Tagged: General Managers

Dealership Managers: It’s About Time – Part 2

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Superbowl/Business Analogy #1001

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I know, another Superbowl analogy.  Hang with me for just one minute, you’ll see.  

As I was digesting the aftermath of the blowout, as well as a few dozen hot wings, I found myself wondering who the Most Valuable Player would be.  I’m sure that I was not the only person in the country wondering the same thing.  You would think after such a butt-whooping, one name would stand out.  But not this time.  This got me thinking that this was one of the best examples of teamwork that I had seen in professional sports in quite some time.  This game was over at halftime.  Seattle dominated.  

As a dealer or manager, wouldn’t it be great to dominate your competition in this fashion without being able to point to only one or two of your employees?  Each of them just did their job well, understanding the overall goal.  No primadonnas, just a well-trained, inspired group of people destined for greatness.  With this kind of team effort, if one teammate gets injured, you just plug in another.  Your future does not hinge on one Payton Manning.

Maybe the MVP was the coach.  Maybe it’s you?

Hopefully this will remind me to treat all of my employees equally.  Your only as strong as your weakest link.

Here’s to strong links and championships.

Who’d your Danny?

 

Turn a Mistake into a Masterpiece

Turn a Mistake into a Masterpiece

Turn a Mistake into a Masterpiece

In today’s marketplace, I submit that it is no longer acceptable to merely satisfy our customers and employees. That statement is not ground-breaking, we’ve all heard it. In most cases, providing what I call “Ridiculous” Service does not come naturally. As a matter of fact, it’s quite un-natural. We create habits even when it comes to serving. If we are going to blow our customer’s faces off, we have to stop and think. We have to first identify what it takes to satisfy them, and then we need to seek a way to go further. We have to say. “In addition to ___, would you allow me to ___?” Customers understand that it is not a matter of ‘if’ you blow it, they just want to know that ‘when’ you do, you are going to respond in a big way. Our mistakes need to be viewed as opportunities to rescue and delight our customers. When you do this, don’t keep it a secret. Shout it from the mountaintops! THIS is what keeps them coming back and becoming an advocate for your business.

We have to learn how to neutralize negative experiences by responding quickly and with some creativity. The image that I have attached to this article is an example of how an absolute bonehead move turned into a great story. We left off $1500 worth of incentives on a customer’s paperwork. When the error was detected, we had a decision to make. First, I guess we could have just kept quiet. When I have to resort to this kind of thievery to get by, I’ll fire myself, grow a long beard and play my ukulele on the street corner. Secondly, we could have dropped the check in the mail with a sticky note that read “oops”. Instead, we decided to proclaim our greatness. How would I feel if I unexpectedly received $1500 in the mail exactly one month before Christmas? Let’s turn this financial faux pas into a marketing masterpiece. Make no mistake, I have no doubt that anyone reading this would return money that belongs to the customer. The difference is HOW we returned it. Did you notice the playful language of the letter? When did we stop having fun at work? We do these types of fun things on ANY situation in which we owe customers money. Do you want to blow someone’s mind? Send them $125 explaining that you were able to secure a little extra on their trade in from last month. Try to buy that kind of advertising for $125. I dare you. The point here is that we seek out an opportunities to set ourselves apart.

The budget on this marketing campaign was whatever the letterhead, envelope, and stamp cost. Under a buck, I suppose. Oh yeah, about two minutes of my precious time.

If you’ll notice, I grabbed a really old letterhead that still had the Pontiac logo on it. See, when your heart in is the right place, little mistakes don’t matter that much.

Who’s your Danny?