Automotive dealerships wanting to make a real and sustainable change to their business and profit need to start with the basics. For Dealer Principals, that means looking at themselves first.

Paul’s Top Tips for DP’s

Question everything

Keep asking “Why”. Why do we do this in a particular way? What is the benefit? What if we tried something different? What are the issues holding us back from making these changes? Very often, it’s simply because “That’s the way we’ve always done it”

The right people in the right place

Help your team members to find their niche. Every person in the dealership has talents and potential which may well be better utilised in a different way. Do you know what your people are best at? Paying attention, providing training, coaching and mentoring where necessary can make a lasting impact on your staff retention.

Understand that you don’t have all the answers

Change is always a learning curve. Read and research everything you can on 21st century leadership – Dan Ariely and Simon Sinek are two of my personal favourites. Find your own mentor – a new perspective from a fresh eye may be just the kick start you need.

Set your Service Department up as a Sales Department

Understand that Service Departments are also in the sales game. Treat your Service Department as a valuable source of sales and don’t miss an opportunity. The customer experience should be at the heart of your Service Department – the same as in Sales.

Change your thinking, change your dealership

Service Departments have always been reactive in nature, waiting for customers to turn up. This is an attitude 50 years in the making and it’s hard to undo. By treating your Service Department as Sales, you can instil a more proactive approach – identifying a service customer’s need, offering a solution and following up– just as you would if you were trying to sell them a vehicle.

These 4 simple steps take you back to basics – clearing the decks for real change in your dealership and in your people.

Think differently!