October '17

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80 • RV PRO • October 2017 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S Mindset Matters Most Dealerships are more successful when the operating mindset comes from choice rather than chance. By Chuck Marzahn Chuck Marzahn is a partner with Marzahn & King Consulting, a well-known consulting and training firm specializing in the RV industry based in Virginia Beach, Va. He can be reached for comment and questions at Chuck@ MarzahnAndKing.com. In aerial combat, pilots can be at a serious disadvantage if they lack a perfectly executed tactical plan. In the same way, RV dealerships can be at a disadvantage if they don't have a well-executed business plan. I n my last column, I observed that many deal- erships are populated by employees who are beaten-down and operating in survival mode. One of the significant reasons for such an out- look is the adoption of a corporate mindset that allows, if not encourages, destructive compa- ny-wide attitudes. Too often, the determination of dealership mindset happens by default and not by decision. Mindset – By Design or Default? The mindset of a dealership, or for any busi- ness for that matter, is a matter of choices being made. Those choices can be made intentionally or made on the whim of an employee, a manager, a department, or any combination of those in your dealership with influence over what others think. Much knowledge has been developed about how cultures grow in businesses and other organizations. From my personal experience in the dealership, it's usually a handful of people who "set the tone." It should be set by the owner or general manager. Too often, others jump in where top management isn't strong enough on leadership. I've personally seen a couple techs drive the attitude of a dealership from their service bays. The dealer and general manager thought the two techs were irreplaceable. The techs, with their perceived influence, made a game of it. One of them would fire the other up over some presumed issue and immediately the entire store was in turmoil. In another situation, two siblings shared 50/50 ownership of the store. They were in perpetual conflict over the slightest perceived

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