As a moderator, I’ve have the fortunate pleasure to work with wonderful NCM 20 Group members. I’m always impressed by the great pains they take to prepare for our discussions, and it’s clear to me that their work is the key to getting the best possible outcomes. So I asked some of the most successful dealers I know to tell me exactly how they get the most from their meeting, and they agreed to let me share their insights in a blog. Please know much of the following article comes directly from their quotes.
Dealer One – Get your management team involved
I typically get my agenda and meeting materials 4-5 weeks prior to the actual meeting, so I have no excuses for not being prepared. To determine what my best opportunities are, I actively review my group composite, circling, highlighting, and making notes. This really keeps me focused throughout the meetings.
After I get my thoughts flowing, we get our management team together to review the agenda allowing me to delegate topics for their research and follow up. I like to do this for many reasons; however, most importantly, this lets me and my team know where our opportunities are. Also, when I read the responses from my team, I am made aware of their best thinking. This can creates opportunities to develop people’s talents.
Note from Kevin: While talking with our team at the NCM Institute, l learned that a significantly high percentage of our class attendees don’t even know what their actual responsibilities are! There’s a real chance here for you to validate what you expect from your team and to communicate it in writing, then get them the training they need to meet your goals.
Dealer Two – Create a to-do list
After our follow-up management team meeting, I create my list of what I want to take away from the meeting. I ask myself of this trip’s purpose: “to make another dollar or to save another dollar?”
Dealer Three – Embrace the social aspects
Getting away from the store is vital to my own personal growth, as attending a meeting truly allows me to work “ON” my business instead of just working “IN” my business. During the meeting, I very specifically and clearly articulate what issue I want to get addressed.
Please know that I can and do get as much important feedback from the social events as I do in the meeting rooms. With so many individual agendas—some strategic, some operational—I try to pick out members who are already succeeding in the area I want to improve upon and make sure I get time with them regardless if it is in the meeting room or a group activity.
One more tip: As so much of our sales are initiated though e-commerce channels, I work to review the websites of my fellow members and local competitors. This gives me an opportunity to compliment members and offer constructive criticism.
Dealer Four – Don’t scare your employees
Note from Kevin: A common thread I have witnessed over my decades with clients is the pages of notes and exuberant enthusiasm members go back to their stores with. So as not to scare your team, the following notes from a member are ones I would recommend:
- On your first day back from a hectic travel event, try to sit down and get your notes and action plans organized.
- It is very important NOT to overwhelm your team with a “Meeting Mania” list of things, ideas, and processes you want implemented "yesterday". Just pick out the TOP THREE things you learned. Set up a meeting later in the week to discuss these ideas; get your team involved in the implementation or the construction of a new or modified process.
- Share all of the Best Ideas presented and collected while attending the meeting. After discussing them, distribute the ideas to your department heads where they best apply.
- Review the composite with your team when you get back. Also review it monthly and be as transparent as possible, so your staff knows the metrics you expect them to meet.
My dealers have given you a lot to think about, I realize, so let’s prioritize here. I think the key takeaways here are to know what you want to get from each meeting and make sure you put yourself in the position to get it. Stay focused and open to new ideas while attending your NCM 20 Group meeting. Bring back your ideas and, after a few days, share them with your team and discuss ideas for positive change.
As I am not in your shoes, I realize much of this is easy to say. As such, this is why I contacted your peer dealers to get the truth from those in your shoes. Here’s to great selling!
Learn more about Kevin Cunningham and how he and his NCM colleagues can help your dealership through 20 Groups and in-dealership consulting.