Controlling your “life” comes down to scheduling in most cases. Consider this, we show up to work and then figure out what the day will look like. Then our boss/manager gets pissed about something he was just yelled at for and passes the crap downhill.
So now you are working on what he needs and being reactive to your day and none of the “business building” activities that you may have thought you would accomplish today will happen.
Oh well…there’s always tomorrow, right?
No! You only ever have today.
So, what if your day looked like this:
7:45 – Arrive ready for work.
7:50 – Check work area for the necessary tools to complete my day with success.
7:55 – Start my computer and grab a cup of coffee while it is waking up.
8:00 – 9:00 – Make follow-up calls
9:00-9:15 – Check my Social Media business page and respond if needed, check in, make sure my post published.
9:15 – 9:45 – Walk through the service department and visit with some of my past customers, if any of them is ready to begin discussing a newer vehicle, start the process with them, if not, ok.
9:45 – 10 – Check with my manager to see if there are any stips that I can help with to get my deals funded.
10 – 11 – Work on needed stips
11 – 4 – Either meet my scheduled appointments or work on getting appointments set.
4:00 – 5:00 – Write and mail all birthday cards or CRM tasks that need completed.
5:00 – Drop all out going mail in the office on your way to your car.
Go home and be with your family.
Now there will be days when you show up and a customer is waiting for you to arrive, this is ok, this just moves your activities around in the day. There will still be plenty of time to get all of your activities completed and be home on time. Staying on task can be hard to do, there are so many distractions, but the professionals are very good at it and the make sure they have a daily activity-based action plan.
Millennials seemed to have figured this out way better than the previous generations, maybe because they saw their parents working bell to bell and decided they did not want this life for themselves, or maybe because they just desire a more engaged life, either way we can learn from them.
The differences between working your schedule and scheduling your work is the control and feeling of accomplishment, not to mention that once you start getting your daily tasks under control you free up so much more time for selling cars. Selling more cars means making more money, correct?
But in the same time schedule, because you decided to schedule your work. Brilliant!
Below is the story of Ryan, enjoy.
Ryan was rarely on time for work, either his kids needed dropped off at school and someone forgot a lunch, or his wife left the car on empty and he ran out on the way. Chaos was the result for Ryan every day. His clothes we rarely pressed because the dryer did a good enough job for him. Most days he wore the wrong color of shirt to work because her couldn’t figure out the rotation. So, he shows up late and disheveled and because he doesn’t want his manager mad at him, he chooses to kiss his ass by doing menial work or he hides from him all together. Either way he is not working a plan. Hell, there is NO plan.
By 10am he has stickered vehicles, filled some up with gas, hid from the finance manager because he is in no mood to chase paystubs, that deal will either fund or it won’t, this is not his job.
Noon rolls around and he is headed to lunch, he needs a break. Ryan gets back from lunch and is pissed because his previous customer is sitting at another salesman’s desk. He saw him in service earlier, but it was about the same time he saw his finance manager, so he ducked into the parts department and then forgot all about visiting with his customer.
Bad news for Ryan, there has been no contact and/or follow up with this customer for over a year, I mean really, he already bought a car, why did Ryan need to call him? Ryan assumes he’ll come see him when he needs a new one, they really hit it off when he was here, Ryan believes he will remember him.
But the fact was, he could not remember his salesman’s name when asked and the dealership has a strict policy for handling “abandoned customers”.
Ryan had no customer protection here, this was no longer his customer.
Ryan spends the rest of the day in the “huddle” bitching about Kevin stealing his customer. “I would have given his customer to him once I saw it was his, this is bullshit”
Ryan decides that he has to now work til close to try and get a deal because he needs to sell at least 10 this month or his creditors will be calling again.
Bell to bell for Ryan. His wife is mad, his kids will play ball without him watching and so on. This cycle will repeat until Ryan starts scheduling his day on revenue generating activities.
Being in automotive sales is not for everyone, it can be very lucrative, and it can lead to the career of your dreams, but at what cost? Your kids? Your family?
So, if you could even plan benchmarks in your day, you would see increased profitability and control. It would look like this:
Kevin shows up for work early, his attire is professional. Kevin brings his lunch so that he does not miss an opportunity because he was offsite. Plus, it saves him money and puts him in control of his nutrition.
Kevin knows he will have all of his follow-up calls completed by 10am, but he will also check in on social media, work a few leads in Facebook Messenger and return all of his emails.
Kevin has already checked the service log for the day and he knows that he has some customers coming in for service before lunch, he plans on spending some time catching up with them so he pops into CRM to check his notes. Kevin does not approach anyone unprepared. By the time Kevin speaks with the service customer he will have refreshed himself on what he is currently driving, when he purchased it and how far he is away from the trade cycle. Even if the customer appears to be out of the cycle, Kevin will visit with them about their spouse, their kids and he will ask them for a referral if they know of anyone looking for a vehicle. But you can guarantee Kevin will be professional. He is an automotive sales professional and he takes great care of all of his customers.
While Kevin is in the service waiting area, another customer overhears his conversation about the new Ford Ranger that just arrived, he is interested and asks Kevin if he can take a look.
“Of course,” Kevin responds, “did you purchase your last vehicle with us?”
And so, the process begins.
Because Kevin has set benchmarks for his day, it will be imperative that he is efficient with this customer and moves him into a demonstration quickly and assists him into the decision-making zone.
Customers do not want to spend all day buying a vehicle, if you can make it a painless and efficient process, they will be grateful.
Most salespeople will milk this customer to the end of their shift, but not Kevin, he will help him to make the right decision and then get him into finance where he can complete his transaction and drive home in his new Ranger pickup.
While the customer is in the finance office, Kevin has sent the vehicle for cleanup and gas and is currently printing off his CRM tasks and addressing his envelopes for his afternoon mailing.
He also popped off an email to one of his customers needing a copy of their paystub, he made himself a note to follow-up tomorrow if he does not hear back from them today.
Although these are fictional characters, you can find a likeness of them in most dealerships across America.
So, are you working like Kevin or are you stumbling through this auto career like Ryan?
There are such great resources at your fingertips, be better, do better, sell better.