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Wards Industry Voices contributor Justin Gasman.

Are You the Car Dealership Grouch or Game Changer?

Ultimately, you get to decide how you want to be classified at work.

It’s a match! Hold on, you thought I was referring to Tinder or Bumble? No, but the concept is similar.

I am talking about you and auto retailing. Remember the day you decided this dealership business is what you were going to do for a living? You’re just our type.

Remember how excited you were? How important you felt to have made it into sales and then, perhaps, get promoted to F&I? Or to the “desk”?  

Let’s just say you move into F&I. Are you the grouch or the game changer? There is a mixture of both in every dealership.

You know which one you are (primarily) and, trust me, your co-workers know. The grouch is the negative manager. The “it’s-not-my-job” manager. You know, the one who will send a salesman back and forth 20 times on a cash deal to punish him.

Grouches say things like, “Another (expletive deleted) cash deal?” They look for reasons to stop such a deal, and don’t mind dragging their feet when they perceive it as “a waste of time” or “no opportunity.” (For them.)

This mindset will destroy your numbers and kill the morale and comradery in a showroom culture at an accelerated rate, if not corrected.

The game changer is the manager who is upbeat, smiling and positive. This is the manager that as a salesperson, you want talking to your customers and processing your deal.

You like to work with them, because they are competent but most importantly because they make you feel good. The key to being in F&I or being on the desk is how you make others feel.

The best closers and the best salespeople typically are in F&I, for a reason. It’s not just about sales and gross and numbers – yes that’s our main goal. But it also is about relationships and the way people feel when interacting with you. It’s the impression you leave that matters.

The game changer’s mantra is, “Bringith the cash deal.” They see the opportunity. If someone can write you a $75,000 check for a vehicle, they most certainly can write a check for $79,000 and purchase a vehicle-service agreement or any other ancillary F&I products your dealership may offer.

Ultimately, you get to decide how you want to be classified at work. Do you want to be the manager who doesn’t show appreciation to other employees? Do you play favorites? Are you trustworthy?

Are you available and active on the showroom or are you hiding in your office? Do you have self-awareness and humility? Do you manage fairly or with fear?

This is a good reminder for all managers. No one is perfect all the time. We all have our moments. However, game changers more consistently bring positivity and leadership, day in and day out. That makes them pros.

So, ask yourself: “Am I doing all I can to become all that I can be?” If not, adjust. A great place to start is with your attitude. BING!

Justin Gasman is the financial services director at McCaddon Cadillac Buick GMC in Boulder, CO.

TAGS: Dealers
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