How To Be a Leader at Your Dealership

How To Be a Leader at Your Dealership

In order for any car dealership to be successful, it needs to have good leadership. A manager needs to know more than just how to sell a car, interact with customers and efficiently manage time. They need to know how to be great leaders and steer their team to success. After all, without your team, your dealership would not be able to succeed for very long. By now, you’re probably thinking how you lead by example and become an effective leader at your dealership. Your attitude, communication skills with all types of people, open-mindedness, flexibility, growth mindset and ability to cope under stress are all huge factors when leading a dealership. In this article, we will talk about each of these factors and how they can make you an amazing leader at your car dealership.

Good Leaders Have a Vision for Their Dealership

Whether you’re starting a dealership as an owner or just came in as a new general manager, you need to have a vision for how your dealership will operate. Having a vision for your dealership will not only keep you and your team motivated but it will also guide your team on a path to making that vision become a reality. Ask yourself, how will you ever achieve your vision if your team isn’t completely aware of what that vision is and how to align with it? While many aspects of your dealership will change over time, make your grand vision the goal and ensure your entire team knows it. 

Good Leaders Are Enthusiastic

A good leader shows up to the dealership every day with an enthusiastic attitude. If you show up to work with a negative, low-energy attitude how are you supposed to expect your team to act? Enthusiasm and positivity are contagious so as a leader it's up to you to bring a great attitude every day and you’ll see your team model this behaviour creating an amazing environment. Here are a few things you can do around the dealership to encourage a positive attitude. 

  • Being a hard worker and putting in extra effort when it's required
  • Remaining positive even when things are tough at the dealership
  • Get to know your employees by showing genuine interest in their lives
  • Not gossiping about co-workers or customers
  • Encouraging and providing training for your employees
  • Keeping your dealership looking clean and organized at all times

Good Leaders Know How to Communicate

Communication is one of the most important parts of running any successful business, regardless of the industry. As a leader, you need to be an excellent communicator so you can work efficiently with your staff, customers and vendors. Communicating well means delivering performance reviews, giving feedback, training, discussing challenges your team is facing and much more. Communication is a learned skill, so if you feel like it’s something you struggle with, consider looking for training to improve it. 

Good Leaders Adapt to Changes

The automotive industry is changing all the time and the processes in which dealers use are also frequently changing. If you want to be a successful dealership, you need to be able to adapt to changing conditions. The pandemic is a great example of how when things changed significantly, dealerships were forced to either adapt or fail. Being adaptable is a huge component of leadership both for your dealership and the people you work with. Being adaptable means taking in new information or data and making decisions based on what the data is telling you. A great leader looks at change as an opportunity to improve, not as a negative that will hinder the dealership.

Good Leaders Welcome Innovation/Technology

Great leaders are always seeking to innovate in order to make the processes that they go through every day easier and more efficient. They find solutions, weight pros and cons and invest in technology to bring their dealership to the next level. For example, maybe you want to make financing easier for your customers by introducing AVA Credit on your website. Whatever it is, don’t let your dealership fall behind by using the tools and technology of yesterday. 

Good Leaders Are Dedicated to Their Dealership

Decide on your goals, and make sure you take all necessary steps to achieve them. If you take the necessary actions to achieve each goal, the dealership will be profitable. Your commitment to the company will motivate those around you, resulting in devoted staff members and happy customers, who are of course the centre of any dealership.

Sometimes, effective company leaders must go above and beyond for their dealership. Throughout your career as a leader, dedication will manifest itself in a variety of ways, whether it involves accepting calls on the weekend or behaving more like a therapist for your staff than a "boss." Accept them all and think about how you might prepare yourself to deal with the variety of scenarios you'll experience.

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