How To Solve Dealership Turnover & Staffing Issues Forever (PART 12)
TRANSCRIPT: We got to learn to live the A word. We’ve got to learn to live accountability. Are we ready for accountability? Let’s agree on a few things, okay? Let’s agree that the rules that we wrote in step one, good businesses like good rules, those rules provide necessary guidance and structure. Let’s agree to that and let’s agree that the pay plans that we wrote in step three, that those are fair. In part four, let’s agree that the processes that we put in place, those are good and they’re going to help us be more successful. Let’s agree on those things, okay? If with can agree on those things, that accountability is all that’s important. We either reinforce those with our actions, reinforce the rules, the pay plans, the processes; we either live it or we need to embrace turnover.
We need to embrace reduced market share. We need to embrace greater discounting. We need to embrace expensive training and retraining. We need to all become automation stores. Is that what we want? Listen, accountability in automotive, if you’re a sales manager and you don’t hold everyone accountable, it’s not 100% your fault because no one held you accountable to processes when you were selling, did they? No one is truly holding you accountable today even as a sales manager, are they? They’re not holding you accountable except to the numbers and maybe the law, and that’s it.
They’re probably not holding you accountable to rules like 100% T.O. or holding you accountable to making sure that every up is in the CRM. The GM will come in and yell about that. The owner will come in and yell about that, but no one is holding you accountable to those things. They’ve put those rules in place, but nobody is living them, nobody is reinforcing them. What is accountability? It’s important to know and understand that accountability is the essence of leadership. Accountability is not about punishment. It really isn’t. It’s an obligation to accept responsibility. That’s what accountability is. Accountability is a two-way obligation. The salesperson, they accept the obligation, they accept the responsibility. They have an obligation to accept the responsibility of doing all the steps that we’ve told them are important, but as their manager, I have an obligation to accept the responsibility to make sure it gets done.
What is the obligation of accountability? As the manager, you have the obligation to hold everyone accountable to the rules, the pay plans and the processes that we put in place, and that we said were important and are going to help us sell more cars for more money. Without accountability, the rules do not exist. That’s what I said when we started talking about the rules. You know, you might claim to me, “Steve, we’ve already got a great anti-skating rule.” I’m going to tell you it doesn’t exist because people are still skating. You are still rewarding the skaters.
We’ve already agreed that the rules, the pay plans, the processes, they’re going to make it easier for us, they really will, and they will reduce turnover. Now your job as a manager is to enforce them. It’s what you’re paid to do. Good people want accountability, they really do. Your best people do. Good people like order. Great people love structure. You know who doesn’t like accountability? Your slackers. Slackers hate having someone telling them what to do. Start enforcing your rules and your processes. Some of you are saying, “But Steve, my top guys are going to quit.” Why?
If they are truly your top guys and they’re interests are aligned with the store’s interests, then they will embrace the rules and they’ll embrace the processes because that’ll make work simpler. Or are they interests not aligned with yours and that’s really the case. If they’re going to quit it’s because their interests are not aligned with the store’s and you don’t need them. Or they like to burn through your ups and they want to follow a process. Let’s do some freelancer math. This actually is a true situation and in an actual dealership I worked with a couple of years ago. Let’s do the math.
They had an internet salesperson who was selling 30 units a month, 30 units every month. I was in the dealership for three days. That internet salesperson made zero phone calls over the three days. All he did was just vomit the lowest price on every lead via email. He got 450 leads in the month and got about that same every month. He sold, like I say, 30 cars every month, but every lead that came in, he just put the lowest price on the email, shot it out to the prospect. In the email it said, “Must print this email and ask for” and had his name on there. Wasn’t following any of the store’s processes because the store let him freelance. In fact, when I came in to train the store, they said, “You know what? Leave so and so alone because he’s got it. He doesn’t need your training.”
