Success Is an Elusive Thing

compass and success text

To some it's just maintaining the status-quo; to others it's being head and shoulders above the rest—number one in their field of endeavor. But, what does that actually mean? How does one measure it?

The clue actually resides in the question…How does one…should actually read…How do you measure success? Because, for every individual that reads this article, there is a unique definition of success.

Dealerships are individual, legal entities pursuant to their incorporation and,just like individuals,they each have their own rhythms, personalities, and opinions about success. "Sell more cars, stupid!", would be the flippant response that I would expect,but is that really the answer? If you sold two more cars (it's more cars, right?)…would that constitute success to your dealership? I don't think so.

The true path to success starts with understanding exactly what success means to you and your organization. If you have differing opinions within your group, you've got trouble,because every moment chasing a different definition of success takes energy and power away from your ultimate goal.

Settle on what success means to your dealership

Now, wasn't that easy? If you did it correctly, it probably was not easy at all. Success is a big thing; it encompasses a lot of elements and it touches every aspect of your business. Here's a oversimplified example,but one that will illustrate the point succinctly:

You want to sell fivemore cars a month…You and your staff do 'whatever it takes' to get that done,which includes less-than-perfect deals, hard, hard sells, and a lotof bad press…it might last six months.

There are many things wrong with this scenario but the core problems lie in the myopic view of what success is defined as,coupled with an ambiguous game plan(a dos and don'ts)of how to get there.

You can't get there from here—or can you?

After you know what success is to you, and what it is not,you can break down how to get there.

Don't be fooled; you can't guarantee it via throwing cash, gimmicks, or temporary giveaways. Success is a constant process applied by your entire team. It's felt on your website, heard in your receptionist's phone skills, seen in your commercials and print ads, and delivered upon by your sales and service departments. It becomes part of you,not something you do but rather, something you are.

Clients ask me all the time for a quick fix;what I offer them instead is a great start to redefine the paradigm and get them thinking about how to achieve success not only this month,but next year and the year after that,literally how to become their own definition of success.

John Yost is the senior sales executive of, a division of Ryno Production, INC. For more information, please call 800-860-7966 x 115, email jyost@dealermark.comor visit

Cody Larson


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