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PSB 123s: Important steps for a successful GM

Liz Hochstedler, Associate Editor
April 2, 2012
Filed under Features, PSB 123s

1.Walk the floor.
Make sure customers are being greeted, and phones are answered correctly and timely, says Amanda Blackstone of The Butler Group Atlanta, LLC. Make sure displays are current and organized, promotions are displayed and current and units are clean. Check that employees are adequately covered, in their uniforms and wearing their nametags.

2. Inspire your team on a daily basis.
“Before my doors opened, you could hear me asking my team ‘What are we going to do today?’” said Mark Mooney of Mohala Motorsports Consulting. “From all around my store you would hear, ‘We’re gonna rock!’”

3. Create your own culture.
“Does your store reflect your passion, your dream?” asked Jim Anderson of Go Pro Powersports Services. “Does your store lull [customers] into a cookie-cutter maze to wander through? Or do your displays raise eyebrows, bring sly grins and/or cause comment?”

4. Avoid tasks.
“The first task of a GM should be to avoid tasks, and the larger your store is, the more serious I am,” said Dave Waugh of Systematyx Inc. and PowerLog Pro. “Your store needs you working on projects, not tasks. Delegate and train your staff to handle tasks, so you can do your job effectively. If you are busy being busy, I bet tasks are handing you your butt, and you probably find yourself doing things yourself as it is easier than training or helping someone else to do it.”

5. Be involved in every hire of a new employee.
Do this no matter how busy you are, says Bill Nash of RideNow Powersports. “They are your team members, so know who they are and how they will represent your store, know what drives them and most importantly, what makes them feel special about themselves (money, recognition, self accomplishment) and that they chose to work for the right place and the right guy.”

6. Have a daily huddle with department managers.
“This is a 10-15 meeting, a daily review with each department manager,” Blackstone explained. “Review a daily checklist with each manager.”

7. Keep employees buzzed.
“Are they drinking the Kool-Aid? Having employees that share your passion and enthusiasm is paramount to your success. Make them part of the team. Recognize their performance in front of their peers. Pay them as promised,” Anderson advised.

8. Be specific about expectations.
“There’s so much to do and so little time. Give clear, explicit expectations daily. Don’t assume,” Mooney said.

9. Never let a sales manager turn down a sales deal.
Only allow sales managers to approve deals, Nash says. “Not every deal will make sense to him, but you may know two or three other reasons to make the deal happen that he is not aware of.”

10. Evaluate yourself and keep learning.
“As a GM, you judge and evaluate employees on a regular basis; task yourself with a dose of your own medicine on a regular basis,” Waugh said. “We are often thrown into the position without adequate training and resources and find ourselves trying to manage chaos. You should task yourself with time to reflect on where you have been and where you are going. If the past is a blur and the future is a mystery, get some help, training, reading, coaching, etc. There are many choices and exercising them is a sign of leadership.”

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