Treating People Well: The Foundation of a Strong Brand Perception
In an insightful conversation focused on Succession Planning and Strategic Considerations in Automotive Retail with Jason Stein from Flat Six Media, George Karolis of The Presidio Group, and Champ Rawls, a succession planner with The Rawls Group, George Karolis emphasizes the significance of creating a unique brand identity in the auto dealership industry. According to Karolis, a dealer’s brand image is shaped by the cars they sell and their treatment of employees, team members, customers, and the community. He underscores the importance of building dynamic relationships with all stakeholders, stating, “It’s not just about how you treat your employees and team members, but also how you engage with and serve the community and customers.” By prioritizing these aspects, dealers can set their organizations apart from the competition and establish a lasting brand reputation.
Owning Multiple Rooftops and Embracing Diversity: Creating Opportunities for Advancement
Karolis stresses the need for dealerships to separate themselves from neighboring competitors to thrive in a competitive market. He explains, “You’ve got a standalone store or series of stores, and you want to separate yourself from the guy down the street.” He encourages dealers to embrace diversity and own multiple rooftops, as this approach creates more opportunities for advancement and movement within the industry. Karolis highlights, “There are more roles for people to move into in bigger groups.”
Investing in New Technology: Gaining a Competitive Edge
The conversation also touches upon the significance of investing in new technology and the advantage of spreading the cost across multiple brands and locations. Dealers can leverage technological advancements to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and stay ahead in an ever-evolving industry. Karolis explains, “We see that as a focus as these dealers are investing in this new technology that’s continually evolving and costing money, being able to spread that across multiple brands and more rooftops is also a mitigating factor that we see driving some of this growth.”
Fostering a Great Culture and Work Environment: Key Factors for Success
Karolis emphasizes that successful dealerships prioritize treating people well and providing a clear path for growth. He emphasizes the importance of fostering a great culture and work environment, stating, “It’s having a path, having a great culture and work environment for your people, and having the path for improvement.” Dealers and key leaders who focus on these aspects tend to retain their talent and achieve greater success as a result.
Retaining Talent and Achieving Greater Success: The Results of a People-Centric Approach
Retaining talent during challenging times is a recurring theme in the conversation. Owning multiple rooftops and embracing diversity creates more career advancement and mobility opportunities within the organization. This, coupled with investments in new technology, enables successful dealers to retain top talent and achieve even greater success. Karolis notes, “We see a lot of successful dealers retaining and being even more successful as a result.”
A New Era for Auto Dealerships: Reshaping the Industry Through Branding, Culture, and Innovation
The car business is undergoing a transformation, and branding, culture, and innovation are at the forefront of this change. Embracing a people-first approach, offering growth opportunities, cultivating a positive work environment, and leveraging the latest technology are key to revolutionizing the industry and staying ahead of the competition. The secret to success lies in building a unique brand fueled by excellence in interacting with employees, team members, customers, and the community. By prioritizing these values, dealers can achieve long-term success and differentiate themselves from the competition.