Great managers have discovered that the secret to success in their departments is what they do during the first 30 minutes and the last 30 minutes of every day. As a manager, your number one goal is to produce strong profits and give your customers an exceptional experience with the dealership. Whether you are managing service, parts, sales or rental, you are going to achieve those goals by focusing on motivating and communicating to your team.
It starts and ends each day with a “coach in the locker room” talk with your team. As you think about sports, before the team takes the field or court, the coach gives them their instructions, “This is what we practiced, these are the obstacles we are going to face today and this is what our objective is”. They take the time before the game starts to encourage, motivate and direct each team member so, as a leader, they create the momentum needed at the beginning of the game to start off strong. What you do as a manager is no different than the coach.
As you and your team begin each day, take some time to get “players” ready to play for the day. Talk to them about what the goals and objectives are for the day. Let them know what would constitute a successful day for the department. If you are the service manager, don’t talk in terms of recovery rate or efficiency, talk to your techs about the number of units you need to move in and out of the shop to have a victory. In parts, talk about working to move the average sell for the day up by 10%. In sales, bring the conversation back to activity levels, let the team know a successful day would mean that each sales person touched 20 people for the day and closed at least one sale. In rental, it might be something like getting a piece of equipment that has low utilization rented for a week. It doesn’t matter what it is, let your team know what a successful day will look like.
As you go through the day, encourage your team members, lift them up, motivate them and then as you wrap the day up and the game is complete, take a few minutes and recap how they did as a team. Let them know if they won or lost. If they won, celebrate the victory and if they lost encourage them, identify what happened that caused the loss and share with them that tomorrow is a new game, facing a new opponent and that they can take what they learned today and use it to improve and win tomorrow.
As a manager, you are responsible for growing your people. This will create growth in each department and a dealership that is strong, healthy and profitable with customers who become raving fans.