5 strategies to improve your dealership from being good to great

Five strategies to improve dealerships from being good to great.

Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline— James C. Collins.

Transform and improve your dealership from being good to great:

Every dealership strives to grow profits, and they have their own set of approaches to attain growth. The definition of success and methods to obtain the perceived success varies from dealer to dealer. However, it is always a top challenge to find the key to being better than the rest and transitioning from being merely good to being a great dealership. In other words, it takes efforts and effective strategies to improve the dealership from being good to great.
It is an easy guess that there is no single proven formula to be a great dealership. The transition from good to great require making conscious choices, consistency of actions, and discipline. In addition, the combination of the right people and generosity are other contributors to transform your dealership from good to great.

Let us take an in-depth look at what characteristics and strategies support a dealership’s transformation for the better.

1. Being proactive and building opportunities:

Customers lie at the heart of the automotive business. Therefore, providing a meaningful experience to the customer forms the basis of high profits. Car buyers seek convenience and simplicity in buying online and in-stores. As per a Cox Automotive report,
54% of car buyers would buy from a dealer that offered their preferred experience over the lowest price. Furthermore, buyers spent a considerable amount of time on the internet, and more than one-third of car buyers visit just one dealership before purchase, reported PRNewswire.

So, the question is, how do you ensure your dealership is the one they visit?

The answer rests in delivering convenience and being more accessible to your potential buyers. Utilize digital mediums to offer meaningful and transparent information via your web channels and robust research tools they want. Hence, proactively investing in technology and tools to help ease your customers’ research process is a way to building opportunities. Additionally, installing help desk services such as web bots to quickly answer or address customers’ queries could be an effective strategy to enhance potential customers’ experience to win their business.

Remember: Managing your problems can only make you good, whereas building your opportunities is the only way to become great— James C. Collins.

2. Identify your most important assets: The right people to improve dealership from good to great

Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seat is one of the most critical factors to transform your dealership drastically. Firstly, implementing a data-driven approach while hiring would add to creating a productive team of employees. Utilizing personality and cognitive assessments would lead to not only identifying the right people but also placing them in the right role. Consequently, it would enable you to help your employee perform their best in the position that aligns with their personality and cognitive capacity. However, taking the help of those assessments is just the first step. Interpreting results and translating them into a meaningful plan is very important.

Understanding how to better utilize the person’s strengths and safeguard against the weakness requires experienced eyes. Reading the results to place the person in a suitable role, for example, personality types– analyzer, maverick, craftsman, and controller does not suffice. Efficiently comprehending the traits against the role’s requirements takes effort. A professional consultation would make a massive difference in that scenario. Significantly, even small changes could improve dealership from good to great.

Remember: People are not your most important asset…. the right people are— James C. Collins.

3. Solid assessment and decision-making ability 

Continually assessing your processes to shape your decision is crucial to taking your dealership from good to great—weighing opportunities and threats, assets and liabilities, strengths and weaknesses all factors into the decision-making process. Dealers’ decision-making is not limited to inventory; they need robust retrospection to make the right decision for all their stakeholders- employees, customers, suppliers, and providers. Notably, it would benefit from asking oneself questions such as:

  • How much has my current big box provider costed me, have my profit KPIs and numbers grown since they started working with me?
  • How easily can I access my reinsurance funds?
  • When was the last time I saw my provider’s rep?
  • How much is my current provider invested in my employees? Do they train them based on individual performance?
  • What has my current provider promised versus performed towards increasing my profitability?

Remember: Bad decisions made with good intentions, are still bad decisions. — James C. Collins.

4. A disciplined culture to improve from being good to great

A dealership’s culture is most often determined by what the dealer and their employees bring to work. For instance, a winning mindset and discipline in attaining goals create a growth culture for everyone involved in the dealership. An exceptionally positive workplace environment has undeniable benefits and distinguishes a good dealership from a great one. A disciplined culture is a major ingredient to improve dealership from good to great.

Fostering a positive culture makes your best people want to stick around. Moreover, creating a culture centered around customer experience and giving your employees the power to do what needs to be done to enhance customers’ experience empowers them. However, trusting your staff with authority often means ensuring they have got the proper training they need to make those decisions. A disciplined work environment facilitates management as well as employees being on their best behavior. Therefore, leading by example and setting high standards of conduct among workers is a principle of greatness.

Remember: A culture of discipline is not a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness. — James C. Collins.

5. Generosity and giving back to the community:

A renowned PNW dealer received the Robert P. Mallon Dealer of the Year award in 2021. The award recognizes his contribution to the industry, the quality of their dealership, and community service. The dealer acknowledged the dedication and integrity of their employees to help him earn a respectable name. Subsequently, his support to community-based programs such as scholarships for local high school students and contributions towards wellness programs has inspired others to make a difference as well.
In other words, helping your employees and community goes a long way. Notably, giving back enriches the dealership’s image and result in a preferred place to work and buy from. Thus, positively impacting your reputation as well as your business.

Remember: For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. — James C. Collins.

Quotes and concept inspiration credit: Good to Great: Why some companies make the leap and other don’t by James C. Collins.