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Chris Costner

Chris Costner Account Executive

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The "Feel Good" Mindset

 

Let’s face it, we have a huge “feel good” mindset problem in our industry today and are failing to address the core issues that keep many of us from being truly authentic to our clients and ourselves.  It’s the last day of the month once again and many will be closing out another huge month while others will justify, once again, why they fell short.  It’s more than missing monthly goals.  It’s also about the clients who have given us the opportunity and we missed their “goal.”  Now don’t get me wrong, we won’t close every opportunity we face, but how many sales are we missing because of something we had control over?  I am speaking dealership wide, not just the sales department.

Those who have this “feel good” mindset, and believe me, everyone reading has experienced it at one point in time or another should recognize it within themselves and work to be better.  I would like to say this could be overcome by just waking up one morning with a 100% positive attitude and going about our daily activities in a good mood.  Sadly that isn’t the case but it is a great start in taking action to become better at what we do.  It’s time now to dig deep within and identify what mistakes we are making the put us in this position.

The “feel good” mindset does not only hurt us as individuals, it hurts the dealerships we work for along with our current and potential clients which is where I want to add more focus.  Having a genuine interest to be of service is something the “feel good” mindset can and will overtake. 

In my opinion, I feel that many of us have forgotten how important an authentic relationship is with our clients.  I know many of you are reading this thinking that you really do value your clients and your clients love you.  I can appreciate everyone’s attempts to defend their commitment to customer service and how much value you place on the customer experience as a whole but I think it may be somewhat over optimistic.  Even those of you who are giving your clients the time and commitment needed; I am not convinced of the sincerity and authenticity put forth in the process.  We are becoming too mechanical.  Anyone else agree?

Again, we are here to learn as an industry and get better as an industry so if my opinions and honesty strike a nerve, I don’t care.

For most of us in the industry, the client is someone who arrives into the showroom, gets the presentation on the vehicle selected, eventually agrees on figures and makes the purchase.  Many clients leave happy while others will have complaints on how we should have done something better and that’s the point when some in our industry shut down to the client and begin to question themselves, “why I am even here?” I find it very sad that the human beings we set out to serve often become the reason we begin to resent our chosen profession.  Once this happens it is very hard to be in any other mindset other than the “feel good” mindset where all of the daily activities are geared toward false accomplishment.  The good news is that we can turn this mindset around with both time and honesty.

Our relationships with our clients require both time and honesty.  Bottom line.  No exceptions.  Thinking about that, I don’t know of any type of relationship that doesn’t.  Do you?  Our clients want us to listen to their stories, feel their emotions and take the time to really get to know them.  That is what is important to them. 

What I am getting at is that it is time we treat our current and future clients like real people.  Giving them our real emotions and our honest feelings.  Don’t laugh because it doesn’t happen near enough.

So how do we remove the “feel good” mindset from our memory bank?  I would first suggest beginning the process by being truly honest, genuine and passionate about your profession, also in how you conduct business.  Then, stop hiding behind the dealership waiting on business to come to you.  Start engaging your clients, current and future, in everything you do.  Get out in the social web platforms, create dialogue and spend time with those who will make or break your business.  They are there waiting for you.  I assure you once you show your authentic self, you just may have a client for life.  Try it, you’ll see and I know you can do it.

Here is to a strong May 2012 closeout friends.  Thank you for reading.

Bryan Armstrong
"once you show your authentic self" Chris, What you say is so true yet I can't help but feel most won't follow the advice. Why? Simple, we were trained that the BEST of us were Chamaeleons that could change to mirror the Customer. Opening oneself requires self-honesty first and the ability to overcome that fear of being rejected or judged (we all have it, even me). The upside to doing so, what makes the reward worth the risk, is that you become a happier more centered person. Indeed I dare say ALL your relationships-professional and personal- will flourish.
Chris Costner
Bryan, I agree with you completely. Most will not give this the time of day. I do understand how we were taught and wow, it really is an uneasy feeling for those who have never tried it. But, maybe this will get the "wheels" turning for a few to put forth the time and effort make a difference for themselves, their clients and their dealerships. It can't hurt. Thank you for your response.
Shawn Clos
Chris, Great Post!! What you say is completely spot on!! As Bryan said in his post I also feel that most will not follow your advise. Which is very unfortunate. I spent a few days at Tewart Enterprise headquarters earlier this week where Mark and I were discussing this very topic. This is a serious industry flaw that will not change over night. My feeling is it really all boils down to ALWAYS be yourself and ALWAYS be the professional in everything that we do. Again, great post. I am looking forward to hearing what others have to say about this topic. Thank you.
Chris Costner
Shawn you too are correct. It is a flaw and our "culture" built it no doubt. Are my thoughts the only way? Definitely not. Can it help? You betcha. Thanks for the comment. I too am interested in others perspectives on this. Thanks again.
Mike Fitzpatrick
Great post Chris. Treating people with respect and understanding their needs is one of the biggest things missing in businesses that are failing. Businesses that get this and live it every day can become recession proof especially with the tools that are available today.

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