David talks about the importance of getting different departments together to have fun and get to know each other, and how this helps with harmony at his dealerships.
Tactical Tips Episode #7 Transcript
BRAD: Alright, Driving Sales. This is another tactical tip. We have David Long here. He’s the Executive General Manager of Hansel Automotive Group, and he’s the founder of the Pandemic of Positivity. If you haven’t checked that out, check it out at pandemicofpositivity.com. You can definitely see everything they’re up to when it comes to trying to be positive during this pandemic. David, I’m glad to have you here. We’ve had a lot of our friends on here so far. I want you to share with us a little bit about what we’re talking about, about harmony between the sales and the service and the parts centers. What’s your take on that?
DAVID: So right now, more than – well, first of all, it’s good to be here. I’m sorry I can’t be at Driving Sales, but I’m glad to be visiting with you, Brad. I think right now, more than ever, harmony, not just between departments but in our community and our country is just top of mind, right? Because there’s very little of it. So why I started the Pandemic of Positivity is I see all these divisions and all this separation. So when I think about harmony between departments, I immediately go to historically in our industry, parts isn’t wild about service. Service doesn’t seem to be eye to eye with sales. So how do we bridge those gaps? And I have a few ideas that I’m happy to share.
BRAD: Absolutely, we can’t wait to hear them. Please lay ’em on us my friend.
DAVID: So you know, as corny as it sounds, there are these things that we do every single month. So same thing every single month, we have a luncheon, but all the rooftops, all departments, we almost shut down our business, and they’re always themed so that we’re either dressed in costume or playing games. I’ll pair up a parts guy with a sales guy, a service guy with a body shop guy or gal, and we’re always working together in those events to create a team, right? What I’ve seen in my thirty-three years is you go to a car dealership, a salesperson walks back to the shop, knows nobody. Now they’re back there high-fiving because they just won the balloon toss with the guy that’s a technician. It’s a completely different feel. And then, just Friday, I had an ice cream social in the shop. I put a table down. I put root beer, put ice cream. I put my technician shirt on and I sat there, and I sent out a group WhatsApp text to all the dealerships, and everybody came over and got a root beer float. So as people are coming through and they’re talking to people and the parts people are talking to service people, I just find it’s a lot easier to handle difficult circumstances when we know each other, right? When we have that connection. The last thing we do, which is super fun, when we catch somebody doing right, we don’t just give them a pat on the back. We send them a video. And what I found with these videos, for instance, if I see somebody going out of their way to do something for a customer and I send a thirty to forty-five-second video, which I’m a big fan of, I send that out. Guess who they show Brad?
DAVID: They show their kid, they show their spouse, they’re showing it at the bar talking about what a weirdo I am. I mean, all that is creating that environment that I think produces the team and the core that I’m looking for in my workplace. And it feels great, and I think it feels great for them too.
BRAD: I think that’s spot on, David. I want to thank you for your time. David, as always inspiring. Like I said, check out Pandemic of Positivity. If someone wants to reach out to you, we’ll put your info on the screen. I know you don’t mind at all.
DAVID: Not at all.