Tom Kline is the Founder and Lead Consultant of Better Vantage Point and AlwaysDoBetter.com, leveraging his 30+ years of experience as a former franchise dealership owner to help dealerships navigate complex challenges. He specializes in risk mitigation, compliance, and dispute resolution, providing tailored solutions for both publicly-held and private dealerships. In a recent conversation with Kaylee, Tom shared his family’s history in the car business and discussed the inception of his consulting business after selling their dealership in 2019.
In today’s fast-paced environment, maintaining composure during difficult conversations is crucial. Whether it’s a disagreement with a friend, a confrontation with a colleague, or a discussion with an employer, it’s essential to stay calm and professional, especially in the business world.
With over three decades of experience in the car business, Tom has witnessed how challenging conversations can escalate if those involved aren’t careful. He advises maintaining a level-headed demeanor and a positive attitude during such interactions. Additionally, he emphasizes the importance of avoiding a confrontational tone, as emotional responses can create tension and hinder productive dialogue.
Furthermore, Tom acknowledges that running a business can feel like “trying to tuck an octopus into bed,” and stresses the need to minimize risks for dealers. Observing how different dealerships operate in various cities and towns, and how customers’ preferences for vehicles can differ, has taught him the importance of flexibility and understanding diverse customer needs.
By adhering to these guidelines, difficult conversations can be managed in a positive and productive manner.
- Remain calm in difficult conversations.
- Listen to your intuition.
- Negotiate long-term floor plans.
“Running a dealership is like trying to tuck an octopus into bed. The tentacles keep falling out.” –Tom Kline
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