They also understand you can’t win the game if you don’t keep score, and they quantify key metrics within each department and then consolidate them into one big score card.
JUST ‘WORKING HARD’ WON’T WIN
I suspect the majority of the 3,500 powersports dealers who’ve already fallen victim to the recession never even entered into the Playing of the Game. They weren’t readers. They were “too busy” to attend seminars and valuable events like the Dealer Expo — where you can explore the latest Dealership Game Changers. I also imagine many of those dealers no longer with us worked longer and harder hours than many of the successful dealers who now enjoy business from the failed dealerships’ former customers.
This is because most of the former dealers refused to discover and embrace best practices, seek expert consultation and implement goals with dogged determination. They “didn’t have the time,” they were “too busy working hard” and they “couldn’t afford training.”
I recently had a two-hour, face-to-face meeting with an older dealer who is running his business out of his savings account. The meeting was arranged by a mutual colleague who knew he was in serious trouble and suggested my company’s services. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with this dealer, although I was quick to recognize that we wouldn’t likely be a good fit. His wife was his office manager and bookkeeper, and the two staff members I saw roaming the showroom on occasion needed to be checked for pulses.
The showroom was loaded with non-current inventory, and every time I attempted to investigate his current best practices he immediately turned the conversation to how many hours he worked, and how many years it had been since he took a vacation. He assumed I was impressed, but in reality I felt contrition. It’s almost ironic that he was completely resistant to all the systems and processes that could not only make him profitable but afford him as much vacation time as he pleased.
The harsh truth is this: The success or failure of your dealership ultimately flows down from the top. The How to Have Fun and Make Money in the Motorcycle Business game is continually evolving.
From sales and marketing, to management and service, I’m very proud of the lineup of well-tenured industry experts that will be presenting the latest Game Changers (based on real-world dealership best practices) at this year’s Dealernews Learning Experience presented by Dealership University. All of these business and retail seminars are available, free of charge, to registered attendees at the 2013 Dealer Expo, Feb. 15-17 in Indianapolis.
You can’t afford not to be there. See you in Indianapolis.
This story originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of Dealernews.