June '16

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Page 27 of 83

26 • RV PRO • JUNE 2016 rv-pro.com B efore embarking on any change effort, I recom- mend letting go of what was done in the past and focusing on what is possible at your store. For example, you should consider the following: • What is the population within 20 to 30 minutes of your dealership? What about within two hours of your dealership? In both instances, are you getting your share? If not, what can be done differently to alter this? • What is your Internet reach? How does your team manage Internet leads? • Are your people open to learning and growth? Do you have "old dogs" who resist learning new tricks? • Who is your competition? How much do you know about them? • Is capital an issue? • Is lot space an issue? Each of these can greatly influence your level of success if not addressed in an honest and open manner. With those factors in mind, it's up to sales leaders to drive the performance of a dealership's sales staff. Here is how you do that: Winning Strategies Be a leader of people. Great leaders have great people skills and love to talk to customers. They also have the right people – and those who are less than a "7" (on a 10-point scale) are either coached up or coached out (with dignity, of course). They spend less time on managing "things" and more time on managing people. They avoid getting wrapped up in low-priority situations or tasks that may be more effectively handled by administrative staff. Additionally, they block time for important areas such as: inventory review, one-on-one coaching, marketing, and key metrics. I use this simple tool (see Figure 1 on page 28) to help managers budget their time. By tracking the time spent for each of their priorities, they are better able to visualize and control their day. STEVE NICKELSEN is the founder and CEO of Nickelsen Partners. He has been coaching RV and automotive dealers for more than 30 years and has coached more than 5,000 dealers and 22,000 salespeople and service advisors in that time. Email Nickelsen at snickelsen@ nickelsenpartners.com or call him on his cell at 330-697-3725. For more information, visit www. nickelsepartners.com. Leaders vs. Managers Managers and leaders are not the same thing. Managers monitor the performance of their sales staff while leaders elevate it. Great leaders are decision-makers, they develop a dealership culture that is employee- and customer- focused, and they make decisions that are based upon solid data. Notably, while great leaders have a healthy ego, they are not arrogant.

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