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Your Role as a Vehicle Sales Manager

Accepting the role of manager is by far one of the most challenging positions within an organization, and one where an individual has to stretch beyond the normal duties of day-to-day business.  Being able to achieve goals and objectives through others will be determined by how aggressive you are in pursuing this new challenge and by how responsive you are to people.  Some of the hats you’ll be required to wear are those of leader, supervisor, teacher, communicator, guidance counselor, motivator, problem solver and technical expert.  As you can see, the responsibility is enormous and should never be underestimated.

Once you accept a management position, the progress of the department and the success of everyone within the department lies mainly with you.  When the department succeeds, the manager succeeds.  And when a manager becomes successful, the success is due to the efforts of all the employees who helped make it happen.  So, I think you can see that the role of manager really is a two-way street.  If the manager takes care of the employees, the employees will ultimately take care of the manager.

But we know that life and working conditions aren’t always this perfect.  Managers are human and different people exhibit different personalities, behaviors and styles for managing that may conflict with idyllic situations.  Those bosses who make the working atmosphere very unpleasant fail to realize that unhappy and stressed out employees are less productive and less likely to stay on the job very long.  Since we all spend a large portion of our time at our jobs, it makes good sense to spend it in an environment which is pleasant, stimulating and professionally rewarding.

Because employees accept jobs for different reasons, with the primary reason being the need to earn money, don’t expect everyone to be as committed to the job as you are.  Some are there to simply put in their time in order to collect a paycheck, while others are their because it is a stepping stone to something higher.

Since managing involves getting work accomplished through other people, a major objective for every manager should be to take average workers and motivate and guide them to become outstanding employees.  Regardless of the reason for someone taking a job, initially, the quality of every person’s work will be directly related to the quality of management.  When you can get your employees to accomplish their tasks in a willing and eager way, the quality of the work will undoubtedly be high.

Following are some challenges that you will face in your new role of manager:

TO RUN THE DEPARTMENT SMOOTHLY

As you ease into your new position, especially if you are stepping into someone else’s shoes, remain sensitive and attentive to your staff.  Now is the time to polish your communication skills.  Get to know your staff as individuals and learn about their ambitions, what they expect from you and the company, and what motivates them.  Don’t make drastic policy and procedure changes immediately.  Remember that people resist too much change all at once.  A new face along with a new style of managing and added responsibilities can be very traumatic at first.  Make sure that everyone understands the importance of his/her job, and how to perform their tasks.  Provide assistance and training to those who need to improve their skills.  Discuss your goals and deadlines and explain which duties and projects should take priority.  However, don’t get carried away and demand the impossible.  Be realistic in what you expect them to accomplish.  Encourage them to communicate with you and with each other, and to pitch in when someone needs help.  Solving small problems along the way will prevent major problems from occurring later on and will result in a more efficient operation.

TO CREATE A POSITIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT

It’s a known fact that when employees feel good about coming to work they tend to be more productive.  So creating a friend-ly atmosphere where conflict is minimal, where everyone is treated with respect is very important.  However, this isn’t always enough.  There are other conditions within the workplace that can positively or negatively affect employee performance.  For instance, employee morale and productively may suffer if the work space is poorly organized and very cramped, if the lighting or ventilation is very poor, if room temperatures are too hot or too cold, if equipment, tools and supplies are inadequate, if equipment is always breaking down and not repaired quickly enough, or if noise levels are too high and distracting.  Some of these problems may often be out of your control, so you and your employees will have to cope.  But there are others that you will be able to correct easily and inexpensively.  The more obstacles you can remove, the more pleasant your work environment will become.  After all, a workplace conducive to work is a necessity, not a luxury.

TO PROMOTE BUSINESS AND PERSONAL GROWTH

Contributing to the growth and development of your employees can be a very rewarding part of your job.  The more they’re able to grow as individuals, the better they’ll be as employees.  By giving them more authority, more responsibility and the freedom to creatively express themselves, you’ll help increase their confidence and self-esteem.  You might also unlock hidden talents that could otherwise remain undiscovered.  When ever possible, involve them in planning and decision making.  Help them to increase their knowledge and improve their skills through continuous training.  As they advance, give them more challenging assignments and inspire them to try new methods.  Be supportive to those who wish to pursue their educational goals.  Some companies even offer tuition reimbursement as an incentive.  Recognize initiative, contributions and outstanding performance and reward accordingly.  And remember, as you develop your employees you also create your own opportunities for advancement.

TO CREATE STABILITY FOR LONG-TERM SUCCESS

Employee turnover is a major concern for companies today because it is costly, disruptive and counter productive.  Just think of all the time and money that are wasted every time you have to recruit and train new people to fill the same vacancies over and over.  The companies that are successful in reducing turnover are the ones that give their employees all the essentials to help them succeed.  Everything that we’ve mentioned in this chapter is an essential when thinking about your employees’ stability, loyalty, commitment, productivity, performance, security and success.  When people leave jobs, it’s usually for reasons other than insufficient pay.  they leave because they have been treated poorly by management.  Treat your employees well and they will show their loyalty for a long time.

TO MAKE THE DEPARTMENT PROFITABLE

If you’re managing a department that is profit generating, then you must make a  profit if you expect to survive.  But profit doesn’t just come from marketing products and services.  It comes from creating good cus-tomer/client relations that will generate respect and referral business.  Profit also means being able to reduce unnecessary expenses and running a more cost efficient operation.  But the major source of your profit lies with your ability to manage and lead people.  It takes more than one person to come up with creative ways that will work.  It’s an entire team effort.  You as an individual may have wonderful ideas and dreams.  but if they are unrealistic, or if you can’t get the support of your subordinates, then your ideas and plans will not materialize.

Ultimately, your success as a manager will be dependent upon your ability to put the needs of your employees above your own.

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