Case Study - Automotive Holdings Group Fleet teams

"Yes, we have had a return on investment!...If you are ready to invest in your business growth but being guided with Laurel at your side along the way and own part of the development, then you will get what you set out to achieve with Laurel. She gets people, and businesses on a much softer more realistic level than any other coach/trainer I have come across, and I think that is the key to her successful engagement in these courses"

Christy Critchley, Group Fleet Executive, AHG Group ( Full testimonial at bottom of page)

Automotive Holdings Group is Australasia's largest automotive retailer. In New Zealand they own a number of Ford, Mazda, Nissan and Holden dealerships.

My brief was to work with a number of fleet teams across the (New Zealand) group and support them to look at a different way of engaging with their markets, and elevating themselves to be the industry benchmark in fleet. The car industry is a fascinating one, with some traditional outlooks, and Global Fleet Executive Christy Critchley was forward thinking enough to 'call it' and say that if they want to survive, they needed to look at things differently, and with fleet being such a key revenue source for their group, it was a great place to start. Essentially she was looking for a revolution!

Christy and I worked closely together, to create a program tailored for her specific teams, and the challenges they face.  

Both of us are committed to showing return on investment, and we agreed that the following framework would best provide that;

1. Individualised pre-coaching for each sales individual.

2. A day workshop where an intimate group collectively worked on each person's revenue generation strategy, and aired their rants and raves about how they are presently supported to do their job well.

3. A six week follow up program, to be supported by a peer/buddy structure (to keep costs down).

4. Coaching programs for selected sales managers and coaching Christy in the methodology we implemented.

5. A rigorous review and reflection process with the individuals involved, the dealer principals and Christy.

The results exceeded both of our expectations, and in addition to a measurable return on investment (within three months of launch) the participants provided very positive feedback relating to the personal and professional gains they experienced. 

Personally, I believe the success came down to a number of key factors;

1. The focus on a transformational rather than transactional program.

2. The individualised coaching, which not only allowed them to receive tailored support, but to turn up to the day workshop with an element of trust and coachability.

3. The peer based environment; by creating a safe place for people to openly share and get support on their specific challenges and opportunities, an almost magical atmosphere was created, with breakthrough insights.

4. The tireless and extraordinary contribution from Christy. In the past, I have been viewed at times as 'a silver bullet', with the expectation that I will solve all the problems myself. Christy knew that there needed  to be an internal champion, both in terms of getting ongoing commitment to the program, and by removing the perceived roadblocks that the program participants came up with (all were addressed within the three month timeframe). 

The final point above is critical. There have been times that I have poured my guts and love into a program, with mixed results. I now know, that if a client organisation is not prepared to invest in supporting someone internally, then an ROI may not be possible. Not only do you know your business better than any external provider, but you are there consistently, managing the daily ups and downs; it makes total sense to embrace being part of an initiative to increase commercial success!

Click here to find out more about the ways I work with teams; I offer both customised and standard options, and am committed to ROI!

Here are Christy's thoughts on the program;

I have been working with Laurel for the last 18 months on a concept training program for an industry that is constantly evolving with its product but not so much its people.

I wanted something that was “revolutionary” in regards to training that showed a return on investment to my CEO’s  rather than standard out of the box training.

Laurel spent many hours understanding my staff and my business in order to custom make a training day that was relevant to each participant and to keep them engaged during the day and the work that was required post course.

The empathy and time she committed to each person attending was astounding, we didn’t spend the day getting to know the team that was already done prior to the session, so what we got out of the day was refreshingly confronting and honest, I don’t believe this would happen if there was no upfront investment from her, nor have I seen this done before, this for me was a big point of difference.

The course we consultatively put together was about getting the team to understand their worth, what they can bring to the table personally to our business but also to confront them with a strategy of their own doing, this made them accountable! Something training investments don’t offer in return or an “actual” that is measurable, Laurel made sure this was recorded and reminded the team of these commitments in the post course follow up.  However the way she extracted honest  - construct able feedback from the teams peers was remarkable, this gave the team the opportunity to understand how they are perceived by others and how their work, actions, attitude impacted on the business.  Let’s face it by the time we are investing in training your team now how to “do” their jobs, what we got out of the day is how they can embrace the soft skills they need to be great at their jobs. I have seen a return on investment!

I do believe that if you embark on helping your staff become “remarkable” at their jobs, you will see added benefit by having an in house champion to assist Laurel in the post work out! She wasn’t in my business all day every day, so I can’t expect her to aid or relate to my teams in the manner that I do.  She was perfect at following them up and making them accountable, but there is more engagement if there is some internal management  buy in also.  If the team see that you are as committed to their development as you are at engaging Laurel then between the two of you how can you lose! I felt that this was one of the key factors to the program’s success, I knew where to push on the bruise and Laurel knew how to help them get over the hurt.

Yes we have had a return on investment! Laurel has participated in the team’s success long after she was required to and has a genuine interest for everyone that she worked with.  Most of all she worked with me tirelessly to understand my expectations, how I wanted it executed and what was going to be our end result requirement even when I am sure at times her professional opinion was that I was trying to reach an unachievable goal. 

If you are ready to invest into your businesses growth but being guided with Laurel at your side along the way and own part of the development then you will get what you set out to achieve with Laurel.  She gets people, and businesses on a much softer more realistic level than any other coach/trainer I have come across, and I think that is the key to her successful engagement in these courses.

Christy Critchley

Group Fleet Executive

Automotive Holdings Group