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Jim Bell

Jim Bell National Sales Executive

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kəm-ˈplā-sən(t)-sē

com·pla·cen·cy

kəm-ˈplā-sən(t)-sē

 

1. A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy.
2. An instance of contented self-satisfaction.

It can happen to the best of us as managers, salesmen, service writers, all the way down to the service porter.  We can get complacent.  How does this happen to the best of the best?  It can happen easily and I was reminded of it recently.  The inner businesses (departments) within the dealership starts doing well, and we forgot how we got there.

Some love him and some hate him, but I just got done reading The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone.  Reading the book and then watching his weekly online G+ hangouts, I realized that I was getting a little complacent myself.  As a dealership, we are excelling and have some incredible growth in the last year and a half, but I have found myself guilty of complacency.   People will ask me, "How's business?"  I would respond we are "rocking and rolling and growing."  We can find ourselves happy with our performance, but there is ALWAYS room for improvement.  Even if it is moving 1 or 2 percentage points in closing rates, getting the up sell from the L.O.F. on the service drive, or improving a response time by hours or minutes.  We all have something that we can shoot for and improve regardless of how well you are doing in your department or field.

So how do you get out of that rut of complacency?  Here are a few things that I have found that is working for myself.

  1. Surround yourself with positive people.  They will bring you back to the top of your game.  They may give you a new perspective on something that you didn’t see.  Eliminate the negative in your life.
  2. Re-evaluate your goals.  Get them in front of you and shoot for them.  Don’t set them too low.  Shoot for the stars.  Grant talks about writing them everyday.  I’m ordering a whiteboard for my office so I will see them right on the wall in front of me everyday.
  3. Find someone to keep yourself accountable to those goals.  One idea is make a copy of them and give them to other managers you work with.
  4. Talk with veterans in the business.  You can always learn something new or get a new perspective on something after speaking with someone else.  My philosophy in life is ‘you learn something new everyday.’
  5. Keep on reading.  The average person will read 1 book per year that relates to their profession.  Stay ahead of the curveball and read more.  Set a goal of how many books you can read in a year industry-related and go for it.  You can even take a book that is not a part of your industry and apply it to your industry.  It happens all the time.
  6. Examine your processes and see what you can do better?  Are you mystery shopping other dealers to see what they are doing with their follow-up system?  Can you mirror that in someway to make your store more successful?  When I look at our processes, I see a variation of several stores and advise from a very highly regarded person in the automotive industry.
  7. Stay educated in the industry.  There are a few conferences coming up as you all know well.  Get to one and learn something.  If you take something away from the conference, you will get your money's worth.

These are just a few things that I am practicing and trying to stay ahead of the 8-ball.  What are you doing to stay away from complacency?

Bryan Armstrong
Following fellow practioners like you! :) Great post!
Todd Winski
Great Post. However form a Managers point of view you do not want your new salesman just in the business to learn bad sales habits form your veterans. How many green peas come in to the business brand new and they out sell the veterans. Why? Because they have not developed bad sales techniques. They are listening to thier managers. With that being said as soon as they think they are a "veteran" their sales go way down. They forget everything they are taught. We have to watch what veterans they mingle with. Some have very bad habits:>)
Jim Bell
You are right Todd. The green-peas come out of the gate and want to impress and be successful. Once they get some business under their belt, they can become complacent. Gotta keep that green-pea alive in all of our salespeople.

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