It´s Football Season Time to Build A Team and Win

 Richard F. LIbin
  18th-Nov-2009

We are in the midst of football season, which everyone realizes, fan or not; it’s everywhere. And why not? Football has entertained us, given us terrific memories, brought forth role models, and shown us the meaning of practice, commitment and team work. So, with a little help from Vince Lombardi’s wisdom and Bill Belichick’s insight, let’s examine what football can teach us about the retail automotive business.

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” -– Vince Lombardi, Coach, Green Bay Packers
Just ask the New England Patriots, winners of three of the last six SuperBowls. This team, like all others, practices for hours every day, five days a week, just to prepare for and play one 60 minute game. The practices vary from weight training, analyzing tapes, and studying plays to workouts in full gear, scrimmages and more. Why? So they can execute their game plan as a team, flawlessly.
How does this compare with an average dealership? Dealerships expect their sales people to work 40 maybe 50 hours a week and to interact with 50 to 60 customers per month, on average two per day. Most sales people spend a minimum of 60 minutes with each customer, so the “game” is about the same. But, when it comes to practices, most dealerships are far from perfect. The time to practice is not when the customer arrives, but well before that time. Minimally, dealerships should practice – deliver training to develop skills and hone talents – a minimum of 30 minutes every day, Monday through Friday with their teams.
"Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, and a customer will recognize both." -– Vince Lombardi, Coach, Green Bay Packers
Like football teams, dealership teams must clearly understand the game plan (processes/techniques/goals) and understand how to execute on the plan as a team. Dealers are obliged to provide training in the skills needed for every job function for every employee. Training not only makes it clear that part of each team member’s job is to nurture and their teammates, but it gives them the skills and tools to do so. Similarly, delineating the dealership’s vision, processes and procedures gives every employee the same opportunity to embrace new skills and apply them in new ways as a team. Often, training uncovers star performers who emerge only after they receive the tools and information they need to succeed.
Training programs don’t have to be complex, but must be comprehensive and include motivational, organizational, managerial, sales, service, and leadership skills. A host of programs are readily available from auto manufacturers as well as from specialized training organizations like Ken Blanchard or Franklin Covey.
“Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.” -– Vince Lombardi, Coach, Green Bay Packers
In football, teams spend days analyzing their opponents, looking at game films and preparing to play. They practice 26 days to execute a game plan (play) four times each month. Even players who have held the same position for 15 years strive to get stronger and smarter so they can help the team win. These players know that it’s not always the biggest fastest players that win, but the team that is better prepared and that best executes its game plan as a team. Their commitment to the team develops a mindset that can overcome physical obstacles, help maintain focus, and ensure the plan is executed flawlessly.
Similarly, a dealership that develops and recognizes its entire team, motivates the team to execute on clearly defined processes (the game plan), and provides opportunities for growth can overcome virtually any obstacle. As a team, the dealership wins.
“On a football team, it's not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.” – Bill Belichick, Coach, New England Patriots
On Saturday, “game day” in our business (and also the shortest selling day of the week), the 30 minutes should be inspirational, devoted to motivating the team to succeed. Forget about administrative problems like who forgot to put the demo back or who left the keys in the car. Instead, treat the team to bagels, cream cheese, and coffee to create an optimistic start to the day. Focus on about the positive aspects of the dealership and focus on team accomplishments. Surprise everyone – not just the “stars” – with a gift certificate to the movies or a coffee store. Motivational meetings set the stage for nurturing an upbeat attitude and help sales people executeon the game plan they’ve practiced all week. It’s like that old saying, “the beating will continue until morale improves!”

So, take it from the Coach that ESPN named the Coach of the Century – practice, train, motivate, encourage teamwork, and inspire to win! Last week was not only a game day, but a learning experience. Every play after the game (after every customer interaction) can be analyzed to determine what worked and what needs to change to get that competitive edge.

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Domain: Electronics
Category: Business
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