Actions cause results
Right now, for many automotive dealerships or businesses, times are good! Record sales volume and profits have been seen for the majority across the board. A lot of high fives and chest thumping going on. While times are good right now, we all know all too well that they don’t last forever.
The question is:
Do you know why you are winning right now, so you can repeat the process later? Or if you are beginning to falter, do you know why that is happening as well?
Oftentimes, leaders focus on the answer to these questions when they miss targets. If your team or company did not achieve the expected results, leaders take a moment to inspect performance. The key to this is – whether you won or lost – you need to inspect actions and focus on what data to look at.
Let me share an example: I was sitting in the training room with a company’s management team digging through the last few months’ performance of their teams. We saw many inconsistencies in performance ranging from fantastic to underwhelming, inconsistencies between individuals, and top performers fluctuated, making the managers unsure where to look for a solution to create more consistency.
Many reasons for fluctuations were discussed. A common remark was focused on the effort of the team, while some managers commented on the quality of the leads, and others worried about their competition underselling them while a few other reasons were floating around.
When everyone was finished, I commented. Not one of them mentioned any actions they had done or not done that could have caused the inconsistent performance. I reframed the question and specifically asked each of them to think of any inconsistencies in their personal daily actions.
I tossed a few ideas out to think about:
the personal training of their team, inspection of process, communication, being on the floor when needed, etc.
They mentioned there was a sales meeting every day where they reviewed performance. I stopped there. I asked if they reviewed individual performances or just spoke in generalities regarding results, if they ran the meeting out of the CRM so it could be a training meeting and how they made sure the team was executing/implementing their tasks correctly.
This conversation led down 2 paths:
First, there really wasn’t a structure for ongoing training (daily/weekly/monthly) for each individual regarding areas needing improvement. For example, scheduling appointments, improving percent of test drives, or even closing the deal? So many different parts of the sales process could be reviewed, checked and worked on.
The other path, which they did not have in place, was when I asked for both the managers and the sales teams daily checklist. They looked at me oddly, but I asked again if they had one. They seemed to push back at the idea. “We know what needs to be done.” And though I agree, I countered. This is a fast-paced business, and if you do not take advantage of your pre-game set up time and then your post-game wrap up time, you may not be in the best mindset when the game speeds up.
I posed another question:
If everyone is on top of things, why are there so many unconfirmed appointments?
A few excuses were tried but no one had a good answer. I shared with them some data from another client who measured confirmed appointments showing up at a 10-15% higher ratio than unconfirmed ones. This fact struck home when we ran the percentage against their month’s appointment total from the previous month.
My point was having a checklist for a salesperson’s and a manager’s first hour and last hour of the day allows organization for tasks needing to be accomplished every day to be checked off so they are not missed.
It allows the manager to have a quick conversation with the salesperson about their day. What appointments, what deliveries, what other tasks they have on their plate. This allows the manager to keep in touch with the salesperson throughout the day to see where they are at with accomplishing all they need to do.
The SAME GOES FOR CLOSING OUT THE DAY
- Are all tasks completed?
- Are all appointments confirmed?
- Are the team members prepped for the next day?
- If they have the day off, is someone covering tasks that may be a priority?
By putting a checklist in place, this team found that fewer of these tasks slipped through. The team felt more in control and the managers felt they could schedule training so it did not hang over their heads. They saw performance each month get better but also more consistent. They found the places that needed targeted training and now seem empowered by the checklist versus being burdened by it.
Take a moment and review your own processes to handle the above example, even if you smashed your targets.
Create your own way of setting up and ending the day to put yourself and your team in the best position to succeed. Don’t let success, or failure stop consistent inspection, feedback and training. That’s what consistent high performers do.
I hope you found value. If you did, I would appreciate it if you share this. It would mean a great deal to me.
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