I wanted to thank the folks at Motocar Marketing for having me as a guest on their podcast discussing Leadership needs in the Automotive Dealership today. Here is part of the podcast. You can listen to it in it’s entirety by clicking here.
So now let’s get into the main segment today. I’m talking with Glenn Pasch from PCG Digital Marketing. Here is the interview.
Ashley: Welcome, Glenn, to the Motorcar Marketing podcast. I really appreciate you coming on the show.
Glenn: Thanks so much for having me. I’m looking forward to it.
Ashley: So to start out, I wonder if you can give us an overview of your career and how you got into the automotive industry?
Glenn: Interesting. A long time ago I was an actor for a while. I worked in hospitality and then moved into working with a company that did customer service phone calls, customer call centers and then my brother, Brian, started PCG Digital Marketing. He started providing SEO services and one of the verticals happened to be automotive. So I came to join him. He asked me to join the company because he’s really good at selling and marketing and I’m better at operations and training the people. So it was a good match. Automotive became just a vertical where there was a need and we seemed to fill it. We found our niche and so probably about 85 percent of our client base is automotive dealers throughout the US, Canada, and now we’re branching out into Mexico and Europe.
Ashley: Great. Great. Where did leadership come into that? I originally found you through an article that you wrote about leadership in car dealerships. How did that kind of play into this?
Glenn: One of my skills it seems from the beginning, I always ended up running teams, coaching and mentoring people. In transition between jobs I became an executive coach working with people on their struggles of how to run a team or how to be an effective coach. I worked on how to get through to people and coaching them to set a better example for their team and actually understand what the difference between a leader and a manager was.
Ashley: So let’s kind of dig into car dealerships specifically. What are some of the biggest leadership problems you see in car dealerships?
Glenn: Twofold. One is I think there still an arena of do what I say not what I do so sometimes it’s all about numbers, numbers, numbers which are very, very important, but what I don’t see is a consistency from a leader of how things should happen. It seems week 1 of a month we do things certain ways, week two and three we tend to follow more of our processes and then week four it’s let’s just hit our numbers. So I think there’s the consistency, accountability, playing favorites—we can go down any one of those roads.
Ashley: Let’s talk about smaller dealerships. I mentioned before the interview I worked with a lot of smaller dealerships in Southern California and when I’m in those dealerships, it’s a really tight-knit group, but everybody’s kind of wearing different hats. But I definitely feel like sometimes there is a lack of leadership really because the guy who’s in charge is just so busy running the day-to-day operations. I mean, would you have any tips for some of these smaller dealerships that are just struggling to get through the day much less actually lead their team.
Glenn: It’s a very good point. I was just at an automotive event that Tracy Myers and Troy Spring held called the Unfair Advantage Automotive Mastermind Group where there were a lot of small dealers and this topic came up. We started talking about it, the idea of a ten-dollar-an-hour job vs. a hundred dollar an hour jobs meaning where should someone spend their time. And your point is correct. A lot of times we’re wearing multiple hats. We’re just trying to get jobs done and so you spend so much time working in the dealership, you don’t have time to work on the dealership. So you need to as a leader take a step back and say who is setting the curriculum so to speak? Who’s setting the process? Is there accountability? And you have to really budget a piece of your time to really spend following up on other people. I think that in a small dealership gets lost because we’re all trying to just get things done.
Ashley: I wonder if there are maybe some specific practical tips like are there certain things that you see a lot of these managers and leaders doing that maybe they should not actually be doing, and as you say, these are more ten-dollar-an-hour jobs. Maybe there are some specific things you can say. You know, I’ve seen a lot of dealerships doing this and really they should be delegating those to the ten-dollar-an-hour employee.
Glenn: Right. I would say I’ve seen dealers who are shooting the photos; they’re uploading the videos. They’re the ones who are running every single deal through. They are even handling phones, and when I question them, I said why are you still doing this? And it comes down to well, this is the way we’ve always done it. It’s okay, I can do it and do everything else which is a fallacy. Sometimes it’s a little bit of ego. I know my team could do it, but I just think I do it better. And instead of spending your time training them to be better, you just end up doing it and then something’s going to fall through the cracks because you’re just doing too many things and you can’t really do them all well; you’re just doing.
If you would like to hear the second half of this podcast, please click here to listen.