page contents Automotive Thought Leadership: Ralph Paglia: Jim Ziegler's Dealer Defender September 2011 My title page contents

Monday, September 5, 2011

Jim Ziegler's Dealer Defender September 2011

Jim Ziegler's Dealer Defender September 2011

In 1996 when The Spice Girls came out with the song 'Wannabe' it was sort of a mash-up of dance music, rap, and pure pop. The hook was electric and grabbing... "Tell me what you want, what you really-really want" bored into your head and, even though I wasn't particularly a fan: It was one of those things you find yourself humming and singing all day long after you heard it. Once it was in there, you couldn't stop.

To this day if that song pops up when I'm surfing across the decades on XM Radio; I have to stop and listen...too late, it's in my head all day.

For more than 26 years now I've been traveling at least 200 days a year out of town, speaking, writing, consulting and actually working in these dealerships. It's safe to say I've interacted personally with hundreds of thousands of car sales professionals, managers, dealers and factory executives. The biggest task at hand when you are trying to turn a losing dealership around...or when you are trying to make a great dealership better... is to get the Sales Department fired up and emotionally into the game. Say what you will about generations BUT; I will tell you from experience and observation that we are dealing with the least driven, most unmotivated, aimless sales departments I have ever envisioned.

So many dealerships have become safe houses for under-achievers. You got to have a culture of performance-based pay plans, performance-based promotion, performance-based turnover...and clear defined achievable goals.

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