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Can I be honest here? Nobody works to give it all away. The expectation is that you work hard to make a living; to support your family’s needs and, hopefully, have a little extra at the end of the month to kick back and relax a bit.
When it comes to a culture of giving, it’s understandable that you might scoff at a community outreach event or a giving your time off to charitable events. But like many things in business, it’s about perception by others of your actions and an opportunity to refocus, not about the event itself.
Your dealership may be involved in an annual visit to a soup kitchen, or a drive at Christmas for kids’ toys. Your actions, no matter how you feel about it, benefit the people on the receiving end. And that’s a good thing, isn’t it?
But there’s more to a culture of giving at the professional level than that. When you’re involved in charitable activities, two things happen.
It doesn’t directly put money in your pocket. It costs you valuable time and a few bucks as well. When you contribute to a culture of giving back to your community, your sacrifice is less about you, only partially about your community, and mostly about improving your dealership’s perceived standing in the community. Yes, that sounds callous.
What’s in it for you? It’s alright to ask what you’ll get out of a community outreach event, especially if it’s work-related. When your dealership takes part in a public event that benefits your neighborhood or a specific cause, it boosts your social media presence, your visibility in the community, and puts a positive spin on your store.
The benefits are most important if you’ve been plagued with negative issues recently. Have you been slammed on Google reviews or Yelp? Is your Facebook page littered with negative comments? It’s time to do something positive and uplifting to change how your store looks.
It’s that warm and fuzzy feeling, but at a professional level. Doing something good for people in need, or simply a good deed in your community has a profound impact on your outlook on life. What has been fully self-centered (that’s not a horrible thing, necessarily) gets shifted to let other people become the focus. You’ll begin to see how good you really have it, from a great work environment, a cohesive team, a consistent and substantial income, and even your health.
That simple change of perspective may not last long, but it can have an effect on your work life. For that brief period of time, you may begin to change how you do business. You might consider going above and beyond in your customer service, you may take an extra moment to ask a distraught service customer if you can help. It might only be a small thing like looking customers in the eye and smiling.
Again, it might sound callous, but at work it is all about you. If you’re manning the barbecue for a Saturday sale, flipping burgers, it’s a chance to make contact with customers and drum up some leads. If you’re answering phones at a Radiothon in the mall, wear your work name badge so people know where to find you.
This applies to every position in the dealership, none withstanding.
Great things happen when a whole dealership gets behind a community outreach event or sponsors a charity, a food drive, or a toy drive. It benefits the recipients, but don’t forget to make the event benefit you professionally as well.