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Does It Make Sense?

RETHINKING SNOW REMOVAL: Unleashing the Income-Generating Power of Your Sales Team...

Another year and another rendition of the same article... Why? Because it still hasn't changed...

The age-old practice of sending Sales Teams to clear snow from car lots is a common sight across North America. Dealerships in snow belts follow this tradition without questioning its efficiency. While the immediate goal is to quickly make the lot accessible for potential customers, the underlying rationale is flawed. In this article, we'll explore why this practice might not be the most strategic and how rethinking it could unlock new opportunities for income generation.

The Burden on Sales Teams:

One of the primary justifications for tasking Sales Teams with snow removal is the notion that it's their lot and inventory, making them responsible for its maintenance. However, this rationale falls short when considering that the dealers own the lots, inventory, and management dictates control decisions. The reluctance to involve other teams, such as Fixed Ops, Accounting, or Rental, in this task hints at a mentality rooted in tradition rather than efficiency.

Moreover, Sales Teams are often commissioned, making their time seemingly "free" when not actively selling. This makes it convenient for dealers to deploy them for snow removal without incurring additional expenses. But is it fair to view Sales Teams as free labor for non-sales-related tasks? The answer lies in challenging the outdated notion that the Sales Team's role extends to snow removal.

Here is the reality... with the average Sales Team Member income exceeding $100,000 annually and transferring this backwards to profitability many don't see the indirect cost or lost by sending these individuals out there. The expense is actually more in the neighborhood of over $200 per hour per individual. So, not a smart move fiscally.

A Fair-Weather Mentality in Winter:

The inconsistency in expectations becomes apparent when comparing snow removal to other maintenance tasks. Sales Teams aren't asked to cut grass, prune hedges, or tend to gardens. The reluctance to delegate these responsibilities to the Sales Team in fair weather raises questions about the logic behind their involvement in snow removal during winter. This practice contradicts the principle of keeping the Income Generating Team readily available for all opportunities to earn income for the dealership, regardless of weather conditions.

Opportunities Lost in Winter:

Imagine a scenario where, during a snowstorm, an advance team efficiently clears the lot, allowing the Income Generating Team to focus on their core activities inside the dealership. This approach opens up numerous opportunities for the Sales Team to engage in activities that contribute directly to income generation. Whether it's working on the phone, handling internet leads, managing service and lease portfolios, or exploring creative avenues like social engagement, training, coaching, and development – the potential is immense.

Drawing a parallel to sports, star athletes like Sidney Crosby don't perform maintenance tasks like driving the Zamboni between periods. They are inside, preparing for the game, honing their skills, and staying focused on the next opportunity to utilize their training. Dealerships could similarly benefit from keeping their Sales Teams inside, developing their skills, building and managing opportunities, and generating revenue.

Hidden Costs of the Short Game:

The decision to send Sales Teams outside for snow removal comes with hidden costs rarely factored into the equation. Salespeople aren't hired to be maintenance personnel, and going outside exposes them to health risks.

According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation, shoveling snow is a leading cause of heart attacks. Dealerships that send their Sales Teams outside for snow removal not only risk their health but also open themselves up to potential liabilities.

Moreover, the negative impact on productivity, potential loss of sales, and the overall well-being of the team should be considered. Instead of playing the short game focused on expenses, dealerships should embrace the long game, investing in their teams' development, promoting opportunities, rewarding successes, and challenging them to rise above. A shift in this mindset can set a dealership apart, garnering attention and reaping substantial benefits.

Want to start 2024 with an impact on culture? Rethink the practice of sending Sales Teams outside for snow removal as a strategic move that aligns with the long-term goals of income generation and team development. The dealership can benefit by focusing on the core activities of their Income Generating Teams, allowing them to stay inside, hone their skills, and seize opportunities. By investing in the growth and well-being of their teams, the dealership can elevate themselves above the rest, creating a positive impact on their bottom line and fostering a culture of success.

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