The Price Dealerships Pay for an Under-Developed Workforce

The knowledge that dealership professionals possess is inadequate to do the job for which they are hired. These individuals receive the bare minimum training necessary for them to interact with clients during the in-dealership sales process and in most cases, no more. This approach to professional development is wreaking havoc on all of the other processes that depend upon a more competent workforce to function and as a result, dealerships are continually seeking solutions by adding to the payroll, instead of correcting the core cause which is an underdeveloped workforce.

Here is an example. Back in my home country of Jamaica, at certain times of the year the caterpillars would go through the evolution process where they would conceal themselves in cocoons to be transformed into beautiful butterflies. During the final stage of this process, they would break the tip of the cocoon and squeeze themselves through a tiny hole and fly away. One year my friends and I found some of them dead on the ground because they were unable to pull themselves out of their shells. So, in our misguided attempt to help those we saw struggling, we made the holes larger to make it easier for them to get out. What we did not realize was that by squeezing themselves through the tiny holes, it removed fluid from their wings, which was the critical last step in their development process and necessary for them to fly. Therefore by us intervening, we unknowingly set them up to fail because we thought we were helping them get out faster which ultimately stopped their development process.

This is what has been happening in today’s dealerships as the new hire is rushed into production. Many dealership professionals, especially sales people, are released from the development process way too soon! Many of these selling professionals have never learned the skills necessary to hunt and gather business and unfortunately, many erroneously see themselves as victors and victims based on external factors of which they have no control. They have not evolved from the sit-and-wait approach of doing business, so they still believe that their success or failure is directly linked to the amount of prospects walking through the door daily. They fail to accept their role as impact players capable of building, maintaining and managing their own book of business, and so they wait.

As selling professionals, sooner or later we all arrive at that fork in the road where we either stop kidding ourselves regarding the results we are getting and do something about it or accept the fact that we are done growing and this is as good as it is going to get. The fact is, that although the company you work for may have released you too soon from your personal and professional developmental process, unlike a butterfly, you can recommit to the developmental process at any time to complete the transformation process. The information is out there to complete your development so remember, success or failure for many of us is a choice, so choose.