5 Signs of a Successful Dealership

How do we decide what makes a dealership successful? Whether it’s an auto or truck dealership, an RV or Trailer dealership, or a marine or powersports dealership, the criteria does not change.

But what is the criteria of being a successful dealership? Long story short, look to longevity. There are many ways to answer this question but nothing says success like the ability to withstand time and economic conditions to remain in business and profitable.

The key is consistency. If you were to ask yourself if you could withstand an economic downturn this year and don’t immediately say yes, you may have let things slip a little.

But if you ask most dealers, they’ll say that they never let anything slip at all! Here are the top 5 signs to make sure your dealership is set for continued success.

5. Excellent internal and external communication

We work with dealers of all kinds in all 50 states across America. That experience has given us the following pointers for how to keep good communication.

  • Always greet everyone at your dealership.
    As soon as you walk into your dealership each morning be sure to go to each employee and say hello – you might even start a small conversation. This establishes a stronger relationship over time and allows your employees to feel valued.
  • Have weekly management meetings.
    Give 30 to 60 minutes a week to catch up with your managers. This will keep everyone on the same page and heading towards the same goals. This is also an important forum for each member of your management team to have their voice heard.

4. Regular employee training sessions

You want to make sure that all of your employees have the knowledge they need to do the best job they can. The best way to insure that this happens is training sessions. You can group sessions by departments so that you can give in depth training on issues that may only affect that department. Here are some pointers on how to conduct the trainings.

  • Show, don’t tell.
    The most effective way to train employees is to get hands on with them and demonstrate the concept. If its customer service, do a role play. If its a shop training, do the repair with the employees.
  • Set proper expectations
    You want your employees to know what you expect from them and in what time. You do not want to put too much pressure to learn everything all at once. You don’t want the training sessions to become an area of stress for you or your employees.
  • Provide the right tools for the job
    In order to be successful your team needs the right tools. Computers that are fast and capable, that are strong and reliable, and parts that they can count on.

3. Accountability

Giving your employees the tools and training to do the job is only half the battle. The important part is making sure everyone DOES what they have been trained to do. Here are a few pointers on how to get everyone compliant with your goals and policy’s.

  • Set goals for your team
    Write down your goals for each department and team member so they know the direction that they need to be going and how to tell if they are successful or not.
  • Help underachievers
    Sometimes a team member needs a little extra encouragement or help. Don’t hesitate to provide this as often the ones you help the most will be the most great ful that you stuck with them and helped them grow to be successful.
  • Give rewards for good work
    Always remember to congratulate those in your dealership who have done a great job for you. Never let an over achiever not get the recognition they deserve.

2. Good Discipline practices

Discipline is an important part of keeping your team moving in the right direction. Here are a few tips about how to properly discipline your staff without looking like a jerk.

  • Discipline yourself
    If there are certain protocols in place and you are the violator, punish yourself according to your protocols. Do not let yourself slide because it will cause distrust.
  • Discipline your team members
    We know you don’t want to be the bad guy! But you are really only hurting your business when you fail to correct inappropriate behavior in the workplace.
  • Deal with problem employees
    You need to have a roadmap of escalation. Maybe a first offense is a warning, maybe the second a write up, and maybe the third they get terminated. Whatever your discipline structure, be sure to stand by it and stick to your word.

1. Great team members

At the end of the day your people are your greatest asset. Selecting, nurturing and rewarding the right kind of staff members is the most important sign that you have a successful dealership. Here are a few guidelines to build a strong team.

  • Recruit proactively
    Don’t hire people only because you have an opening. Always keep your ear to the ground looking for new prospects and talent to bring in to your team.
  • Don’t hire washouts from other dealerships
    The world in not that big after all! You might notice that many of your applicants are washouts from other dealerships. Avoid hiring these types as they are just jumping from one place to another looking for an easy paycheck. Look for candidates that have legitimate work history and good reasons for leaving their past jobs.
  • Recruit yourself
    It’s your business. Recruiting is a make or break metric for successful dealerships. Therefore, who better to make sure you are getting the right kind of people than being involved yourself? This is one area where you want to make sure not to delegate entirely to someone else.

So now you know how to spot a successful dealership. Whether it be auto, RV & trailer, Powersports, or Marine. That’s the easy part!

How does your dealership stack up against these metrics?