On my first day working for a new employer, my manager was outlining what he expected from me in my new position. I was starting my career as a District Service Manager for a major copier manufacturer.
The mangers goal was for me to spend two days when visiting each dealer. I was okay with that until it was explained that my bonus was based on the cost of a dealer visit and the number of dealer visits. Now I am reasonably quick with math, and this was pretty simple; more dealer visits and less cost per dealer visit was how I maximized my bonus.
I told him he was paying me for one-day visits, and he said he wanted two-day visits. I suggested that he change the bonus structure, and he said no. For the entire time I worked for him, I did one-day visits and sometimes two in a single day. I did what he paid me to, not what he wanted.
I challenge you to think about your business. Do you pay people to do something different from what...
One issue in this industry is the lack of recognition of the accomplishments in the service department. When I worked for one manufacturer, they would occasionally invite the service group in for a joint meeting with the sales group. There would always be an awards dinner. During that dinner, every salesperson that met the minimum quota would be called to the stage and receive an award. During that time, I exceeded every goal set before me and received nothing. Events like this cause frustration and resentment.
This pattern permeates our industry. Salespeople win contests, go on trips, and get spiffs from the manufacturer. While not discouraging this process, I do believe that overlooking the service department creates resentment and is counterproductive. If we look at industry-standard models, service generates all of the profit in a dealership. Every sale to an existing customer is due to the quality of service they receive from your company.
In addition to service, there...
When someone gets promoted to a supervisory or managerial role, they might think they automatically become a leader. Nothing could be further from the truth. They may have become the boss, but that doesn't make them a leader, and acting like a boss can damage team morale.
Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others towards the achievement of a goal. We will consider three separate points in that statement.
First, leadership is a process of social influence. Leadership does not relate to a title or position. A leader can be anyone that can influence others.
Second, a leader maximizes the efforts of others. Because they have influence, other individuals are willing to be led by them, and they listen to them.
Third, a leader is heading toward some goal. People won't follow someone who is wandering around and not going to a specific place or goal.
If we're meeting for the first time, my name is Ken Edmonds. And on this blog, I share information to help managers get better at managing people, growing their profit, and achieving success in every area in their department.
In my experience working in the copier business, something I saw happens way too often was an owner would walk up to his best technician and tell him, “Congratulations! You're our new manager!” Then they turn around and walk away. And that was the end of their training.
Here is one experience where that happened. A technician who was probably one of the better technicians I met in my career was very good at fixing equipment. So the company wanted him to step up and be a supervisor and promoted him to the position of supervisor, but they didn't give him any training.
It was interesting because I got to see him struggle and try to succeed in leading his team. But he failed at that. The result was he quit working for the dealer and went to work...