The New Year is here and along with it is a brand spanking new opportunity to make this year the best ever. Or, of course just settle for what ever comes your way. I am always amazed by the stores that are motivated to implement new concept ideas and take their stores to new and expanded spaces of achievement.

I also enjoy seeing stores that are scared to death of change embrace some new processes to improve their performance too. You know the stores I am referring to; yes the ones with inconsistent management and sales staff attrition hovering around 70%.

Here are a few of the critical elements to launch a new successful flight path for you and your dealership. We first need to recognize that there are good stores and there are great stores. The great stores are willing and able to do something extra all the time to encourage and create a better all round environment for their people, and subsequently for their customers.

Want to make a difference? Then it will involve an investment in training, time, and stretching your world as you know it. The good news is it can be done and it is not going to cause you to lose arms or legs in the process. If you can’t implement all of these, focus on the ones where you can make a commitment to stay on track and see the effort all the way through. Here are some of the critical elements which must be present in your business growth plan foundation to ensure a practical and sound approach to a successful implementation.

A True “Customer Focused” Approach

Everything you and your team touches needs to be accomplished with the customer in mind. If you believe Customer Relationship Management is just about the customer you are mistaken. CRM is a full all out effort to employ relationship strategies in every corner of the store. When this happens, the customer knows it and is the major benefactor of your efforts. One of the byproducts of this effort will be that the entire dealership is enhanced and everyone working there is better from the experience.

My top ten solid essential areas (in no particular order) for the New Year that everyone needs to adopt an understanding of, be trained in, have proper dialog for and most important, possess, enact or figure out the processes like a road map for success are:

1)  Incoming Telephone Prospect Inquiries

2)  Rock Solid Follow-up Strategies

3)  Owner Base Retention and Renewed Referral Strategies

4)  Orphan Owner Strategies

5)  Service Department ‘Sales’ Training

6)  21st Century Business Development and CRM Practices

7)  Owner and Employee Loyalty Efforts

8)  Internet Department Strategies to employ “customer focused foundation”

9)  Employee Retention and Appreciation

10)  Enhanced Continuing Training for Your Team including Leadership, Management, Sales, Service Department

Ok, that is quite a list. In my opinion, there are other things but the aforementioned are the required active ingredients to bake the perfect self-rising ever growing dealership. The ROI you will receive will most defiantly evoke enhanced employees, revenues and customer relations. You can, of course, choose it or lose it.

The “pre-flight” checklist has to possess the following initiatives in order to gain proper altitude for sustained flight into the new levels of achievement:

Inter-Relationship Development

An all-inclusive dealership campaign must be adhered to. The entire Management Team must work together as a single team committed to accepting and selling the positive new processes to come. The Team must instill a positive atmosphere of ‘great things are coming to help us grow the business and ‘wait until you see the new and exciting tools coming to help you become your personal best and increase your income”.

Planning For Solid Cultural And Process Change

Yes, it will most definitely require a change of latitudes and attitudes. If you want to improve you must change something you do daily, weekly and monthly. New enhanced sound business processes will take you there. Break out of those old paradigms and accept new and improved ways to do business in your store and you will be glad you did. Be better than you are by continuing to improve something all the time. The correct changes we make today will make a better tomorrow. Starting is the great inhibitor to your pathway for success. So, start now this New Year developing the cultural and process changes needed.

Disciplined Decision Making

Here today, gone tomorrow decision making will guarantee failure. Decision making with consistency and discipline will point you toward a successful dealership-wide growth path. When you and your management team adopt certain new processes in your store then stick to them. Sure, we must be flexible to accommodate change for the better when we identify improvements to our processes but not to retreat on our process adoption principles. Remember, we do not change a process because no one wants to do them. We change a process only to make improvements in the way we are now conducting our business. It must be fruitful. Make good decisions and be consistent in doing so because you are making a new way of life in your store forever. Do it right and methodical.


This one is the most important of these core principles you must have in place if you want to succeed. This is the single strength which will allow your store to succeed or, if it is not present, fail in your endeavor. We could spend months on the subject of leadership as it applies to building a strong work discipline. It comes down to this, if you have it or develop it you will be able to withstand a sustained growth path to overcome the adversities which will arise along the journey. If you don’t, I wish you well.

Because Management Leadership is the cornerstone of any business success and the associated rich growth elements we will derive from it if we have it in place you simply have to have it! Choose it or lose it. Leaders can’t help but change the present because the present isn’t good enough. They succeed only when they find a way to make people excited by and confident in what comes next. This includes new processes and new store cultural changes which are going to occur in order for us to maximize business. It also requires for these leaders to be well taught in recognizing what true leadership is all about. Don’t assume they know. Get them trained well at what they need to be doing and asking and the ROI will be immeasurable.

This can and will be a great year for you and the entire team if you are willing to employ a little “extra” effort and creativity in doing so. Make it so and you will be happy you did.