How this car dealer remains focused and successful in the face of adversity

On the latest episode of Straight to the Point, host Frank J. Lopes is joined by Brian Kramer, General Manager of Germain Toyota of Naples. Lopes gets straight to the point by asking Kramer – lots of car dealers are currently breaking records, but should anyone be celebrating? Kramer says, they should be celebrating the wins because some car dealers have had amazing individual performances. Even though some dealers are doing great, Kramer believes they shouldn’t take the skills and discipline they have for granted.

General managers and car dealers need to work on the same things they were working on in April and May of 2020 to prepare for the next season in the industry. Going through adversity from the Great Recession, set a precedent for resilience, which general managers and car dealers need to have to have today.

Kramer adds that crises often create all kinds of opportunities. Everyone makes mistakes, but we must learn how to get past them. Kramer says his car dealership doesn’t make claims it can’t stand behind. He also says that leaders at the dealership look at character when hiring employees. The keys to having everyone working harmoniously, are competence and character trust.

Many times Kramer has questioned, is it worth it?, when it comes to home delivery. He says it is incredibly difficult and takes a lot of fortitude to weather that storm. In retrospect, Kramer says, trying to get everyone on board with home delivery isn’t the way to go. You have to have someone willing to shatter and go through the glass ceiling.

For general managers facing pressure, Kramer says don’t give up. If your dealership doesn’t have that infrastructure and nobody wants to do it, Kramer says table it, until you have some people that do. Doing it prematurely will decrease your value as a leader because it’s more tempting to tap out. As a leader, your job is to remove roadblocks, so your employees can do their job better.

Going into the next season Kramer says car dealers will need three things: trust, developing and establishing the culture, and mystery shopping your store.

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