Projection and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Posted by Erik Landrum on April 12, 2019 in F&I Selling Strategies, General Communication Skills

What sort of sentiments are you telegraphing to your Guests?

Is it…
a.) I’m having a great month
b.) no way, not another cash deal
c.) I’ve got to be out of my mind, doing this for a living, or d.) I think I got food poisoning at lunch


A, b, c, or d…you’re probably right!

Whichever the case may be, your Guests can practically smell it on you. Think of it this way… Have you ever wondered why this business seems to be so streaky? In other words, why does it always run either hot or cold? Sometimes it feels like we couldn’t give away a shotgun during a prison riot, while other times we’re rolling, flowing, and everything is perfect!

A huge part of the answer is staring at us in the mirror. We’ve heard it a gazillion times…”attitude is everything” and, frankly, when you’re in a bad mood, the last thing you want to hear AGAIN is some cliché. In fact, the next person who tells you to “worry about what you can control, and not what you can’t” may risk getting choked! We’ve all been here and, given the opportunity to avoid the negative thoughts, we’d happily stay far, far away. Alas, however, it sometimes seems to creep in, unavoidably, and stick around as a rut we’ve fallen into.

This is where process helps tremendously! Find shelter in the fact that best business practices dictate 100% of our products, presented to 100% of our Guests, 100% of the time. In other words, when you begin to review your menu and your Guest states “you can skip it…I’m not interested in any of that stuff!”, you could choose from two possible responses. You can hang your head dejectedly, meekly stating “okay, sign here that you decline all options”, or you can confidently state “Charlie, I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to save both of us some time! However, for compliance reasons, I have to review this with you. I tell you what, I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version.”

Remember, this is YOUR space. Charlie is a guest in YOUR house. He is counting on you to lead the way. Be the leader. Inspire through confidence. Present your Guest with the opportunity, unfailingly, to take advantage of everything you have available. You may actually have, perhaps, let’s call it a 25% chance they’ll see value versus a 100% chance in NOT seeing any, if you capitulate!

No short cuts! They’re productivity killers!!! Stick with what you know and follow your training. Get back to basics, if you will, and avoid over analyzing/dwelling on failure. That tends to promote further mental obstacles. Remember, you’re a Salesperson (with the title Business Manager) who is probably best motivated by positive reinforcement. If anything must be emphasized, make it success.

Next, consider the example of a friend who was once cutting through the backyard on his way home from school. When I opened the door to ask if he wanted something to drink (he had a miles-long walk ahead of him) my German Shepherd, Sam, bolted! My friend (we’ll call him Dave) saw what was coming and turned to run, presenting Sam with his backside. Well, you can guess what happened…Sam chomped right down…and so it goes. It’ll happen every time. Don’t be Dave!

Thoughtfully evaluate what your demeanor says about your confidence?!? Is it inspiring? Would you want to be in a foxhole with yourself? Can you be the warrior-poet?

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” -Heraclitus

Think about it.

Good luck and good selling!

Erik Landrum
F&I Performance Coach at Conley Insurance Group

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