The Long Game in the Car Business

Maximize your people and you can sustain any set back in business. The biggest problem with most dealers is the short-term thinking. You must focus on long term sustainability and continue to focus on growing your people. I just had it outlined and put in a perspective by my Facebook friends “Your Car Guy Shawn Hays,” from Beaver Toyota of St. Augustine who sells 30 cars a month. He’s been on social media for 9 months and has taken massive action to become an influencer in the Car business game. Glenn Lundy from Dan Cummins Chevrolet who is the GM of the store who sells 800 a month in a town of 10,000 people in Paris, Kentucky. They just did an impromptu episode that will continue once a month called “The Raw Deal,” on this episode Glenn outlined what it takes to be a successful dealer and was later outlined in a cliff notes style format by Shawn Hays that mirrored my beliefs in the game. Here are the 5 things he outlined and my take on them.

1.      Care about your people – Sir Richard Branson multi-Billionaire has 3 great quotes that reinforce this message.

a.      “Clients do not come first Employees come first.  If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your Clients.”

b.      “There’s no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.”

c.      “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

2.      Train People on Life Skills – We’ve seen many great people leave our organization because they were interested in short term gains and couldn’t see the bigger picture. We’ve also seen some who couldn’t survive a slow month because they didn’t save when they had a big month.

3.      Hire, Fire, and Promote on Character not credentials – You want people on your team who share the same vision as you and who could grow your people and in return will grow your business. The seeds are your people and growing them is imperative.

4.      Have a long-term growth strategy in place – You cannot be afraid to try new things because they take longer to see returns. One of the things we’ve found success in is “trial and error.” John Quincy Adams once said,” Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.”

5.      Take Care of your customers – The goal is to have a generational growth. “Customers for Life” by Car Sewell outlines this perfectly. Gary Vaynerchuk says, “The right thing to do is always the right thing to do.” To me even if it costs you more than you made, take care of your customers. Jim Rohn said it best – “One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.

Work on these 5 things everyday and you will continue to find success in the Car Business and in Life.


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