keep it positive and consistent.
Some people can hold these two for a while but do not ‘champion’ them. They end up playing a little ping pong match with their thoughts battling between consistency in sales processes vs. the same old get it now quick fix. Quick fix always loses because it is short lived and you have allowed a principle compromise and as a consequence you start the same old vicious cycle all over again. Short term gains of this type cost us long term development gains. Stay committed to the process and the journey will lead to improvement. You believe it, breathe it, feel it and act on it then it will happen. Energy is the fuel for success and you gotta be fired up when you initiate the new approaches for business development in your store for it to succeed.
Henry Ford once said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” A lot of people dissect this quote from Henry’s point of view meaning not to ask your customers what they want, just deliver it. In looking at this from the other direction or the customer, I love it because it radiates the expression that ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’.
The people only knew that horses were the preferred mode for local and sometimes longer distance travel because they did not know what they did not know. And, that was the fact that there was a better mouse trap in the works – the automobile. If given the choice though proper relationship development, presentation and demonstration they may have allowed the new contraption to take hold on their hearts and minds. The people needed to know the benefits and what it could do to enhance their lifestyles. Without this additional knowledge they remained stuck in a paradigm which prevented them from seeing things though new pair of glasses. Our sales team is the same way. One must offer up the buy in first then the new adult learning programs.
Let’s peal back the layers on this and make it relevant. Example: Recently I asked a dealer what he wanted. His response was a better relationship with his owner base customers so the store could benefit from re-selling opportunities, better customer relations and better referral conversions. I asked him where he thought we should begin and he wanted a course in how to communicate with his owner base customers so they would begin appreciating the dealership. In other words, a quick fix or a faster horse.
I thought quickly as to how I would approach the ‘refocusing’ towards customers if I currently owned a couple of dealerships. The answer I came up with (knowing what I know) and after trying in my mind to jump over the foundational structure of enhanced communication lessons and go right to owner base nurturing left me with the feeling that a quick band aid approach would definitely not be the best long term solution.
Here is what I mean — before owner base customers become owners they are prospects and travel through experiencing your staff’s telephone skills, follow-up skills, communications skills, relationship development skills, selling/objection handling skills, negotiations skills, management turnover skills and finally owner base retention and referral skills.
If even one of these critical areas falls apart thus diminishing the relational building aspects it typically does not fare well for the overall experience and may affect retention and referral confidence. And, you may lose sales along the way and not know why. On the other hand, if we refocus your team (managers as well) towards the new 21st century business development techniques, utilizing the aforementioned skill sets then move to Owner Base curriculum you will have a rock solid platform to grow the store, your people and a valuable owner base population.
Excellent adult learning I have found has to contain certain elements: it needs to contain buy-in, be useful, provide solid knowledge, be interesting, be fun and exciting and finally be measurable. There are new developmental initiatives in place that will do it all and will provide you and your team with immediate results and initiate a new beginning for enhanced prospect, customer and employee relationship building. Your team should hear the importance of growing themselves as well as others and how to do it. This usually also inspires management to do the ‘extra’ things to grow way beyond average and as a consequence grow a way above average team. Don’t let ’09 steal your vision. It’s your time to take your team to greatness and there are ways to do it.
This article was written hopefully to provide you with some initial energy to begin thinking about developing some new possibilities. I have been working on a project over the last year that speaks to all of the above in great depth and if you would like me to send you an outline for you to use as a map for attacking and building a total Business Development Solution send me an email and I will share with you what I have learned to get you started in the right direction for your Tour.
Albert Einstein said; “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. Believe it is possible and visualize on it several times a day”. Begin by writing down five things you would like to see improved in your dealership and share this vision with the entire team. Then imagine and talk about how you will approach each item and who will be the champion or tour guide for finding solutions. Get everyone talking and thinking about them and you will create some visualization ideas.
Anything is possible if you do believe things will improve and can be better but you also have to act. Is it time to take your team to greatness and let them experience what the summit actually looks like after the climb up the mountain? There has never been a better time to take them on a Tour.