Article

What's Your Game Plan?

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Jim Jensen - Also by this author

It seems like a simple question really … sell new and pre-owned vehicles, sell back end products and then service those vehicles. We want to do this in such a way that creates a positive environment for our customers both Internal (employees) and External (customers). We also realize that in order to stay in business we need to do all this while still making a little mullah for the good guys (you). As we all know though, it’s not that easy. Our lives are complicated by things that concern us, but sometimes those are things that we have very little or no control over, such as geopolitical events or business closings in our areas of responsibility. We all realize that and learn to deal with the things that we can’t control, put together our own game plan and then hope for the best.

You notice that I used the word ‘hope’. Don’t get me wrong, hope is a great motivator, sustainer and stabilizer and is essential to our survival in a world filled with doubt and unbelief. I bought a book entitled ‘Hope is Not a Strategy’ and found it to be a great book on sales strategy but the real reason I bought it was to simply remind me of the title which I found to be useful when contemplating decisions on investments. I also talk to dealers that when it comes down to it, hope they are going to sell more cars because they built a new facility or remodeled their old one. To me, that’s kind of like buying a new oven and hoping the cookies are going to taste different before ever changing the recipe.

Let me challenge you with a thought … is hope your strategy? Let’s take things a step further … if you were arrested and charged with having a well thought out game plan for improving your store’s results, then would there be enough evidence to convict you? The fact that you’re even browsing through a publication like this tells me that you’re serious about improving results. One of the most successful men that I’ve ever met in this business, Floyd Hamus, former dealer principle of the V&H Automotive Group in Marshfield, WI, once told me that at all times you’ve got to be honest with yourself. Examine your strategy for improving results at your dealership and be honest with yourself and determine whether your strategy is based on hope or on a well thought out game plan that is fully endorsed by all of the store’s stockholders. If hope is the winner, you may want to seek the guidance of other successful colleagues or that of proven consultants to help you put together your store’s game plan for success. Good luck as you develop a game plan for your improved results.

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