January 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature
What do you love about the car business? Many dealers say they love it because every day is different. There is no question that’s true, and even slow days can be valuable. There are always a thousand different things that can be done to improve the store. However, just because we keep busy does not mean we are being as productive as possible.
Gary Keller is the co-founder and chairman of Keller Williams Realty. He and his partner, Joe Williams, started the company 30 years ago, and it has grown to become the largest real estate company in the U.S. and Canada.
This year, Keller and co-author Jay Papasan published “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results,” and it quickly climbed to the top spot on The Wall Street Journal’s bestseller list. The authors posed a simple question: “What’s the one thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
Interestingly, the authors say success does not necessarily depend upon how much overtime one puts in. The key ingredient is how much “focused time” you dedicate to your trade. To achieve extraordinary results, they say, one must choose what matters most and give it all the time it demands. Thus, the big question is, “What’s your ‘one thing?’”
For dealers, another way of asking this question might be, “What is the one thing I can focus on right now that will bring me the most money in the future?” Where focus goes, energy flows. Your one thing could be finally installing that BDC or improving your current one. It could be making your used-car department as profitable as possible or hiring an experienced special finance manager.
The answer could be right in front of you: Perhaps your “one thing” could be reinvesting in the training and development of your people. There are so many opportunities to get fantastic training today. There are industry conferences, association meetings, 20 Groups and in-store trainers. The key, of course, is implementation. That part is up to you.
Speaking of associations, the NADA convention is upon us. Before you walk in, I encourage you to first ask yourself, “What is the one piece of information I could take away that would help my business in such a way that it would make everything else easier or unnecessary?” Spend your time on the show floor and in sessions seeking out the information to make that happen. The same goes for any training opportunity you might take.
In writing this article, I need to give credit to Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller.
They head up a marketing group for car dealerships that focuses on continuous learning. In addition to their usual training, they send out a book of the month they believe is relevant to the car business. That’s how I discovered “The One Thing.”
We can get so caught up in staying busy in the business. But “busyness” can keep us from accomplishing our bigger goals. Focus is what takes to reach the next level. Find your “one thing,” and remember: Gathering information is only the first step. Implementation will make you No. 1 in your market.