For 11 years, I’ve had the honor of consulting with Florida’s Harley-Davidson® dealers. I’ve conducted ambitious cooperative marketing programs together with training for all departments of motorcycle dealerships (sales, parts, service, accessories and general management.)
While it may appear from the outside that the Harley-Davidson® brand is as strong as ever, if you’ve been following the stock price of the Harley-Davidson® Motor Company, you know that it’s down 30 percent from last summer.
The dealers I work with in the great state of Florida are among the highest performing in the country. But, even within our Florida dealerships, there are some that aren’t performing well.
Would you like to know the difference? I’ll tell you.
High-performance dealerships hold their people to high standards. While the best dealerships are not perfect, they hold their people accountable for performance standards. There’s an expected level of productivity for managers, parts counter guys, service technicians, and of course, sales people. There is daily reporting and ongoing accountability. Sure, there’s some slack given if a high performer misses targets for a few days. But miss your numbers consistently, and the dealership works to find someone who is ambitious and wants to exceed exceptions.
When I suggest creating and implementing performance standards to my clients, most tell me it’s impossible. They tell me it wouldn’t work for them. That they want to have a positive atmosphere within their business.
Harley-Davidson® dealerships have a reputation as the most fun place to work. And indeed, they sell a product that is fun and is branded as freedom. Yet, with freedom comes accountability. And as many of my Harley-Davidson® dealerships can attest, accountability can be fun. And, most importantly, accountability is the “secret sauce” that enables them to outperform other Harley-Davidson® dealerships around the world.