On the latest edition of CBT News, Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Mike Phillips to discuss leadership development in the retail automotive industry. Phillips is the digital marketing executive for McCloskey Motors, while also being a well-respected leadership coach and trainer around the industry. 

Phillips begins the conversation by discussing the challenges that face automotive leaders in today’s market. Phillips says that traditional skills are still very useful because they connect with customers on a personal level. As consumers and employees continue to navigate working remotely with limited face-to-face interactions, a leader can make a huge impact just by picking up the phone and calling just to check-in. Many people are longing for human interaction, and a leader can offer it just by going the extra mile to maintain communication.

Phillips then goes into creating a culture of leadership training. He praises the dealerships he has worked in, saying he has benefitted from a strong leadership training presence that has helped him get to the position he holds today. Phillips says that salespeople need to be motivated by their managers to work diligently to obtain their goals. He says that a leader must be willing to learn and take constructive criticism to grow into their own positions of leadership. 

Looking to the year ahead, Phillips says that automotive leaders must be positioned to influence their teams. The best way to push people forward is to be their biggest fan.

“Remind people of what they’re capable of because they’ll surprise you,” said Phillips. “There’s not a replacement for a real genuine level of caring.”

Phillips concludes the conversation by saying the commitment to new salespeople is well worth the investment. Like any other trade or skill, salespeople need consistent training and guidance to truly reach their potential. Leaders in the dealership must identity talent, unlock potential, and encourage their team members every step of the way.

Did you enjoy this interview with dealer Mike Phillips? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at jfitzpatrick@cbtnews.com.

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