You Know Something Your GM Doesn’t

No matter how you slice this one, it's not good. See, stores may build results and get things done bottom up. But unless things changed since the close of business yesterday, your store is managed top down. And the fact that you know things that your GM doesn't won't allow you to get far or make as much as you can.

While information is power, a powerful engine that's not started can't get you anywhere. Most stores operate today without the proper information at the management level, especially in regards to Internet department/lead management operation. It is in  your best interest to make sure management knows what's going on. And yes, while it is their responsibility to understand, it's your responsibility to inform.

While it is so easy to claim that you're too busy, can't get the time, don't see eye-to-eye and a hoard of other excuses to not getting real face time, you have to spend time with the top dog at the dealership. A few things that may pay great dividends in the 'support the Internet cause' meetings you have include:

    1. Performance snapshot
        – lead performance, website issues, vendor status, training and resource needs
    2. Marketplace issues
        – competitive forces, blind shop results, guest feedback (which means actually ask questions)
    3. Opportunities
        – Technology, new services/vendors, SEO improvements, competition asleep at the wheel

And the best way to do this (at least weekly) meeting is to come prepared. Not complaints without possible solutions, whining that you 'just can't do more', defensive stances or typical non-productive time. You have to know what's happening, show that you're acting in the best interest of your store, show him/her the 'win-win' and have a Plan B in the event that you don't get what you ask for.

Be careful not to guarantee a bunch more sales if they "spend just a little more each month". News flash: every GM has been through that. Look to create buy-in by leading your GM to water, making things their idea (you don't care about credit as much as you do the paycheck!), demonstrating a solid business case and talking about value, advantages and benefits that should result.  If you don't think you can pull it off, here's a hint: bring in a consultant for one day. (psst: it's worth it!)

Make sure your management, especially your GM (or owner if you have the Bat-Line) knows what is happening in the Internet department…you know, it's that 'trend' in your store that is just going to disappear over the next 3-6 months…right???

Best practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

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