Management ideas from the Top 100

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First Runner-up Rexburg Motor Sports of Rexburg, Ohio, offered a few ideas in its Top 100 application. First, every employee in the parts department is given a headset, which frees him or her from standing behind the counter all day.

Rexburg also offers incentives to employees who help the store’s Facebook page grow. “In an effort to jump-start the number of ‘likers’ who follow us online, we had an employee referral contest,” the store’s Top 100 application said. “In our Trail Times newsletter, we notified employees that for the next week they had the opportunity to suggest friends and family like us on Facebook. Whichever employee got the most confirmed new ‘likers’ was awarded $100 in cash.”

Every day, Rexburg employees also will meet in the showroom for a vehicle presentation given by a salesperson. “The individual doing the presentation is required to point out features and benefits of the vehicle, updates from previous model years and make suggestions of available accessories or aftermarket parts available for the unit,” the Top 100 application said. “The presentations take approximately 15 minutes, and the individual doing the presentation is given a spiff for doing a quality walk-through of the machine.”

Performance Power Sports of Houma, La., sets monthly goals for its salespeople, and rewards them with financial bonuses, paid days off and gift certificates if goals are met.

Owner Don Waugh sits behind the front desk at his store, Waugh Enterprises Harley-Davidson, to greet customers as they walk in. The Orange, Va.-based store also offers a gathering area on its front porch, complete with rocking chairs.

Here’s a tip from Iron Pony Motorsports, 2011’s Dealer of the Year: Don’t limit your employee awards to free stuff and cash. In addition to doling out those things at its annual holiday party, the Westerville, Ohio-based dealership also gave out awards for Smile of the Year, among others. “The Mike Butters 5th Gear Pinned Award, which is the top award, is [also] given to that person who moves at a ‘race pace’ and is a role model,” the dealership’s Top 100 application said.

Bob Weaver Motorsports & Marine of North Tonawanda, N.Y., holds a weekly sales meeting, as well as a monthly town hall meeting with all employees. “At these meetings we go over sales, parts and service volume and profit for the previous month,” the Top 100 application said. “Most importantly, we go over customer comments that came off of VIP Sales and Service Surveys.”

At Outdoor Motorsports of Spearfish, S.D., each salesperson has his or her own subscriptions to major trade journals. “They read each issue within five days of publication,” the Top 100 application said. “We want all of the staff to understand industry issues and trends that transcend our individual dealership.”

Ducati Newport Beach of Costa Mesa, Calif., relies on a team effort for its success. This means sharing information that usually is kept under wraps by management, like financial data. “One form of involvement is the sharing of financial data with every team member,” the store’s Top 100 application said. “Daily gross numbers by department are posted every morning, as is gross profit per bike sold and dealership gross. By doing this, every department knows what they need to contribute, creating a friendly competition within the dealership. This kind of transparency helps break down walls and makes everyone feel like part of the team.”

Champion Motorsports of Roswell, N.M., offers its full-time employees a 401(k) plan that they don’t even have to contribute to. “All eligible employees will receive a contribution from Champion Motorsports each year based on their salary, not their contributions,” the Top 100 application said. “These plans belong to the employee and can be rolled over if an employee leaves Champion Motorsports.”

This story originally appeared in the Dealernews April 2011 issue.