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Manage Your Role as a Manager

"You can't manage what you don't measure." This famous quote by Peter Drucker is brought up often in our industry but rarely consistently followed. In my view, due to the many distractions and multiple jobs a majority of dealerships put on their managers and, as a result, the most crucial job of the managers of a particular dealership becomes blurred daily, weekly, and monthly.


Your most important job as a manager is to compound the money the owner of the dealership has invested in new cars, used cars, and services and parts. The simplest definition of compounding is to make money from your money or, in this case, your dealer principles money.


What a fantastic industry it is, and how blessed you are if you have reached the manager role. Let me explain: how many businesses allow you to have autonomy over millions of dollars of inventory without you having a personal investment in said inventory while also allowing you to make crucial decisions that determine the profitability of said business?


As managers, you should understand what generates the highest return on your dealer principles investment, and when it comes to used cars, it is pretty simple throughput. How fast can I get my inventory from purchase or trade through the shop, detailed and online, with quality photos, meta-tagged descriptions, and a competitive price? This will put my units in front of as many customers online as possible so that I can begin getting interaction between my team and potential customers with the ultimate goal of turning a minimum of 65% of my dealer principles investment within the first 30 days to compound their money. Anything that distracts you as a manager from this focus can get eliminated or delegated so that you can keep the main thing the main thing. Various tools are available to help you become more proficient in managing your inventory daily, weekly, and monthly.


Why do we make excuses for areas we do not understand or for our team members who will not do what they need to do to help our team achieve our goal in compounding? I have had numerous conversations with dealer principles and general managers during my time with Lotpop, and what I hear concerns me, "I can't get my people to do that."


I am of an age that when I started in the auto industry, my not doing what management expected would undoubtedly result in a write-up and eventually the release of my duties if I consistently would not do what was expected of me. I believe this is one of the most significant issues in our industry today. Why would we ever spend the time and effort to implement plans and policies and invest in tools and applications to help us accomplish our goals and settle on an excuse that I can't get my people to do or use something we, as managers, have implemented? Is that a result of your people or your settling and not measuring and managing to the best of your God-given ability? Or simply making excuses for something you are not willing to do?


We are in an extraordinary time, a time we have not seen in our industry since 2008-2009, and thankfully, there has been an influx of younger generations with different work ethics and thought processes into our industry. Still, they are starving for leadership, especially now, as they are struggling with a time they have not witnessed before in our industry, and simply telling them that they need to get back to the basics is not enough. You must show and coach them our industry's basics, blocking and tackling—properly using our inventory and talking to our customers regularly.


Capacity and ability constitute accountability and responsibility. We should never be pleased with a level of existence lower than that on which God has made it possible for us to live. We should strive to be the best we can be and to reach the highest levels we can attain as faithful stewards of the life entrusted to us.


What are you entrusted with daily, and are you producing results, pointing fingers, or making excuses? Your dealer principal and your team depend on you being truthful with the person in the mirror, and your results in 2024 will directly result from the conclusion you arrive at.

-John Anderson

Vice President

Lotpop Inc.


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