A More Effective Team

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things not running as smoothly as you would like?

We’ve all been there, sitting in an auditorium of other salespeople or a group of dealer principals and out strolls an efficiency coach.

Then, for the next two hours, that efficiency coach shows you how your people have been doing it all wrong if you want to make more profits. And everything comes down to getting them to do things right. Why not? Efficiency is defined as performing a function in the best possible way with the least waste of resources. There are a lot of things we could do differently, small tweaks we can make to get done faster. Everyone needs to chip in a little.

what if we could do more? What if we could take giant steps?

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If the Covid-19 pandemic has done nothing else, it’s made us think about our processes in new ways. And one of those ways is to not think about efficiency, but effectiveness.What is effectiveness? It’s about choosing something to produce an intended resultNot much time has been spent defining effectiveness. It’s vague and sadly, not as efficient as efficiency, right?

Think again. It’s time for a paradigm shift. Think of the difference like this. Being efficient is about doing things right while being effective is about doing the right things. Get it? Big picture. We aren’t concerned with tweaking our processes. We want to throw them right out the window.So, how do we make that change?


Kevin Zemic, the owner of Ridgehill Ford Sales, believes that it all comes from him. Not the change of course, but the willingness to change. He believes the way to achieve change is to show your people you can listen. Assuming good ideas only come from management won’t work. Anyone can have a great idea.

To that end, he instills a culture of empathy. He wants his people to think beyond the desk and consider their processes before and after the client comes to them. What can they do to make it easier for the other departments in the dealership? Everyone should be driven to make things flow smoother and consistently scrutinize themselves to be better every day.

two types of people

Stefana Serpa, Vice President of Serpa Automotive, goes even further to recognize there are two types of people, those who already have a routine they’ve established at home and those who need more guidance at work to get those routines in place.

For those who need help thinking outside the box, Serpa is always available. Certain employees need more guidance and he’s glad when they speak up and ask for assistance. It’s important to have open communication and so your people can let you know they need guidance.

Have a conversation with them about their strengths and weakness. Why? Because we can’t impose change on an employee if they don’t feel comfortable with it. A dealership’s staff want to be successful just as much as dealers want to. You need to understand what makes them the most effective in the workplace.

Sean Kelley


Business development coach, Sean Kelley, helps employees implement processes to understand where they should focus. He’s a firm believer that if everything is important then nothing is important. Of course, that’s not to say that you should drop everything else, but zeroing in on something that will have the biggest positive impact and you can create a plan around it.

He agrees with Zimic on engaging your people together, however. He believes in the collaborative process to improve productivity.

the new normal

What’s next?

By bringing the staff together, he gets them all talking; directors, managers, advisors, anyone who might have something to add to the conversation. The result is to build it out together as a group so it becomes part of the DNA of the culture.

People are more engaged and take ownership of the process as they come up with the measurement for success.

His one cautionary point though is the need for follow-up conversations and accountability.

With social distancing a new normal, dealerships have to think beyond the small things we can do to eke out a bit more profitability. Sales are down and will likely stay that way. We need to take big steps to make our people more effective rather than worrying about whether the old ways are efficient enough.