What’s the point? This question has been repeated countless times in countless situations. While this question is asked when you’re ready to throw up your hands and give up on a matter, it is also asked when you witness missed opportunities while receiving less than average service at a business. When you frequent a customer service-oriented business and the greeting you receive is, “Yes?” or “What do you need?” you might be like me and tell yourself, “This person is missing the point.” This is never more true than in the automotive industry.

Recently, I was in the market for a new vehicle. I had researched the market and knew exactly what vehicle I intended to buy. When I visited the first car lot that had the vehicle for which I was interested, the greeting received from the salesman clearly communicated to me that he was interested in selling any vehicle to me and moving on rather than identifying my vehicle needs and pairing me with the optimal one that would meet those needs. Then, when I let him know the exact vehicle I found online that brought me to that dealership, his response was to let me know that wasn’t the best vehicle and that he could sell me a completely different make and model because they were “better.”  This salesman missed the point!

His interest was in selling a car and moving on to the next victim. While he may sell a car from time to time, he will not generate repeat business and promote an inviting reputation in the community for that dealership. I finally found a dealership that provided the customer service that instilled confidence in buying from them and instilled in me a desire to be a life-long customer for them.

By now you might be asking “What is the point?” The point is it is crucial for your dealership that you have an ingredient that will shape how you and your employees conduct business. It is vital that you have an ingredient that will separate your dealership above the rest, especially in the area of customer service. It is imperative that you have an ingredient that will make your dealership more than just a business. The ingredient for your dealership that will transform it from a day-to-day exercise to a cause that energizes your employees to sell and your community to buy is a well-formed, well-communicated and well-supported vision.

A solid, dynamic vision provides your dealership with, not only a destination you at which you want to arrive with your customers, but also the road map that will take you there. It is the means by which your employees can gauge their level of service and skill as they interact with customers. Your stated vision provides customers with a clear expectation as they visit your store and a means by which you can hold yourself and your dealership accountable to what you set out to do, so that you can weed out those who stand in the way of making your dealership thrive in the market you serve.

I’m not talking about a worn out statement typed on the wall of your dealership, but a way of life for your store. Over the next few weeks, I want to cover a few tips on developing this dynamic vision and incorporating it into the D.N.A. of your dealership. The point is that your dealership can move from a lack luster performance in selling vehicles to a thriving business with a vision that inspires its employees, and as a result, inspires your market to buy from you!