Change is the only constant since the beginning of time. Yet, it remains one of the most difficult things to do for the majority of people and businesses.
Whether it’s products or processes, scores of sales professionals try to sell you, on a daily basis, on making a change. You see their vision, embrace it, begin believing in it, and then decide to make a change in your dealership.
Now the real work (aka problems, stress) begins.
But the problem is not the change itself. It is how the change is made.
The problem, which I’ve noticed in hundreds of change implementations, is that often the new vision is not passed throughout the company. There’s no true buy-in on the change from the rest of your team. This means you’ll continue to fight an uphill battle long after implementation; the teams won’t use the new tools provided and your high expectations will suddenly drop.
So how do you make your next big change stick?
Involve your management team as early as possible in the change process. This gives them the opportunity to hear and see the proposed changes. They can ask questions and start building out their plan of how this change could work for them. When management is on board, they will help make change a reality throughout the rest of your store.
Inspire your Team to Learn
You have to be ready to teach and your teams have to be ready to learn. You and your management team should discuss the changes with all employees. This will give everyone the chance to ask questions and stress the importance of this change. Also, ensure managers are present during all training. When your sales staff and technicians see managers taking time to learn, it will emphasize the magnitude of the change.
Get Rid of Distractions
Many times, I see dealerships start to fall back into old habits just a few short months after implementing the change. This is because of distractions. Distractions can be old tools, programs, materials, or even processes no longer in use. If the old way of doing business is no longer in reach, your staff will adjust to changes faster.
Changing your status quo is only successful when everyone is on board, from the dealer principal and owner down to the receptionist and detail crew. If a change has the potential to impact the entire dealership, everyone deserves the chance to learn, ask questions, and implement the change—it’s only together as a team that change can be successful in your dealership.
Author: Alex Abramovich
Alex Abramovich joined Reynolds and Reynolds in 2012 as a consultant in Reynolds Consulting Services. He is qualified to consult on CRM process improvements and retail sales operations. Prior to joining Reynolds, he spent 10 years working in various dealership roles, including sales manager, finance manager, and general manager.