Going “One on One” with Your Team

Are you a manager or a leader? Most people will answer that they are a leader but spend most of their time with vendors, reports, inventories and process compliance. Although those are all important duties they aren’t leadership duties; we manage processes and inventory but you lead people.  So how much of your day is spent with the members on your team?  The main duty we have as a leader of a team is to make our people better.  An important tool in helping our people improve is doing a frequent “one on one” performance improvement plan. The problem with most leaders today is that they were led by managers and not true leaders so they have no role models to emulate and don’t know how to use this important tool. Fortunately as with most skills, how to conduct a quality “one on one” can be learned.  So what is the process of conducting a good “one on one”?  A good “one on one” has four components and should be done in the following order..

PERSONAL MATTERS: Start out every review finding out what is going on with them personally. It isn’t just about business; we are dealing with people who have fears, feelings and frustrations.  People don’t care what you have to say until they know how much your care.  Knowing how a team member is feeling about outside influences could explain under performances as well as being a motivator to help improve performance or a reason to hit stretch goals.

PRAISE: People no matter their experience, position or age desire recognition and the best way to recognize someone is to give them sincere praise. All too often managers spend the day pointing out what people are doing wrong; leaders catch people doing things right.  The quickest way to establish positive work habits is to praise and recognize people when they are exhibiting those habits, especially if that praise can be given in front of their peers.

IMPROVEMENT: As leaders we owe it to our team to show them the areas in which they need to improve. By not being brutally honest with people we could be denying them the opportunity to get better. This honesty is often not shared because of not wanting to hurt people’s feelings but this “compassion” in the long run is actually cruel because you allow your team to labor in mediocrity and not reach their full potential. When pointing out the areas of improvement be prepared with precise examples, we want to have a business meeting and not just a discussion of generalities. Finally remember to be critical of the actions and not the person, we don’t want the meeting to become adversarial but to become advantageous for growth.

FOLLOW UP: If you are doing a performance meeting with a salesperson find out how you can help them generate more business. A leader doesn’t say “Go” a leader says “Let’s Go!”. Pick the phone up and make some calls for your team mate, by making these calls with them you can show them how you want it done as well as showing you care and you want them to succeed. Finally, set a time up for following up with them to measure the progress that they have made in the areas that you agreed with them that needed improvement and be sure to keep that appointment.

These “one on ones” should be conversational in nature and can be done over a period of time with those who are performing well and are just trying to reach the next levels. But these meetings need to be scheduled and have a game plan; when done the leader should be exhausted because they aren’t easy! Many average performers can grow into outstanding performers if given the opportunity, support and training. As leaders we should be creating more leaders.

Customer Expectations

Customer Expectations

There is an exhaustive amount of research studies that reveal why people buy or don’t buy automobiles and many of these studies have given us some interesting insights….

Of those customers who said that they were impressed with the dealership where they bought, 80% say the major reason was the salesperson.

Of those customers who were disappointed with the dealership and bought elsewhere, 60% say the major reason was because of the salesperson.

So what this research shows is that how the salesperson treats and relates to the customer has everything to do with whether a sale is made or lost to another dealership who relates or treats the customer better and it’s not about the price or payments.

So what do customers look for and expect in dealing with a salesperson?

The majority of the researches say customers are impressed by a salesperson that is:

_____  Friendly

_____ Courteous

_____  Helpful

_____  Informative

_____  Knowledgeable

_____  Patient 

Customers also have high expectations and want their salesperson to do the following:

_____  Must be neat and professionally dressed

_____  To be trustworthy

_____  To be upbeat and positive

_____  Quickly acknowledge them upon their arrival

_____  Treat the customer with respect

_____  Move at the speed that best suites the customer

_____  Assist them in selecting the “right” vehicle

_____  Provide a presentation and demonstration ride

_____  Make the negotiations as “painless” as possible

_____  Make no unrealistic promises about warranties

Use this list as a tool to evaluate yourself.  Check those areas where you may need some improvement and always remember to listen to your customers as they will always tell you what you need to do to sell them a car.

12 Traits of Successful People

Having spent most of my adult life reading and studying what makes people successful I have noticed that most successful people have many common traits.  Most of these traits can be summarized into 12 very common traits.

  1. Successful people enjoy their work.  All those leaders who have exceled in their fields mention that they love what they do, to the point that it doesn’t seem like work.  Successful people don’t have a J-O-B (Just Over Broke) they look at their careers as an extension of themselves and their life.
  2. Successful people have a positive attitude.  They have an outlook on life that everything will work out for the good.  They have a faith in the future but have a present mindset that defines reality for themselves and their teams. Successful people understand that people can see, sense and feel their attitudes and work constantly to control their attitudes. Successful people believe in unlimited potential and that they are the only ones who can limit their potential.
  3. Successful people view failure as learning experiences. They understand that sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.  Getting knocked down doesn’t mean you are a failure but staying down does.  Successful people use failure as an opportunity to discover their strengths and weaknesses and to improve in both areas.
  4. Successful people are goal setters. They are decisive and disciplined about their goals.  They make their goals personal and positive.  They use words in setting their goals that are present tense and emotional that indicates the achievement that they want. Their goals are measurable, realistic and have a time table of completion.
  5. Successful people have character and high integrity. They do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Successful people develop trust with people and they look for ways to help others succeed because they know that a “rising tide raises all boats”.
  6. Successful people are persistent. They understand that most people fail because of resistance.  This resistance in most cases is self-imposed and can be defined simply as fear; fear of failure, criticism, perceptions and fear of fear itself. Successful people know that the only way to overcome resistance is through persistence. Every time I have read the story the tortoise wins the race by slow methodical persistence.
  7. Successful people take risks. They don’t run from risk but run towards the risk. Successful people understand that only those who are willing to take great risks can accomplish great things.
  8. Successful people have great communication skills. They understand that they  have to clearly communicate what they want not only written and verbally but also to be able to communicate it on a level that can be understood by people at all levels.
  9. Successful people surround themselves with other successful people. They understand that it’s not just business it’s just people.  Successful people understand that to reach the highest levels they need the help of people who are supportive and knowledgeable in areas where they have weaknesses. They look for role models and emulate those characteristics that they admire and learn from others mistakes.
  10. Successful people are healthy. They understand to perform at their best their body has to be performing at its best.  Successful people are proactive about their diet, exercise and rest. They allow time for renewal not only for their body but for their minds. They understand that quality downtime may seem a “waste of time” but in the long run gives them the energy needed to accomplish their goals, often this patience can lead to immediate results.
  11. Successful people believe in a higher power.  They don’t take all the credit for what they have accomplished.  Successful people practice an attitude of gratitude.
  12. Successful people have a “why”.  They have a sense of purpose and a great desire to give back to others.  It is this burning desire that keeps them going when times are tough, they understand that it isn’t all about them all the time.