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Teamwork is key!

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. The key is in knowing what makes your employees or coworkers feel that way. What motivates one employee may not motivate another, in so much the same way, appreciation can be shown in many different facets. As a friend of mine taught me, “Facts are irrelevant, the truth is unimportant, and perception is everything.” The perception needs to be that you want everyone you come in contact with at work to feel appreciated. Have you ever put in that extra effort to help someone, just because you know they have shown you how important you are to them? Of course you have, and you can develop that powerful emotion throughout your company. This can be done no matter what position you are in at the dealership. It’s a big chain reaction every day, where everyone in the chain of command interacts with each other; and everyone in the chain has an effect on our customers. Too often, we are ‘zapping’ each other with frustration and indifference rather than support and encouragement. Sure stuff goes wrong, but can’t we control how we react to it? The key is keeping the energy positive and the entire company looking for solutions together. Be aware of how you interact with others. Are you a ‘hurry up, get it done’ personality? If so, are you coming across as abrasive or demanding? If you need to give exact directives to others, could you deliver the message differently? When you are complimenting their work, make sure you are specific about what you are talking about. The compliment will be incredibly more sincere. Give respect to get respect. By taking an appreciative tone and slowing down for a few seconds, you can show people you appreciate the job they do. More importantly, you can show you appreciate them as a person. When someone talks to you, don’t assume you know the question they are asking or the position they are taking, you might be wrong. Even if you really do know what they are going to say, listening is classy. Even if you give the person a response they do not want, they have to respect you for hearing them out. Write a note. This is simple and powerful and costs next to nothing, except time and ink. When you catch someone doing something right, let him or her know. Have you ever seen a person who has been doing a great job let their performance slip, and you don’t know why? Often, you find out in an exit interview that that co-worker simply felt no one cared about the job they did. Instead of suffering with declining performance, workplace drama, and employee turnover, prevent it with genuine caring two or three line hand written notes. Give awards. This can vary from little to big to outrageous, but often it is the person you are giving it to that has that perception. And the rest of your staff notices, too. Certificates are a wonderful reward; and they cost next to nothing, just get into your computer and there will be some type of certificate generator. Make the awards fun, too; one manager this year made up an award for our “Green Pea of the Year.” There is also the FNG award for...

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Do you feel stuck?

Have you ever wondered why a particular technique works well for everyone else but you? The most common reason for this is that we haven’t taken the time, or made the effort, to make it our own. For any technique to be effective we must first adjust it to our own vocabulary, philosophy, selling style, and dealership culture. If we just try to spit out a technique exactly as we heard it, without first making these adjustments, there’s a very good chance the delivery will seem forced and unnatural. And even though our intent is to make the buying process easier for our customer, they may assume that we’re being disingenuous, thus eroding whatever confidence or rapport we may have succeeded in building with them. Then, once we have made it our own, we need to master the technique by role-playing it over and over again until it becomes second nature. Here’s a quick and easy way to do this. First, we need to familiarize ourselves with the technique. To do this, we simply need to silently read the word track to ourselves four or five times. The frequency will vary from person to person, of course, and we aren’t memorizing it yet, but basically we need to keep reading it in our heads until we can anticipate which line comes next. What we’re also trying to do is determine what psychological or selling principles are involved in this talk track. In other words, when it works, what makes it work. We do this so that when we adjust the technique to make it our own, we won’t compromise the psych or selling principles involved. Next, we’ll need to read the technique out loud to ourselves approximately five times. This will allow us to hear how it sounds when we say it and to modify it so it becomes natural for us to deliver. As before, the frequency will vary from person to person but this step shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. To do this, the first or second time we read it out loud we need to do so with a highlighter in our hand. If we come to a word or phrase that feels too uncomfortable, or that we keep stumbling over, we just highlight it and keep going until the end. Then we go back and decide; do we add this word or phrase to our vocabulary (by saying over and over again until we own it) or do we substitute it with a like meaning word or phase that already is in our vocabulary? Then we take the now personalized talk track and continue to read out loud a few more times. Lastly, we need to create muscle memory. To do this, we take the final (personalized) version of this technique and role-play it until we master it. By mastering it, I mean it needs to become second nature to us. It needs to be retrieved and delivered with little to no effort at all. The frequency and amount of practice needed to achieve this will also vary from person to person but this shouldn’t take more than ten highly focused minutes. Then, once we master it, we’ll still need to practice it every once in a while to keep it current and...

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