Every automotive dealership deals with the need for success, but what does it mean to be successful and what needs to take place to accomplish that?
That might seem like a loaded question, but it’s a question I’ve been asking myself for over 25 years. My job is to make sure my products and services make your dealership successful, but to do that, I have to start small. I have to understand what makes you and your dealership thrive. I have to know what to look for in a manager and a sales team. Because, unless I understand you and your dealership and what you need to do to be successful, I can’t create products or services that will help you do that.
[bctt tweet="14 Traits That Exist in Every Successful Dealership" username="JandLMarketing"]
I’ve invested so much time and effort into understanding what it takes to have a successful dealership and I’ve learned a lot – now I want to share that information with you. Here are the 14 traits that I’ve noticed in every successful dealership I’ve encountered.
- A successful dealership is driven.
The successful dealers/dealerships I’ve studied accomplish what they want – the way they want to do it! They don’t hold back or follow the status quo. They reinvent the game and make all their competitors follow their lead. All of the people I studied had the ability to form a clear vision of what was possible and pursue that vision relentlessly.
You might be thinking that this trait seems a bit far-fetched. Like if it were this easy we would all be retired on a beach somewhere! Look, I’m not saying you should be delusional. I’m telling you that you and your team need to have a vision. You need to desire success and be innovated in that pursuit. You’ll see the results as you continue to push the limits and step ahead of your competition.
But that’s not all it takes, there’s 13 traits to go.
- A successful dealership overcomes obstacles.
These obstacles come in many forms: competitive challenges, financial setbacks, health problems, cash flow difficulties, sales weaknesses, ignorance of advertising or marketing, etc. If you have a vision for what you want to accomplish, obstacles like these shouldn’t get in the way of what you want to achieve.
Unfortunately, some obstacles just seem too daunting. A successful dealer or manager will not just overcome the obstacles at hand, he or she will foresee them, be prepared for them, keep a positive outlook during them, and work their way past them.
These successful people will push past obstacles with one common philosophy:
- A successful dealership turns negatives into positives.
Successful dealerships do one thing better than anyone else they compete against. They reframe every problem or disappointment they face into a solution or opportunity for greater success.
If you can see the possibilities amidst the difficulties, your dealership will thrive. Never accept failure. As you push past the negatives and see the capabilities your dealership can have, your dealership will be stronger and more successful than ever.
- A successful dealership is persistent.
Everyone experiences failures, but successful people and dealerships never let that get in the way. Persistence is key in any business, but, as dealers, you know that persistence is specifically necessary at a dealership. The problems, hiccups, and obstacles arise daily.
Successful dealers will try again, again, and again until they succeed. The people that do this succeed massively. They have a very empowering belief system that a vision is real and deserved. These people find the best way to realize their vision and circumvent every obstacle in their path.
- A successful dealership is ethical.
Successful dealerships have the highest ethical standards. They take firm stands on what they believe in and do what they believe is right. They don’t compromise, they don’t sell out, and they don’t lower their standards. These are highly successful people who feel great about the way they get there!
By keeping a code of ethics and sticking to it, you might face obstacles, but you’ll benefit in the long run. Taking the high road and operating in an ethical way intimidates competitors, it attracts the highest quality of employees, vendors, and professionals, and it serves like a magnet to bond you to the community or the industry in which you operate. More importantly, it lets you sleep like a baby at night…with a clear conscience.
- A successful dealership believes.
Persistence does not work without a clear, strong belief in your right to have a goal and the reward you are after. A successful dealer has a vision for what he wants and is persistent in his efforts to achieve that. But, on another level, he and his team believe that these goals are achievable and they never lose sight of that.
You must believe that your dealership will be successful and believe that you’ll achieve the goals you have for it. This is what successful dealerships do!
- A successful dealership is focused and driven.
