An automobile sales manager must challenge his sales people.
One of Tom Peters rants is “Stick to the knitting.” For an automobile sales manager, this means sticking to what you are paid to do. No deviation.
In fact, this is so important that this just might be one occasion when it really is okay to say “It is not my job“. If it is not related to selling automobiles, then it truly is not your prime responsibility!
I thought of this Peterism when a manager shared some thoughts about an upcoming project.
He told me the project will be housed in his facility. But other than being landlord, this automobile sales manager had little to do with the proposal.
What happened is the day after being given an overview of what the project entailed, he emailed the project leader a list of ideas he believed would benefit the project.
Shortly after hitting SEND, the manager received a reply that essentially said “Thank you for the input but stick to your own knitting.”
Automobile Sales Manager Focus On Traffic
As he thought about this, he realized that although direct the reply was spot-on.
Whether you are an automobile sales manager of a new car dealership or a sales manager of a used car store, if your next action is not focused on driving traffic to your automobile dealership, or following up on a prospect, or coaching the automobile salespeople, then you are not sticking to your knitting.
Sure, there are some administrative tasks you are accountable for. But I bet your bonus structure is not tied to them.
In an automobile dealership, it is easy for a sales manager to get side tracked. Like the manager above, getting involved with stuff that is not even related to his position. I know he is not alone in this regard.
Watch Out for Social Media
There are many different time stealers. One that is becoming more prevalent is social media socializing.
Now before you get on your high and mighty rocker, some socializing is good. Automobile sales managers need to invest time just chatting with their car salespeople. Part of being an effective manager is knowing your people.
The socializing time thief I am referring to is not so visible. Not so visible because if someone saw you, it would not be quite obvious that you are socializing. In fact, at work you are often by yourself when participating in this type of socializing.
You know the socializing I am referring to.
It is those quick little text messages between you and home, you and a friend, you and the bowling league, you and the world. Oh, it is only thirty seconds here and a minute there and… You get the picture.
I once had a Business Manager take offense when I suggested she was spending a little too much time texting and not doing what she ought to be doing. “It is only a few seconds, why be difficult about this?” is the Reader’s Digest version of her thoughts on my concern about her excessive texting while at work.
Here is a reality check. According to a study performed by the PEW Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, “…over half of all business text messages are personal in nature. In fact, almost a third of the respondents stated that 100% of their text messages were personal.”
The study concluded, “From our own experience, those who use text messaging do so in considerable volumes. Thus, notable personal text messaging volumes can significantly reduce employee productivity.”
Joe Verde has this saying, “Go to work to work.” Is that not the way it ought to be? We, each of us, need to stick to our knitting.
Automobile Sales Manager What Is Your Next Actions
As an automobile sales manager, is your next action focused on driving traffic to your store, or following up on a prospect, or coaching? If it is consistently anything else but these activities you need to check what it is you are doing.
You could do this by creating a rough daily log and making a tick each time you reach for your mobile device to either read, reply to, or create a non-work related text message.
As you go through your day, check what it is you are doing and ask yourself, “Is this in the best interest of the folks who sign my paycheck?” If you feel anything but a YES, then don’t do it.
Here is another reason why how you manage your activities is so important; your automobile sales team and Business Managers model the behaviors they see in you.
By staying consistently focused on the knitting, should you ever have to address time wasting behaviors with a staff member, you can do so in good conscience.
Question: What do you do to keep you focused on your knitting? You can leave a comment by clicking here.