Most people skip the most critical step of reaching goals.
Assume we’re talking about unit goals. Before you can even think about setting realistic and achievable goals and creating effective plans, you have to find out where you are in sales. Not just sales totals or long term averages – you have to know exactly what’s going on now, so that you can plan to improve. That means you have to know all the stats about your sales team collectively and each of your salespeople individually.
Let’s assume it’s November and your dealership has sold 1,100 units this year, so you’re averaging 100 units per month. What is a realistic ‘total’ goal by year end for your dealership if you have already sold 1,100 units so far? ____ Stop and fill in the blank.
I’d guess almost everybody just figured another 100 for December for a total of 1,200 for the year. It seems realistic and logical – you know the total for the year, the math says you’re averaging 100 per month, so what’s the problem? The problem is that your ‘total’ for the year has nothing to do with what you’re capable of doing now, or what a realistic goal for December would be – what do I mean?
Here are sales for two dealerships for the year. Both have sold 1,100 units, which means both have a 100 unit average per month. According to the average, selling 100 in December should be a piece of cake, right?
When you look closer, one started the year with a bang and went south, the other started slow and has really turned on their sales production…
So how realistic and effective is that 100 unit goal?
1. Dealership A: Is a 100 unit goal for December a good goal and is it realistic for Dealership A?
Yes B) No
Why not? No need for a Rocket Scientist here – it’s a bad goal because they can’t hit it, or even come close. They’re dropping like a rock and probably won’t be around for the fireworks to kick off New Year’s Day.
2. Dealership B: Is a 100 unit goal for December a good goal and is it realistic for Dealership B?
Yes B) No
Why not? Just the opposite. What is ‘B’ supposed to do – drop 75 units to hit their goal for the year and waste the chance to hit 1,200 plus units for the year?
This is a phrase you’ll need to use in all of your projections, forecasts and goal setting plans. Your current average is your most recent 90-day average. For Dealership ‘A’, the current average is 40 units per month. For ‘B’, the current average is 160 per month.
Using those two numbers as your guide to setting good, realistic and achievable goals – a good goal for ‘A’ would be 40 or 45, to stop the drop and stabilize sales so they can start growing again. A good goal for ‘B’ would be 175 to 185, because they’re trending upward just as fast.
Now, keep those numbers and this general thought in mind when we talk about the steps to goal setting. If you don’t know the exact numbers for every area (units, gross, incoming calls, appointments, demos, write ups, etc. and current averages), you will never be able to set good, realistic and achievable goals.
Even more important – who will you have to depend on to turn those calls into appointments that show, then into demos and write ups so you can hit your goal? Dealerships don’t sell cars or hold gross. Your managers (your coaches) and your salespeople have to make that happen. So how do the coaches improve their odds of winning? Good coaches win games by 1) knowing exactly what every player is doing now (statistically) and 2) what every player is capable of doing above that. Then the coaches 3) work with each individual player, and 4) through training and 5) constant practice, get them ready for the game.
The coach then has to 6) turn a bunch of players into a team, 7) give them clear goals in that game, and 8) keep each player focused so they can win the game. Football teams don’t just go play football. They carefully select the players, train them daily, track everything they do, use the information to help them improve, and then the coaches keep them focused on winning with clear goals.