Persistence, belief and commitment are all essential to success. Yet, without clear focus and unstoppable drive, you’ll only accomplish a fraction of your true potential. Focus is the ability to never let diversions get in your way. It’s the ability to cut to the “bottom line essence” in everything you do. Drive is the force you generate in your mind and business that lets nothing, no one, and no excuse stand between you and achieving your goal. And time doesn’t hold you back either. Because when your drive mechanism is properly engaged, you accomplish more in a day than your competitors can achieve in a month.
- A successful dealership takes risks.
Super-successful dealerships and their leaders know when and where to take astute risks. They know how to take risks for maximum yield and minimum consequences.
In contrast, I’ve noticed that average or mediocre dealerships are afraid to take risks. They see them as dangerous speculations – they don’t see the possibilities and aren’t willing to do what it takes to achieve them.
Super-achieving dealerships recognize that, unless you do things differently, better, and more effectively, you can’t produce the breakthrough results you’re after.
- A successful dealership is fearless.
You might be concerned as you read these traits. Maybe you don’t agree. Maybe you’re worried that these traits seem a little far-fetched or risky.
The sky will not fall. The world is not collapsing. You won’t go broke or look stupid.
Actually, the opposite is true once you master all 14 traits. Doom and failure only go to those who stay stuck in the status quo. You must move from fear to fearlessness. Imagine if you didn’t fear a bad economy, or competitors, or making payroll. Imagine having total certainty that you’ll do just fine because you have total control of your business fortune. Imagine making the decision to never participate in a recession!
This is what the most successful dealerships do. They plan for the future and walk forward fearlessly because they know that they will survive whatever comes their way.
- A successful dealership learns from other dealerships’ mistakes.
Why make any more of your own mistakes when there’s a powerful, infallible method you can use to tap into the successful experiences of thousands of prosperous dealership minds?
The most successful dealerships pay attention to what is working and what is not working. They work with agencies who track and measure results from thousands of dealers. Start tapping into the successful experiences and lessons learned by all the bright minds around you and you will learn! You won’t make rookie mistakes because you’ll know every mistake that’s been made and you’ll know how to avoid them.
- A successful dealership is motivated – daily.
This is where inspiration to super-achieve happens.
Grant Cardone tweeted: “If it’s worth doing… it’s worth doing every day!”
Motivate yourself and your staff every day until you become the business you want to become. All the knowledge, the change of mindset and a clear path to super success isn’t enough to get you there. You need a team of dedicated people to believe in your direction.
You need to push, pull, prod, inspire, compel, propel you and your team to the levels you and your dealership are capable of achieving. Learn what motivates you and seek it out. Share it with your team. This is key to being a successful dealership.
- A successful dealership handles success.
Sometimes handling the success is more difficult than succeeding. Once you start achieving the level of business and financial results you’re after, you have to be able to deal with the added responsibility, wealth, options, and influence you have. You’ll find yourself in a different position within your marketplace and the industry. Sometimes keeping our ego and business in check requires strategy.
The trick is not to forget about the improvements and adjustments you’ve already made. Once you reach your goals and achieve success, you can’t just sit back and relax. You need to have a plan and know how you can continue to achieve that level of success day in and day out.
- A successful dealership gives back.
All successful dealerships I have interviewed over the years give back to their community. When the success and money start to flow, they always give back.
Regardless of whether you choose to give money or time, an interesting thing happens… you’ll find that your success compounds geometrically with every contribution of yourself or your dealership that you choose to make.
- A successful dealership has “Succession”.
The idea of “succession” is very powerful. It’s the process of getting other, massively successful individuals to pass on their best practices. It shortens the learning curve of your staff.
Once dealerships understand and practice this concept, a higher percentage of their staff learn how to think, act, and say what their most successful employees do. More importantly… they will know why.
The next step.
You might be wondering what the next step or conclusion is to all this. Well, the next step is the first step. Implement these traits. Understand their purpose. Learn what it means to be a successful dealership – you’ll find success! And, as you do this, make these traits habitual. Don’t just put these traits on and take them off once you reach your goals. These traits aren’t meant to be stepping stones. They are meant to be a lifestyle.