Tune Out the Targets – What Is Your Team Focusing on Today?

Timm Cuzzo
January 16, 2018

Tune Out the Targets – What Is Your Team Focusing on Today?

The new year is rife with resolutions and changing attitudes, “this time things will be different”, we chime out as 2018 starts in earnest. Will it be different? Once those targets come in most of us will go back to all the tactics and strategies that help us make those numbers month to month and quarter to quarter (and I’m hoping you all do). If we take a good look at those “strategies” are they the best for the store? Are the foundational in what constitutes a great customer experience? Do they create negative results, like high staff turnover?

Dealerships, by the majority, work via an Open Floor. Not a lot of structure or accountability but if you’re lucky you’ll reach your numbers. I understand that the targets are the bedrock that the industry is built on but those are just numbers attached to a date range in which, by default, we have little control over what happens day to day. I have said this on stage at numerous automotive events “we can only control to the moment we’re in”. Please re-read that, “the moment we’re in”. Not the day, week or month. So, while we are married to our store’s forecast are we “tuning out” other aspects of your team’s process and growth that can directly impact the customer’s experience and the dealership’s bottom line?

I want to give you one exercise to try with your teams, sales, service or finance.

If accountability and coverage are things that matter to you I want you to try this exercise with the team you manage. I have been a fan of Intelligent Change’s “Productivity Planner” (https://www.intelligentchange.com/products/the-productivity-planner) for a long time and use the planner daily. The concept behind the planner is to achieve more with less. Most of us can make monster-sized lists that can easily overwhelm and sink us. We may get out of the gates strong but the list always gets overwhelming, then ignored and our productivity wanes. Productivity Planner’s approach is this, “By having a maximum of three to five tasks a day, doing the most important task first and then working on only one task at a time with the help of the Pomodoro Technique*, you will be able to finish the projects you are procrastinating on and achieve great things”.

Instead of the morning “let’s go move some metal” pep talk, take each member of your team through this simple Productivity Planner exercise. Get people actual planning/thinking about their day rather than remaining reactionary. Have each person on the team draft their list for that day:

(If this was the only thing you did today you’d be satisfied.)

______________________________ How much time do you need to succeed? ________

(Completion of these tasks will make the day even better)

______________________________ How much time do you need to succeed? ________

______________________________ How much time do you need to succeed? ________

(Do these only after you have completed the tasks above)

______________________________ How much time do you need to succeed? ________

______________________________ How much time do you need to succeed? ________

Now I know what most of you are thinking, “sell a car”, as the stock answer for the Most Important task category but let’s think differently for a moment. How many on staff are actively logging all their transactions in the CRM? Maybe someone is behind, this is a great opportunity to allow them to reclaim ground on something that we all know is problematic at many dealerships. A healthier CRM is directly linked to better business for your store, you would want information driving your marketing and customer satisfaction. Someone may be wanting to take additional training on something that may be beneficial for the store? Help that person carve out their time to achieve that goal.

Perhaps there are suggestions you can make of your team if the initial attempt at the exercise seems daunting. Individual or team-based task goals, video content for the store, timely responses to inbound leads? If you can help your team identify more about the day they are in then perhaps the amount of time, 5 hours NOT in front of customers, gets used in a more productive way. While everyone inside a dealership can tell you all about how busy they are, the reality is much different. Those dealerships that continue to turn a blind eye to coverage and accountability will be the earliest victims of industry disruption.

So instead of thinking long term against the target, focus in on just today. What can your team accomplish today? You’ll start to fill in process gaps and gain ground on opportunities once missed. If you want real data about what you may have missed recently at the dealership just visit Missing Opportunity – http://missingopportunity.com/

Two simple tools to better your store and keep you in the moment for 2018. One analog (Productivity Planner) and one digital (Missing Opportunity).

Best of luck to you and your entire team…today.

*Pomodoro Technique – The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.

Timm Cuzzo

Timm is COO of Nextup, leads the Product Team, and is passionate about marketing.

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