Lessons from the Auto Business

So I went to a sales training meeting today and figured it would be just like any other sales training meeting: energetic but the "same ol same ol".  It can be stale, boring, and viewed as a waste of time.  As a manager, I know that any training is, for the most part, good training.  But today's was a little different.  Here is what I learned.

You have to become a little uncomfortable to bring change. You see, we are going through a change in the way we sell cars.  We hate putting customers in a position of perceived pressure.  So we are changing.  We don't want it to be that difficult to buy cars, it shouldn't be!  We are changing the way we are doing things but change is difficult.  Change is messy but in the end change is good.  This concept also sounds a lot like life to me.  We are resistant to change, in general.  And when we do need to change something in our lives, it is uncomfortable.  We need to embrace that!  You have to become a little uncomfortable to bring change.

Make a big deal out of the small things.  Sometimes we (in the car business) overlook the seemingly unimportant things.  We are around cars all day, every day.  I realize that this car has 9 airbags, but how much does that matter, right?  This is a small thing to us, but can be a huge thing to a customer.  And we need to make these small things big!  We need to emphasize them.  I think in life we overlook the small things, too.  The old adage of "Stop and smell the roses" rings in my ears.  I think we tend to overlook the small things in our daily routine.  We forget to tell people we love them as much as we should.  We rush around possibly missing something amazing in creation.  But what I think is important is that every once in a while we should make a huge deal out of small things.  You never know who's day - or life - you might change.

Your attitude creates the perception.  Simple, but true.  My sales guys will never sell anything if they don't have a great attitude, all the time.  Once you have a positive attitude, you create energy.  Energy creates enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm creates an event that you will never forget.  That's exactly what we are going for here at my work - to create a customer experience like no other one in the business.  But you know what?  I believe the same thing about life too.  Attitude leads us down all sorts of paths that can become unforgettable - good or bad!  But we wake up every single day and have a choice: good attitude or bad attitude.  What is your choice going to be?  Your attitude determines almost every thing you do!

This is truly about relationships.  This business, in the end, isn't really about price, trade in value, or interest rates.  It isn't about thinking you scored or got taken advantage of.  It is about relationships.  I am in the distinct position of having the opportunity to be in this business for a long time, and possibly own it.  I know first hand that relationships matter.  We sell a car one day.  But if we treat that customer right, they will hopefully be a life long customer.  Our sales people don't necessarily realize that because they come and go, they don't care as much as I do.  But I am teaching them to.  I am teaching them that relationships matter and are crucial.  Treating people right is all that really matters.  Sounds like life right?  Sounds like Jesus too, to me.  Jesus is really only about relationships.  He just wants to be with us and us with Him.

The thing about the car business and life is that at times things can be applied here and there interchangeably.  I look for these things daily and more and more am finding out just how much I like this business.  I like the challenge of it and I love the challenge God has laid out for me.  Now I just have to take advantage and listen to Him.

Until next time, attitude, relationships, and small things.  What are you going to learn today?

1 comment:

Ben Jenkins said...

Excellent overview as we are all in need to be reminded these simple principles that are so inspirational, both at work and with our family.