Does Your Team Suffer from S.T.D’s?

What is S.T.D?

SStaffingAre you selecting the right players?
TTrainingAre you doing more than “event” training?
DDevelopmentAre you spending quality “life coaching” with your team?

STAFFING

  • When interviewing  possible team members do you have a pre-determined set of questions to qualify the candidate for the role you are looking to fill?
  • Do you have a job description and KPI (Key Performance Indicators) that you can share with the candidate to determine if in their mind they are realistic and achievable?  Are they defeated before they even start?
  • Are you using a personality predictor test to determine if they have the right “mindset” to perform the duties of the position as well as giving you as their coach an insight as to how to train and coach them?

TRAINING

  • Are you following the basic fundamentals of educating your staff?:
    1.Theory – They need to understand what and why we do what we do.
    2.Mechanics –  What we do and how we do it; this is done through practice and role play
    3.Practical Application – They need to know it’s ok to jump in the pool.
  • Is this training done daily or are we holding “event” training; one and done?
  • Digital Training – Are you recording your staff live and in role plays to re-play the “game film” to help them improve?

DEVELOPMENT

  • Are you holding your team accountable with Minimum Standards – Fair, Reasonable, Attainable. They need to know what the goals are as well as the boundaries.  If you don’t hold them accountable you foster a culture of mediocrity and entitlement that will erode your ability to lead and your team to perform at its full potential.
  • Are you giving your team the needed praise when a job is well done as well as the needed corrections when expectations aren’t met?
  • Catch people doing thing right!  This helps develop the habits you want modeled on your team.

Remember it’s personal not business…your team is made up of people with feeling, thoughts and fears.  It is up to the Leader to break through that invisible barrier of personal distractions and help move them towards their goals.

Is Your Team Ready for the Major Leagues?

How can you build a winning team like the World Champion Boston Red Sox‘s who in just one season went from last to first and won this years fall classic?  There are several things that we can learn from winning programs like Boston and that is that you need to develop your team, organization or business from the inside out by constant focused recruiting and drafting of top talent, formal, structured training and development of that talent, developing a career path for the top achievers and promoting from within  and finally taking care of your people so that they aren’t looking at the proverbial “greener pastures”.

First Round Draft Picks

Great programs are constantly scouting for the best people; the best time to recruit, interview and hire is before you need someone.  Great teams prepare for life events.  People most of the time don’t quit an organization because they are disenfranchised with the company but they quit because “life” happened. It has been my experience that divorce, marriage, births, sickness and deaths attribute more to career changes  than because team members are unhappy with their positions.  Since “life” is beyond our control as leaders we have to make sure that we have a good supply of players on the bench ready to go in case we have a starter go down.  But in order to have that supply of people you have to be on the lookout everyday.  You can’t just place an ad in the local newspaper and hope that the next David Ortiz walks into your showroom ready to knock it out of the park when you need a new player.  Recruiting has to be a constant focused program performed by every member on the leadership team.  You have to be proactive and contact and encourage the top performs who are already working to join your team.

Talent Development

Having conducted hundreds maybe even a thousand interviews one of the most common comments that I hear from prospective employees is that they want to be part of an organization that is going to challenge them and allow them the opportunity to grow; in other words they are saying please train me and coach me on how to succeed in your business.  When you bring new people into your business it is necessary that you on board them with all the skills, habits and attitudes that they will need to perform their positions at a high level.  The initial training needs to be such that the “green peas” feel comfortable and confident in their new roles.  They also have to know that they have the support of leadership and that they are part of a team and not a solo act.  But once out of “boot camp” there needs to be daily coaching and training to maintain that initial enthusiasm and to guarantee continual improvement.  You have to view training as an investment in your people and not as an expense that can be cut or eliminated when things are going good or when there maybe a down turn in business. As Zig Ziglar said “What’s worse training your people and having them leave or not training them and having them stay?’

Promote from Within

If you want to keep your top talent you have to show them that there is a career path within your organization. Does your business have a history of promoting your top performers into leadership positions or do you take the attitude that you cant afford to lose them on your floor? If you are constantly recruiting you have players on the bench and this is a worry that you don’t have to deal with.  But keep in mind if you have a top performer and you don’t promote them you are in danger of having your competition promote them and now you don’t have them on your team and worse they are now on someone else’s team.

It’s Personal not Business

Remember that your team are people first and employees second.  You are dealing with people who have fears, frustrations, dreams and families and everything that happens at home effects how they perform at work and everything that happens at work effects what happens at home.  Before our team will listen to us as leaders they first need to know how much we care.  We can show them we care by first listening not to be understood but to first understand.  We can show them how much we care by holding them accountable to our expectations of them as a member of the team.  Finally we can show them how much we care by setting that example of what we expect them to perform like; if your going to talk the talk be prepared to walk the walk.

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.