Regardless of your position (industry notwithstanding), your job is to grow in your role. To improve and get better. Regardless of your manager title and perceived management responsibilities, your job is to help others grow in their role. To make them better. Reviewing employee performance one on one is the key to this, and there is only one question to ask while you are doing it.
Getting Started: Reviewing Employee Performance
First things first. Before any sit-down, what should you be looking at when reviewing employee performance? In automotive, that could be anything from analyzing CRM reports and coaching dashboards to the sold log and CSI surveys. However, to truly understand how a person performs at their job, you need to drill deeper into their activities.
You need to read their notes in the CRM, listen to their phone calls, see how they communicate after engagement, read their text/email conversations with prospects, watch how long before they give up on customers they’re not getting anywhere with, and even monitor their interactions with live customers in the showroom. Without this level of granularity in our research of one’s performance, any opinions are just that.
In sales and service alike, most employees are given some semblance of monthly goals or forecasting so they know what they are to work toward. Yet, ignoring the finish line, it is the effort they give throughout each month (and on every single customer, opportunity, lead, call, and car) that will determine whether or not they win. So, I repeat, reviewing employee performance starts with a good bit of research in advance. Only then should you have the one-on-one sit down or review.
Begin with some positives you have found, and review the goals previously set forth and how they fared. Now is the hard part. Review the instances where they fell short, be it a short-sighted back-and-forth with an online shopper, a mishandled phone call (yes, listen to it with them), or a walk-through of a customer interaction in the showroom that resulted in a sale lost. At the end of each example, ask them the one question that determines if they will succeed…
“Is that the best you can do?”
It is a closed-ended question. They typically respond with “No.” You got their acknowledgment – that is good. Now, stay quiet, furrow your brow, and look at them more intently. The good ones will continue to explain what they should have done or could do better if it happens again. That is when you know they’re learning. They’re processing. They’re internally motivating themselves to not underperform again.
That one question “Is that the best you can do?” is more of a challenge to them than if you were to ask “Can you do better?” Asking, “Can you do better?” is weak-willed and leaves it open to being just a little better. Asking them “Is that the BEST you can do?” lets them know what you are expecting of them. Their best.
Ask that one question while reviewing employee performance and allow yourself to be blown away (and proud) at how well your team responds to it.
Need help monitoring activity in your CRM, finding weak spots, identifying opportunities for improvement in lead handling, listening to sales calls, and providing coaching feedback? DealerKnows can help load your lips and fingertips with live in-CRM examples you can use when coaching your team. If you are not already doing all this, but just giving some over-the-shoulder attaboys to your team members, or, worse, berating them when you learn too late that they’re off-process, I’ll ask… is that the best you can do? Or can DealerKnows help?