Let someone who knows the position and role evaluate you and your performance, then be willing to listen to the feedback. - IMAGE: Pexels/Karolina Grabowska

Let someone who knows the position and role evaluate you and your performance, then be willing to listen to the feedback.

IMAGE: Pexels/Karolina Grabowska

As I wrote this article, it was football season. Most college teams had worked hard to win enough games to become eligible, and NFL teams were competing during the last quarter of the season to make the playoffs. Each week during the season, each team is matched with an opponent, except for the teams that are on the “bye.” Those teams have the week off so the players can get a break and try to rehabilitate their bodies from the wear and tear of a grueling season. You may be asking yourself, “What does that have to do with automotive retail?”

It's not what the players do during the bye week that could relate to the car business, it’s what the coaches do during the bye week that we may be able to learn from and apply to what we do.

Just about every position coach in football self-scouts the team during the bye. Self-scouting is a process that grades each player’s performance on every play they have participated in that season. It sounds like an incredible amount of work that takes hours and hours of watching film. It’s worth the time and effort, though, because what comes from this process is a better understanding of player performance and team performance in any given situation they may encounter during a game. It uncovers tendencies and helps the coaches and players to understand what they do well, what they don’t do well, and more importantly, the “why” behind both.

Although we don’t enjoy a bye week in automotive retail, perhaps we could benefit from the self-scouting process. If you were to compare dealership department managers or directors to position coaches, it would then be their responsibility to self-scout their respective department’s performance. If you are an F&I manager who doesn’t have a director, then the self-scouting would be up to you.

The self-reflection that comes with self-scouting is at the heart of being a professional, whether you are professional football player, or a manager or individual contributor in a dealership. Objectively grading your performance requires putting ego aside and accepting that to improve, you must uncover performance gaps, skill deficiencies and the tendencies you bring to your role and responsibilities in every situation you encounter.

Our business is tougher now than it has been in the last couple of years. Those who have focused on executing on the fundamentals over the past couple of years are outperforming their competition and are gaining market share in a down market; those who haven’t are losing market share. What does your scoreboard look like?

A good place to start self-scouting is to look at your processes and your key performance indicators. Hopefully you have some written processes and procedures to refer to that the dealership has deemed worthy of writing down and holding people accountable to. Sales process and F&I process come to mind. For many, accountability to the sales process wasn’t a priority in the take-it-or-leave-it sales environment of 2021 and 2022. Self-scouting you as a sales manager and your sales team on how they are executing on something as fundamental as the steps to the sale may be an eye opener that leads to some coaching opportunities.

F&I managers may need to start the self-scouting process with their numbers. Examining how well you perform with each deal type, and your product penetration trend within those deal types, takes time and can be difficult, but it’s worth the effort. Self-scouting your KPIs leads to self-scouting your process. How well are you serving your sales team? Are you sticking to your process every time with every customer? Are you enthusiastic for every deal? Getting away from the fundamentals leads to performance issues. Self-scouting helps you to identify the performance issues before the performance issues identify you!

If it’s difficult for you to be objective, seek out the observations of others. Let someone who knows the position and role evaluate you and your performance, then be willing to listen to the feedback.

In automotive retail and football, self-scouting raises self-awareness, increases performance, and is worth the time and effort to do it. Now, all we have to do is figure out how to convince the dealer to give us a bye week.


John Tabar serves as executive director of training for Brown & Brown.

Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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