A Common Sense Guide to Evaluating Your Dealers: Part II
Questions & Answers
(During our webinar on dealer evaluations, which we adapted for our last article, we got a lot of good questions. This time, we’re giving brands the floor and offering our answers to their burning questions.)
“How many people should be on the review team?”
The magic number is three. Fewer can make the process overwhelming. More and the process can bog down. You may not even have three people in their office to do all this, but it’s important and should be a shared responsibility. You need a team that offers multiple perspectives, and that understands how dealers interact with and impact brands.
“How long should this process take? Should it be quick or take a long time?”
Like high school teachers say about assignments, “as long as it needs to be.” Inertia can bring the process to a grinding halt, so once you start you want to move ahead at a steady pace. Six weeks is a good rule of thumb, and setting those expectations internally and for your dealers can help you avoid any temptation to let the process drag out.
“How can anyone find time to do all this?!!!”
This isn’t a question. It’s a cry for help.
But, it’s understandable. This is a big undertaking that demands a serious commitment.
Here’s my recommendation: Think of this as the first step toward making all your efforts more productive. We frequently get mired in the “tyranny of the urgent,” which makes it hard to get in front of processes like this. And remember: The first set of evaluations is the hardest. Once you’ve got a system defined and team in place it will get easier.
“How often should we do evaluations?”
Annually. More than that and it becomes cumbersome. Less than every year and you run the risk of allowing it to slip off the schedule.
Here’s one practice that works well: Tie evaluations to an annual dealer meeting where awards can be handed out and heroes recognized. It’s a great way to create positive peer pressure.