Goals, The Forward Observer, and Adjusting Fire

Posted by Erik Landrum on April 10, 2019 in Administrative Topics, F&I Selling Strategies, Going Forward

It’s time to analyze where we’ve been versus where we would like to be. Have we been closely tracking production or are we merely satisfied (or not) with the numbers on our paycheck? Having covered this ground previously, I’ll offer a reference to the subject (here.)

How else could we assess the situation?

In military parlance, the forward observer notes the effectiveness of artillery or naval gunfire and relays information regarding its accuracy. Acting as a sort of “forward observer”, I’ve had the honor and privilege of working with a vast pool of talented people. However, regardless of the depth of talent, everyone, of course, brings different strengths and weaknesses to the table. The key is to accurately identify the competencies and deficiencies in order to have any hope of embellishing or minimizing them.

To this point, some time back, I had the opportunity to work with a particularly talented individual I’ll refer to as Carl (name changed to respect privacy). His production was already good and he had been working as a producer for quite a while. I quickly got to know Carl and it was clear that he wasn’t enjoying his career. Something was missing. After quietly sitting-in on a few of his transactions, I asked Carl what he thought his greatest strengths and weaknesses were. The stated points of competency were agreeable enough but when it came to discussing the deficiency, it is here where the lack of accuracy occurred.

Carl thought that a personal trait of his was interfering. That wasn’t the issue, at all. I explained that what was holding things up, in my opinion, was that the presentation reminded me of a trip to the license office…very clinical/sterile and not particularly enjoyable. Apparently somewhere along the way Carl had gotten the idea that professional was synonymous with a very mundane process.

This is probably the MOST common weakness I encounter.

Once the issue was accurately identified, Carl immediately committed to adjusting fire! He dedicated himself to changing his process, memorized new word-tracks, and most importantly, was (as were his customers…now) having fun! Productivity quickly increased by over 25% and today is up over 70%!!

Think about it. What sort of SHOW are you giving your guests?

Consider Sir Elton John’s career. I know, he’s not in the car business. That’s not the point. Recently his net worth was estimated at nearly $500 million. You don’t even have to like his music to agree he’s a success, at least as far as using money as a barometer. Is it because he’s the greatest singer, songwriter, pianist, or composer on the planet? Probably not. But he is, undeniably, an entertainer.

You don’t have to wear funny-looking sunglasses or flamboyant costumes to get it done. Rather, if you will, consider an engaging, fun, enjoyable exchange with your guests. Isn’t that what you provide the folks with whom you’ve dealt, previously, who’ve requested you? Aren’t they far more prone to be receptive to your message?

With whom could you make a presentation, start to finish, that will provide you an accurate, fair assessment of the quality of your work? Is the exchange engaging? Are you bringing levity to the table? Do they like you and want to be liked, by you? Will they want to work with YOU, the next time they buy?

And, at the end of the day (if you’ll excuse the cliché), isn’t your productivity the most accurate barometer of all?

Think about it.

Good luck and good selling!

Erik Landrum
F&I Performance Coach at Conley Insurance Group

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