Looking Back, Analyzing Current Events, and Looking Forward

Posted by Erik Landrum on April 13, 2019 in Administrative Topics, F&I Selling Strategies, Going Forward, How to Present Your Menu

This is the time of year to consider where we’ve been, what’s happening currently, and what we’d like to accomplish in the New Year. Simply put, we’re going to need a plan to get there. Reviewing the past and present will help create the map.

From a macro perspective, many of us may resist looking back at the events of the past year. Hopefully we had a good year, but typically it was not without it’s difficulties, and no one wants to revisit the drama. We may consider all of that “Automotive History” better left alone.

But is it?

Lately, it seems as though I’ve worked with a lot of talented, intelligent, successful, experienced Business Managers who recently may have experienced a fall-off in production. What may have begun as nothing more than a route of bad luck, extended into more of a chronic downturn.

History shows us that the failures we forget, we are likely to repeat. Of course everyone tries avoiding minefields, previously traveled, but how do we ensure these brief problems don’t become lingering issues?

Putting history to work for us, by writing down and keeping track of the challenges that once presented themselves, should help keep us out of the trick-bag, in the future. Of course, don’t try to recall all of these obstacles, from the past year (your head would probably explode), but perhaps write down the highlights, as you can remember them. Going forward, however, try to keep track. What was the objection and how was it (or wasn’t it) overcome? Additionally (with accurate record keeping), when things do get sideways, we may be further encouraged (being reminded of the temporary nature of that which currently ails us), by reflecting upon the seemingly insurmountable (at least at the time) challenges of the past! Therefore, unlike in the past, when a temporary set-back occurs, instead of causing us to fall into a rut of non-production, we are going to climb out of the hole quickly, and shake-off whatever might otherwise affect our confidence. We aren’t going to try and re-invent the wheel and overreact to the impediment. Our confidence won’t be shaken. We’ve been there, handled the adversity, and have overcome. We’ll make minor adjustments and move forward!

Regarding current events, it seems that the two biggest issues we have been dealing with, lately, are interest rates that are rising and Lenders limiting the back-end we are able to offer our Guests.

Where interest rates are concerned, some of our Guests may not have been keeping up with current events. When we review our menu header with these Guests, complete with the requisite disclosures (especially when a sub-vented rate isn’t involved), we are stopped in our tracks. “Is that the best rate you can get me?” This has been reviewed here.

For those Guests not satisfied with this explanation, we will be well served by having information, in print, and at the ready to share with them regarding just how much interest rates have climbed, recently. This information can easily be sourced with a quick online search. Stick to the headlines and avoid too much dwell-time on this issue. It is what it is.

Regarding credit tightening, where our back-end products are concerned, this has been reviewed here.

Looking forward and setting goals has been addressed here.

In summary, to get where we’d like to be, reviewing where we’ve been may help expedite the journey. Keeping a handle on current events while always trying to see things from your Guest’s perspective will enable you to quickly respond to their concerns with empathy. Lastly, remember, if you don’t measure and track it, it’s hard to improve upon it.

Think about it.

Good luck and good selling!

Erik Landrum
F&I Performance Coach at Conley Insurance Group

For printable version click here.

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