Clean Up Your Game Plan

Use subjective and objective assessment to create a game plan

Last month, I wrote about my efforts with my buddy Ron, the carpet guy. We covered a three-step approach to assess, plan and execute. As of now, we’re still in the assessment stage of his business. This month, I want to discuss the approach we’re taking to really get a proper and unbiased assessment of his business.

My doctor told me about a great acronym she learned in medical school — one that doctors use to create a logical sequence to figure out how to treat a particular condition or ailment. SOAP: Subjective and Objective Assessments, Plan.

Subjective Assessment

Location, duration, scale and type of pain are assessed here. First, the doctor gets subjective input such as, where does it hurt? Is it a clicking or a clunking sound in your knee, Mr. Hackett? What does it feel like? Does it only happen in the morning? Is it only after you eat pepperoni?
Subjective input gives the doctor two perspectives. One, it tells the doctor where to start looking. Two, it’ll tell her how to “sell” the prescription to the patient. She can get the idea of what the patient thinks is going on so that there’s a common language with which to sell the plan later.

Objective Assessment

Body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate are all suitable metrics that allow the doctor logical perspectives to measure the subjective against.

Objective input can be quite scientific but not always proper and sterile. My doctor told me about a sample stool chart that she shows patients to “pick their poop” from different drawings. (If your poop looks more like this one than that one, then it’s probably the pepperoni!)

Once you get your subjective and objective inputs, then you can begin to believe in your analysis. Remember, the carpet guy has a particular set of beliefs that are all subjective in nature. They serve to point him in the right direction, but are they accurate?

Only objective input will prove or disprove his beliefs. He believes that good people are like hen’s teeth, yet he just married the girl of his dreams. Obviously, there are good people out there. He believes that all carpet customers are cheap, yet nearly all of the customer surveys he gets back say he was chosen by reputation.

Creating A Plan

So what are your beliefs? What are your realities? Do you believe that you can’t cut any more costs? One client we work with, after doing a SOAP exercise, offered his key people stock options in lieu of cash compensation.

He also shifted nearly all of his pay plans to a more incentive-based structure. (Not an easy sell by any means) He’s now in a healthier cash position having reduced payroll expense significantly. He also now has more people with a horse in the race; more people who have a vested interest in making things work and more people driving the agenda of success. That has a huge impact on his personal energy.

When things cycle back up, his company will be leaner, have more people driving its success and the percentage of his business he retained will be worth far more than his 100 percent was before he made the deal. How might that affect the long-term health of your business?

One SOAP session showed him that he needed cash relief and that he could find that relief by making a shift in payroll. Once pointed in the right direction, he looked at what needed to change. Then he considered any and all solutions and asked more questions. Could the key personnel do more if they got paid more? Would they cut costs if they got a percentage of the savings? The answers gave him the plan for how to execute the change.

Will all this work for our client? I don’t know yet, but we’ll keep an eye on it for you. I do know that he now has a reenergized staff and better cash flow. My point is more about creating that final plan to implement.

I spoke with a dealer years ago who told me, “We’re really good implementers around here. We just don’t know what the hell to implement.” I’m hoping to provide my friend the carpet guy with a way to get control of his business back. In the process, I hope we’ve given you some ideas as well.

You May Also Like

Racer and Dealer Sponsorship Must Be a Two-Way Street

You’re better to have no racers than the wrong racers.

You’ve decided to sponsor a few local riders. There’s a motocross track nearby as well as a very twisty paved track and lots of off-road racing as well. I’m sure I’m not alone in having people of all ages wanting me to sponsor them. Usually, it’s someone who has done well locally — or thinks he or she will do well soon.

How to Respond to Digital Leads

Timing, presence and tools are all critical.

Digital leads
How to Attract, Retain and Develop Talent

This recorded AIMExpo education track features a panel of dealers discussing their hiring and retention practices.

MPN talent panel, AIMExpo 2024
How to Grow and Excel in Digital Retailing

This recorded AIMExpo education track discusses the world of digital retailing and why you need to be there.

MPN Digital retailing panel, AIMExpo 2024
NPA Pre-Owned Market Update: February 2024

Average wholesale prices continue to improve, reflecting dealer sentiment and demand for pre-owned.

National Powersport Auctions, NPA, Market Report

Other Posts

Establishing the Right Pay Plan for Your Dealership’s F&I Team

In an industry where skilled F&I professionals are in high demand, an attractive, fair and equitable pay plan becomes a key tool.

Motorcycle dealership F&I
Maximize Every Sale With F&I and PG&A

This recorded AIMExpo education track discusses how the bike is just the start of the sale.

MPN F&I panel, AIMExpo 2024
Elevating Your Sales Game Through Parts Packaging

Breaking down the art and science of a well-designed, customer-focused, profit-friendly parts package.

Unleash Your Experts: How to Be a Long-Tail Resource for Powersports Enthusiasts

Closing deals and providing service are a dealer’s bread and butter, but your dealership has far more to offer.

dealership employees