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Thursday, December 27, 2012

What Mr. Phelps Did Not Know - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

What Mr. Phelps Did Not Know - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

What Mr. Phelps Did Not Know

Jim Phelps, the Mission Impossible Force agent, always received secret orders on a tape recording, which self-destructed seconds after play. 

If only we could receive directions for our own life mission by listening to pre-recorded messages.
Life isn’t like TV or the movies for most of us. Actors work from scripts. You and I ad-lib every word we speak and every action we take.  Our speech and our encounters with co-workers and customers largely depend on our frame of mind at any given moment.

Minute by minute throughout the day, we can choose to just fill space in the showroom or create opportunity. Why is it that so many don’t seem to grasp this basic concept about getting ahead in life, that destiny is theirs to claim – or lose – based on their attitude?

Maybe they’re waiting for pre-recorded instructions.

Perhaps because the word attitude has become part of slang today, its potency is lost on us. Have we forgotten that attitude refers to a mental position toward something? In aeronautics, as a good illustration of this definition, attitude refers to the position of the aircraft’s wings to its flight path. The wrong attitude causes the craft to go off course and if not corrected, lose its lift and plummet to the earth.

Attitude in the workplace is this, this right position for a successful flight to success. It should not mean what slang has redefined it, such as cop an attitude or aggressive or antagonistic bearing.

Choose today to succeed
Life is about choices, and every morning is an opportunity to decide to go to the job and do what you have always done or decide to stop going with the flow and the crowd and establish your own destiny.

Mr. Phelps needed a tape-recording to tell him his mission’s destiny – you’re at a great advantage, you largely make of it what you desire!

Here’s the kicker – your attitude determines your outcome. If your attitude is one that embraces new ideas, is burdened by watching from the sidelines, is curious about what the 20-unit- board guys are doing, and wants to make the most of the minutes allotted to you each day, you have every attribute you need to succeed. Now get going.

This business can be a hard road to travel for waiters, those who wait for ups rather than create their own book of business by working what’s already there, the customer base. Take a survey of the sales team. What are the heavy hitters doing to put those consistently big numbers on the board month after month? Aren’t they working referrals and be-backs and calling their customer base to churn new opportunities?  Only 5% of successful auto sales associates in the U.S. make a living off ups alone!

The possible mission
Ours is not a business for quitters. It can be a hard business though – and typically a fatal one for waiters, the huddle-hangers. Sales associates who are relying on a volume of ups through the door to make a good living selling cars will be surprised and typically defeated.

The math just doesn’t calculate any more.  Selling 10 units a month at a typical $25 minimum (or even $100) is pitiful money for the effort. Sell 25 to 30 units and the math begins to work in your favor – and margins on repeat customers tend to be fatter, meaning more commission dollars as well. The associates chalking these kinds of sales numbers are those that pursue the business and don’t depend on it walking through the door.

Waiting is wasting… time… resources… and opportunity. Commit this morning to wait no more. Meet with you sales manager and together plot a more active path toward higher sales numbers, more gross and more CSI. Here are some steps to consider:
  • Plan your work day: Make change in routine, determine to make your living not off ups, but the customers your dealership has already invested in. Access your customer base and sort according to such customer categories as finance and lease, years since purchase or lease-termination date, months since last contact or customers not contacted in more than a year.
     
  • Be proactive: Commit to making most reintroductions to these customers by phone, followed up text or email. Have a reason to call them – you have new incentives to offer, the service department is running a tire special, or simply call to learn if their vehicle needs have change.
     
  • Step up communication:  Infrequent, generic communication to customers is weak. Too frequent communication can be a nuisance. Monthly communication is about right.  The more personalized the mailings – to the individual customers and their vehicles – the more they’ll respond. Be sure what you have to share with them is a benefit for them too.
     
  • Be your own BDC: Here’s what Jim Phelps didn’t know. To succeed you don’t need taped messages to tell you your mission – you are the mission! You are your own enterprise, your own entrepreneurial business. As your own business development center, you’re fate and your destiny will be defined by your own attitude, gumption, determination, tenacity, warmth and grace. Thirty-plus car months are out there for the associate who makes – and takes – their mission seriously. Good selling!