Keep employees focused
If you want to maximize results, do whatever you can to make
sure your employees can focus on their jobs and have as few distractions as possible.
“If their heads are up their behinds because they are going to pay
another $200 a month in health insurance, they are not going to be
productive on my sales floor,” Zinn says. “We need to buffer and
Zinn says many employees have been concerned lately about
their health care costs.
“I can’t guarantee that my rates aren’t going to rise from my insurance company to me,” Zinn says. “But if I tell my people, ‘This is
what it’s going to be for the next 12 months,’ that’s what it’s going
to be. I’ll eat the difference.”
This philosophy also serves to further your primary goal of keeping the customer happy.
“The cold, hard rule would be walking out of the meeting and
saying, ‘From now on, you tell every customer, when they come in
to pick up their car, no cashier’s check, no car,’” Zinn says. “Not in
my store. ‘But boss, didn’t you hear what the banker said?’ I say, ‘I’ll
deal with the banker, you make the customer happy.’ Don’t create
an environment where that customer is going to say, ‘Those idiots
wouldn’t let me take the car home because they wouldn’t take my
You need to make your employees feel that if they do their jobs
in the way they were trained and always strive to service the customer, they will be safe.
“Go out and be productive and together, we’ll move forward,”
Zinn says. “But if you walk in in the morning and you get beat up
and bashed around, and before you know it, your insurance is
going up, your customers can no longer give personal checks and
your trade-ins aren’t worth what they should be, you have all this
negative stuff in your head and you’re saying, ‘I don’t need this
crap.’ When people think that way, your customers know it immediately.”
Zinn says it’s simply a matter of being positive with your people,
even if you have to be negative once in awhile.
“For every ass chewing, there has got to be at least five attaboys,”
Zinn says. “When I see something wrong and I try to correct it, I look
for five things that are right, and I try to reinforce them. That creates
the attitude that my boss isn’t looking over my shoulder to find things
I’m doing wrong. He’s looking over my shoulder to praise me, to
move me forward. I think it works in any business.”
HOW TO REACH: Craig Zinn Automotive Group, (800) 432-7178 or www.czgroup.com