I said, “No problem. That’s fine.” Again, watched him for three days. He made zero phone calls. Let me tell you how much this guy is costing you. This is the freelancer math.The second set of numbers there, if we gave those 450 leads to two average BDC agents, they would get a 25% show to lead ratio, so 450 times 25%. Your floor would close on average 15% of the internet appointments that show. That means 56 units would be sold to those 450 leads if we just gave these leads to two average BDC agents. If we had a great BDC that had a 35% show to lead ratio and we were doing the Perfect Appointment on the floor — what you can learn at stevestauning.com, The Perfect Appointment, and you can learn it for free — we would close at 80%. That’s 126 units sold to those 450 leads. This is real data. This is real math.
Your top sales guy, let him quit. He’s costing you at least 26 units a month, isn’t he? He might be costing you almost 100 units a month. Good people like rules and great people love structure, but freelancers only want to cherry-pick the opportunities that you are paying for. “Wait. Steve, aren’t we trying to reduce turnover? Why would we want him to quit?” Listen, we are trying to reduce turnover. Yes, but this prima donna who’s cherry-picking 450 leads is leading to more turnover because everybody sees the special treatment he gets, everybody. New salespeople can’t survive on the scraps because he’s getting 450 leads a month and he’s burning through them just like somebody burning through your ups.
Enforcing your rules might mean firing those who refuse to comply. This may include your favorite manager. If you can’t do it, hire a new GM to do it for you and then you only have to hold one person accountable, or you could become what we call the “Show Me” leader. You want processes completed or rules followed? Start asking questions, but then follow up with, “Show me.” I want you to become the “Show Me” leader, so here’s how this “Show Me” leader works. Let’s say that your sales tower that’s supposed to confirm all appointments. Well, you walk to your sales tower and you say, “Hey, guys. Did we confirm all the appointments?” What do they say every time? “Yep. We sure did, boss.”
“Great. Show me.” That’s it. That’s all you have to do. They might look at you weird the first time and you’re going to say, “No, no. Show me. Give me the appointment folders. Show me which one we’ve confirmed. Show me who we talked about to, what they said. Show me in the CRM where we marked them all confirmed. Show me. Show me the times that we did those confirmations. Tell me who made those confirmations.” That’s the “Show Me” leaders. Your sales manager can do it for your salespeople. All they got to do is walk up to the salespeople and say, “Hey, did you make all your calls today?”
The salespeople always says, “Oh, yeah, boss. We’ve got all the calls made.” “Great. Show me.” That’s the “Show Me” leader. It’s very simple. It’s two words. It’s the most powerful two words you can use as a manager. Then start to manage the activities. If you want another way to reduce turnover, keep your team busy. Your processes should generate success focused activities, not busy work. If you manage those activities, the results will come. In other words, you’re going to keep them engaged. Disengaged employees, the guy sitting outside waiting on the up bus, smoking a cigarette, waiting with two other people. Disengaged employees are always thinking about survival.
Disengaged employees are here for the money and disengaged employees will leave you as soon as any opportunity presents itself, even if it’s not a better opportunity. Highly engaged employees, people who are involved all the time, people who are busy the whole day, people who look up at the clock and go, “It’s time to go home. My gosh, it feels like I just got here;” highly engaged employees feel a greater sense of team. Highly engaged employees think this. They think, “What can I do for other people?” Highly engaged employees feel what they do is important. Highly engaged people believe that they are superstars and highly engaged people love working here. Keep your team busy.
Now the secret. Did you know there was a secret to holding people accountable? Did you know that there’s actually a secret? I’m going to give you the secret to hold people accountable. I’ll give you a second to write this down. You must hold them accountable. That’s it. That’s the secret. The secret is, do it. It really isn’t that hard, it really isn’t. The secret to holding people accountable is you must hold them accountable. This is a rule. You violated the rule. We said this was what’s going to happen if you violate the rule. We’re going to do that, okay? The secret is, do it, but do it fairly, without bias. You know what? I want you to be nice.