The Dealership Environment: Inspired By Everything, Motivated By Nothing

Face it: You’re whipped. Which way is up? Which way is down? Is flat the new growth? Is the shiny object the new thing keeping you from the golf course of from your sales course? Fact: the dealership environment is as fragile and unsteady as it’s ever been. Yet there are more opportunities than ever.

Look around for a little while at any dealership and on the surface it looks functionally no different than it did just a few years ago. Dig a little bit and everything changes. But you already know this. You’re obviously more progressive or being informed by someone who is because you won’t find the sports score ticker or a reality show recap here. It’s all business. But is it new business?

With more advice than ever, including a massive dose of simply republished (or regurgitated) articles and data, and more tools than ever, including predominantly recreated, re-skinned and relicensed  products, it easy to get inspired by everything while ultimately motivated by nothing. So how do you stop the regression and inevitable redirection?

Have a plan. Plan your work. Work your plan.

More than ever, and especially with the speed of all things “new”, it is critical to write everything down, have a plan (including accountability for yourself), build support and see things through. Anything less is simply “blocking and tackling”, which is crap. Is this advice sage? Not at all!

In order to succeed you’re likely doing a number of the things listed above anyway. But are you doing it for everything, every day and do you have a plan of action? Can you get uncomfortable long enough to become perpetually motivated? Can you create the buy-in needed for at least a year? Two?

With the level of community support available, on DrivingSales for example, it’s easier than ever to get the motivation necessary. Remember, the platforms are for sharing and doing. DrivingSales and the other networks are some of the most underused resources! They are not supposed to be selling platforms. Simply reading and not sharing is akin to watching an accident unfold in front of you and not helping. Considering most dealerships are not the most positive environments around why, aside from the ego and time excuses, would you not go to where you can participate, learn, ask and excel?

While there are some great people sharing and answering questions, the purpose of the forums is to engage. The challenge ahead of us is not the economy (national or fuel) or the products. Our collective Achilles heel is not process or response times or the OEMs enforcing programs they don’t understand. Our greatest faults are relaxing, waiting for things to automatically happen for us and not participating. Not asking more questions and letting go of our egos. Not taking more responsibility for our staffs, interactions and brands. Being in the store but not being aware or active. Like most dealers in social media, we might be inspired but by not listening, involving and really trying, we are limiting our success. All of us.

1,000 people at the largest events for dealers, vendors and the OEMs? If those in attendance were just dealer staff, that would represent only 0.0005% of the retail industry. 50 people involved in a community with 50,000+ that touch the content? That’s a slightly better 0.001% involvement.

How can we motivate an industry? It’s not a CRM. It’s not going to happen with a DMS. And it’s surely not going to be spurred by a dealership website (have you actually looked at yours? Really?!) We must be motivated by what can move or change things for the better. We must be motivated by those things that last longer than 30 days. We must be motivated by how much more we can do. We must be motivated and then validate those that did the motivating, then motivate others.

Our industry does have more leaders than are presently obvious. It’s just not obvious. Not for now.

Businesses, already challenged, are going to be challenged more in the foreseeable future. Do you want to go into that future armed with only a pea shooter? Why not an arsenal? Why not a team? We are better than that. An industry that represents the largest part of our (shrinking) GDP deserves to be better, not lethargic!

Take the challenge and get a plan together with solid fundamentals and a road map. Let your inspiration without action turn into something greater.  What would happen if 2,000 people were active on communities? What if 3,000 showed up at the best events? We don’t know.

Best practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

 

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