COACH KEN: TIME TO LOOK WITHIN
SIEZE THE MOMENT
The global pandemic has left a lasting impact on the commercial and fleet industry, not to mention micro chip shortages, plant closings, and lack of inventory on your lot. Customers and prospects still have expectations regarding their vehicle needs that cannot be met by any manufacturer. If ever there was a time for “self-reflection” it is now. What an opportunity! I know, that sounds crazy but the alternative is “self-pity” which might be the most destructive state of mind that exists. It becomes a cancer that eats away at your confidence, your attitude, and your drive to succeed. The beauty of life is we all have choices in any given circumstance. Right now the choice should be “self-development” not “self-pity.”
It’s time! What can you do today, not tomorrow to make yourself a more valuable resource to your own dealership, your teammates, your prospects, and your customers? Here is my “Top Ten” list for self-development during a difficult environment.
- Update your technical knowledge. Your manufacturers have excellent content regarding spec’ing vehicles, and changes in vehicles that impact load capacity, braking, or mileage.
- Visit your top upfitters for a better understanding of the benefits and features of their product. The more you know about the back end of the truck the better resource you become to customers and prospects.
- Update your social media knowledge and skills. Social media has become more important than ever during Covid. There are numerous books, YouTube videos, and blogs that can educate you on maximizing social media portals such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter, and Linkedin.
- If you do not have a personal sales and marketing plan, there has never been a better time to either write one that fits today’s sales environment.
- Determine the best and highest use of your time. It should be contacting customers and prospects. Choose ten contacts a day to call and update them on the “state of the business.” Often this will mean being brutally honest about inventory shortages and extended delivery times. Trust me, they will thank you for your honesty.
- Strengthen your relationship with your trading partners. More dealers are unwilling to give up units that are in stock. Be understanding and at the same time suggest strategies to support each other.
- Build stronger relationships with your industry partners to include the manufacturers commercial and fleet reps, internal support staff, and management. It will earn you favors when things get back to normal.
- Improve your sales and marketing skills. You can practice your word track/scripts, update your sales and marketing knowledge by attending seminars and online learning.
- Do the little things that help build solid relationships like “thank you” cards, that simple phone call to let partners know how much you appreciate them, and check up on long lost industry relationships you have somehow let slip through the cracks.
- Believe in yourself! You are special in many ways; you have strengths that can be magnified and weaknesses that can be improved. Never stop growing. You are “unstoppable” with the right mindset, 100% belief in your abilities and your incredibly powerful attitude! Live to win!
An old Chinese proverb says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” The most successful people realize that the toughest times yield the greatest opportunities. Seize the moment!
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