Solve Dealership Turnover (PART 13)

How To Solve Dealership Turnover & Staffing Issues Forever (PART 13)

TRANSCRIPT: I want you to be nice. Anybody remember Dalton from Road House, 1989. All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your salespeople. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it away from the tower. Never start anything inside the tower unless it’s absolutely necessary. Three, be nice. If somebody gets in your face and calls you a bad closer, I want you to be nice. Ask him to make his calls, but be nice. If he won’t make his call, make him, but be nice. If you can’t make him make his calls, one of the other sales managers will help you and you’ll both be nice. I want you to remember it’s just a job. It’s nothing personal. I want you to be nice until it’s time not to be nice. That was my version of Dalton. Thank you all very much. Listen, crap rolls downhill. The problem is it rolls downhill all the way to our customer. Most deskers, by their very nature of the job, they just cannot be nice. It’s not their fault. They’re busy desking deals. They can’t be nice.

You need leaders if you want engaged employees who stay and produce at your dealership. It’s a fact of life and business. To almost everyone you encounter, it’s more important to be nice than it is to be right. Let me tell you something. As a left-brain thinker, it was really hard for me to wrap my head around that early in my career as a manager, but I’ll say it again. It is more important to be nice than it is to be right. Now there’s no reason you can’t do both, but if you got to pick one, people would prefer nice. It doesn’t cost you anything to be nice to your team. By the way, if you want to serve, I mean, if you want to be nice to your team, you have to really want to serve. You want to want to make them better. Nice does not mean being a doormat. I want to be very clear on that. It means more simply, don’t be an A-hole. It means treat everyone fairly. It means treat everyone as they want to be treated. It means enforcing the rules.

That’s what being nice is, is enforcing the rules, but enforce the rules and processes like Dalton from Road House. Ask them to do it, but be nice. Make them do it, but be nice. Be nice until it’s time not to be nice and then be nice when you’re letting them go. See, if they’re not a fit, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. It just means that they can’t work here. Somebody named Carl Buehner once said, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Some people misquote that and give it to somebody, but Carl Buehner said it first. “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” If you want to be a jerk, go for it. There are over 16,000 other dealerships out there and great people have options. We already agreed to that at the beginning.

Let’s recap this, okay? First we’re going to write some simple, fair business rules and then we’re going to write some enduring, fair pay plans, and then we’re going to write some repeatable sales processes. Then we’re going to test our sales processes for sanity and pleasure. Do people love them? Do steps make sense? Then we’re going to enforce all of those rules and those processes and those pay plans fairly, and we’re going to be nice. If you will do that, I guarantee you will solve your turnover. You might be saying, “Steve, we tried these things and it didn’t work.”

I’m going to tell you, you didn’t try them, that you didn’t really do them, that you put them in place for a week or that your team gave you a lip service, and they checked boxes. Are you going to say, “Steve, but we don’t have time. We can’t”? Remember what I said. Anybody can find a can’t. Leaders find a way. If we can solve turnover in your dealership, everything else is a cakewalk, so yes, you do have time for this. Let’s wrap this up. If you’ve got any questions, you can contact me via or just go to, find that link. You can also contact me via, under the contact. Please, follow me on Twitter, @SteveStauning, and follow us, @UDAdvantage. That way you’ll never miss a webcast.