While market conditions greatly impact sales results, what your car sales people actually do or do not makes a bigger difference. This is part and parcel to the problem of poor dealership sales, but poor performance isn’t always the result of employee skill (or lack thereof); it can simply be a sign that it’s time for motivation-based training, or performance counseling.
Dealership managers can use performance counseling as a way to start a dialog with sales team members that will shape their professional growth and help them become better leaders. It’s a give and take relationship; managers have to be willing to set aside time to invest in their team’s growth while those in training need time to reflect on their experiences in order to contribute positively to their jobs on the dealership floor.
Formal performance counseling is designed to create an increased sense of urgency for both the manager and the rep with a goal of bringing performance into alignment with company’s performance standards.
Of course, there are necessary steps to take in order to get a dialog going. Building a relationship of trust is the foundation to success, as that’s when dealership managers can open the meeting, get an agreement, and explore ways to improve performance. It doesn’t stop there. This is an on-going process, one that requires consistent feedback that is timely, specific, and sincere.
When a specific skill rates low in motivation, you need to direct, not coach. Performance counseling is appropriate when the salesperson has previously demonstrated high proficiency in a certain skill, but for whatever reason has developed low motivation. It is a means to intervene and address, and requires great care.
Counseling is a basic responsibility of every leader and an important part of supporting individual team members. A person-to-person relationship recognizes and encourages good performance. Its principle objectives are improving well being, resolving problems, and developing the employee.
Performance counseling at your dealership is all about growing others around you and informs the individuals about their jobs and the expected performance standards. Good leaders issue clear guidance and then give honest feedback to let individuals know how they have performed.
For the unmotivated sales pro brave enough to face the truth, the first step has already been taken. It’s imperative to take the second and more challenging step of taking action to change, and to work with dealership sales managers to make improvements in performance overall.