Channel | F&I, Training Articles

Creating an Implementation Plan for Improved Performance

By: Gerry Gould

Creating an Implementation Plan for Improved Performance

Do you have an image of your dealer’s potential that your dealer never seems quite able to achieve? Are you having performance issues at stores where they pay little or no attention to your recommendation? When was the last time you visited a store after discussing a specific procedure, policy or process only to find nothing has changed?

I’m sure all of your dealers and their employees hear what you’re saying, but do they actually understand and recognize the benefit? Are they able to translate your words into actions?

To significantly affect change, what may be needed is a different way to communicate your intentions and explain the benefits. A method of communication that places more emphasis on what it takes to get there, recognizes the advantages and holds people accountable to follow through.

Too often we rely on the speculation that the dealer and his employees can distinguish a positive change from a negative change. Successful implementation of certain process, procedure and performance improvements involves a steadfast plan that communicates the objective in terms of detailed actions or operations. It should state specifically what tasks need to be completed, in what order they need to be completed and the timeline in which they need to be completed. Certain individuals should be appointed to perform the tasks while providing them with the training, resources and the support to complete the objective.

Most important to sustaining the process, procedure or performance improvement is the monitoring and measuring of its progress and the impact it is having on the dealership’s proficiency.

Any time you want to implement a new program, process, procedure or enhance a store’s or individual’s performance, follow these steps and reap the rewards:

IDENTIFY: What is the program, process or procedure that needs to be implemented or reinstated? What area or level of performance needs improvement?

Be precise in identifying the objective. Don’t just say “we need 100 percent turnover at point of sale.” Instead, say “we need a proper 100 percent turnover at point of sale regardless of the circumstances. It doesn’t matter whether the customer agrees to buy over the Internet, phone or is here at the dealership.”

The key words being proper and regardless of the circumstances need to be explained by pointing out exactly what is meant by proper and what steps need to be done after each buying scenario.

DETAIL: What steps are needed to accomplish the desired results? Take a sheet of paper and write down every step that is significant to complete the objective. Write down the name of every individual who has a role in its success. Review the tasks and prioritize them as to their importance.

Now, list the tasks in a progression suitable for obtaining the desired results. For the initial task, a meeting needs to be facilitated with all the individuals listed as having a role in attendance. The meeting’s agenda must describe in detail the program, process, procedure or level of performance that needs to be implemented or improved. If the objective is related to individual performance, then a one-on-one meeting will need to take place itemizing each task pertinent to the individual’s performance improvement target.

The following steps detail how the “role-out” meeting should be conducted. When followed, these steps show a sense of urgency and emphasize the importance of implementing a plan of action.

  1. What is it that you want the meeting to accomplish? Establish specific objectives for the meeting.
  2. Prepare a topic-by-topic agenda of what is to be discussed, and note how much time will be allocated for each topic. Allow for a bit of slack time.
  3. Prepare a list of attendees. It is vital that the “captain of the ship” be present at the meeting. Be sure everyone on your list is available when you want to schedule the meeting.
  4. Send every attendee the meeting’s agenda. The agenda should include items 1-3 just discussed. Ask everyone to be prepared to take part in the meeting.
  5. Start the meeting on schedule, with a reminder that time is limited and a statement to the effect that your intention is to limit the discussion to the items on the agenda.

Your role is to be prepared and well rehearsed. At the start of the meeting politely but firmly cut off discussion by anyone who departs from the agenda. Don’t let one person with off-the-wall questions tie up the meeting. Deal with that person privately after the meeting is over. End the meeting when you said you would. Thank the attendees for their cooperation. Prepare and circulate the action plan documenting who, as a result of the meeting, is supposed to do what and by when.

WHO: Who will be responsible for its implementation? Selecting the right personnel to carry out the tasks is critical for a successful outcome. The selected individuals must have an unyielding interest in the completion of the program, process or procedure being implemented or reinstated. Assigning a champion for the objective is great way to ensure its satisfactory completion. Someone will need to be assigned the task of monitoring and reporting progress as well.

WHEN: What is the timeline for completion? Setting a timeline for each task along with a due date detailing the completion of the intended improvement, program, process or procedure will keep you on track and help avoid distractions. By tackling the tasks one by one, it allows you to move methodically to the next task and gets you closer to completion.

MEASURMENT: How will the process or performance be measure and tracked? Who will the results be reported to? As suggested earlier, the appointment of a champion who will monitor and report the results to the “Captain of the Ship” would be a great start. Before results are calculated, performance benchmarks and standard functions need to be established. The benchmarks and functions will vary depending on the objective. For instance, implementing the process of 100 percent proper turnover at the point of sale regardless of the circumstances will require a full explanation of the standard functions to follow for each scenario once a customer agrees to buy.

The benchmark may vary in the beginning depending on the magnitude of the situation. Monitoring progress on a regular basis will help to determine the increase in the benchmark as it moves along. Such monitoring will also identify potential problem areas and provide assurance that functions are meeting the objectives.

Use this information to further adjust and optimize your plan. Failure to measure, track and hold people accountable through the utilization of reports puts the objective at risk.

Whether you’re trying to establish specific procedures, increasing product proficiency or roll out a new service contract, adhering to the five essential components will significantly increase your chance of reaching the desired result.

This article was written by:

- has written 12 posts on Agent Entrepreneur.

Gerry Gould is the president of Gerry Gould & Associates, L.L.C. an automotive variable operations training company devoted to providing general agents a source for their training needs. Gerry has over three decades of automotive sales and management experience. He began his automotive career as a sales consultant at Fitzgerald Hicks Dodge in Salem, NH were his father was the general manager. Soon after Gerry and his father opened Gould Auto Sales in Lawrence, Ma, which they later sold. After the sale Gerry was hired as a sales consultant at Ira Oldsmobile-Toyota in Danvers, Ma were he swiftly moved through the ranks of virtually all front-end management positions. In 1996 Gerry joined the team of David Lewis & Associates where he dedicated his knowledge and experience to training others. Following a successful tenure with David Lewis & Associates he relocated to Florida in 2002 where he held the position of Florida Regional F&I Director for AutoNation. In 2009 Gerry accepted the position of Director of Training for United Development Systems a well-established general agent focused on performance development. Gerry has contributed his industry knowledge through speaking and presenting effective front-end sales and management process and techniques for numerous automotive groups and industry conferences. He has also published many industry articles and produced several Sales, Sales and F&I Management training videos and workshops.

Contact the author

The views expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Agent Entrepreneur or any employee thereof.

2 Responses to “Creating an Implementation Plan for Improved Performance”

  1. Kevin says:

    Excellent advice. Will use in my next sales meeting. Thank you



    Great article – Just was looking on line for ideas for my meeting tomorrow and there you are !

    Thanks for your input – always appreciated

    Hope you and your family are doing well – keep in touch

    Happy New Year

    Yvette Lookhoff
    Mercedes Benz of Orlando


Leave a Reply