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Good is the Enemy of Great

-by Sally Whitesell

Who on our team is the best, and how do we get the rest of our group to reach their level?

This is a question you may have heard or even asked when planning training events or making business projections. While this is a good place to start, you have to take this conversation to the next level. Is your top performer really good enough to set the standard for your entire department? If everyone settles for reaching that performance level, will your service department truly be great?

In the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, the very first statement is, “Good is the enemy of great.” As a trainer and business developer, I was struck by this.

If we settle for good enough, it will become impossible to be great!

I speak to repair facilities weekly that tell me they are “doing pretty good,” so they don’t want to invest in advisor training. This is a statement that puts your entire service department at the risk of becoming complacent. Sometimes I am even quoted statistics on manufacturers averages. Should you settle for being an average store according to average standards? Should these averages decide how profitable your service department will be?

Being great is not a matter of circumstance. It is a conscious choice. Once you have decided to strive for greatness, it’s important to promote it throughout the department. Make sure you don’t approach it as “how I am going to be great?” but rather “how are we all going to work together to be great?” Good leaders and team players put egos aside.  

Assist your team in achieving greatness.

Once your service team understands that the standard is greatness, hold individual meetings to discuss each person’s personal goals. This isn’t about their career goals or financial obligations; it’s about their dreams and passions. What do they want but won’t achieve at the level they are performing at right now? Is it a motorcycle, a new home, a vacation? Find out what it is, and what it will take to motivate them to reach their goal. Here are a few questions to get the process started.


  • What is their personal goal?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How much more do they need sell each month, week, day, or ticket to achieve their goal?
  • In which areas do they need to focus to achieve their goal as well as your team’s goal for greatness?
  • Greeting
  • Walk-around
  • Rapport building
  • Personalized benefit-based presentations
  • Closing skills
  • Selling repair work
  • Promise times
  • Selling to men, women, young, old,
  • Follow-up
  • Active deliveries

How much more will they have to sell to reach their first goal? Break it down so they see that it’s attainable. Is it two tenths per RO or six? What bonuses can they hit with a little more focus and effort? This is a great time to do evaluations and form a plan for their future training. This is fantastic opportunity to discuss upcoming promotions and incentives for increased production.

Once your advisors have a personal goal and a plan to reach it, hold a team meeting. Let everyone share their goals and encourage them to help each other with coaching and role-playing. Be sure to monitor their progress daily. Hand out daily reports or use a dry erase board.

Isn’t it time to promote greatness in your store? Don’t settle for “good enough!”

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