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Don't tell me that you aren't afraid of anything, because you and I know that isn't the truth.
The question is "Fear of What"?
That's a very interesting question - Let's take look at 3 different people in 3 different positions to get the answer to this question in each of their specific situations.
I believe with all certainty that the reason for "why doesn't he?" in each situation is FEAR - Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of what others will think, fear driven by a lack of belief in their individual ability to change and execute, fear driven by a lack of belief in the value of the product and service provided.
These are 3 individuals in familiar positions in a car dealership. They represent 3 situations that are very common and therefore you can rightfully surmise that this fear is pervasive throughout this and many other dealerships. And even more critical than the fear itself is the lack of dealing with it. In fact, the biggest obstacle to the change we need in the car business is the unwillingness to acknowledge this fear and deal with it.
Suggesting to that sales consultant that the reason for his/her lack of activity is a fear of rejection or a fear of not being able to produce, will bring about a very defensive response and they will take that as an attack on them personally.
Asking the Sales Manager for the reason he doesn't follow through on his plans to change how he on boards a new sales consultant and then bringing up the idea that it might be the fear of not being effective in training and ultimately feeling responsible when the sales consultant fails, will bring a defensive and possible hostile response.
If you share with that GM that it appears that the only reason he wouldn't carry through on making the changes that so need to be made for his dealership to reach it's potential, is a fear of not being able to execute on so many changes and be successful. You will surely be met with disagreement.
So what is the solution to the problem? Is it really fear? And if so, if the expected response to someone being accused of being fearful is denial, then what can be done? The solutions is very simple but far from easy to accomplish. Here are the simple facts: The opposite of Fear is Faith. Faith is based upon Belief. Belief is fed by knowledge, skill and confidence. So let's look at these 3 examples above - what are they missing?
1. The Sales Consultant knows that in order to produce more and earn more, something has got to change. So, he determines that what he needs to do to produce or sell more and that is going to require him to talk to more people. In very simple terms he must increase his activity. Now, he stresses about it, worries about it, but he doesn't change anything and heads make out to the point to take as many ups as he can today, just as he has done everyday for as long as he can remember. He even talks to the BDC manager about getting some orphan customers to start calling and he will schedule some appointments. The BDC manager says great, lets get started right now. The sales consultant resists that because he didn't have that in his daily plan, so he decides to start tomorrow. He then he stresses and worries about it and he doesn't start tomorrow and it just doesn't happen. Why? Fear creeps in, the what-ifs are eating him up. Here comes the justification for the fear and doubt:
Is he dealing with something different than any other sales professional has or does? Is this a unique challenge? Absolutely not. In fact, it drives good people from a career in professional sales everyday. This consultant needs to be led and coached through this. The problem with that is his sales manager came through the same organization and was never trained, taught and led to recognize when this career threatening situation is going on.
2.The Sales Manager that has just hired a brand new sales consultant with no sales experience, but he sees something in him that he liked and he hired him. And he has great plans to change how he brings him on-board. He is going to do it right. 1. Orientation to the dealership 2. Broad overview of the product line-up 3. Introduce him to the Sales Process and why each step is important and briefly explains how exactly it works. 4. Talk about the CRM and business development and what is expected. 5. Go over all log-in credentials and websites they need to be familiar. Also, phone apps they need to download.
This is a really new thing for him. As the time approaches he stresses and worries about it. Why? He is fearful? He has a lot of experience with hiring new sales consultants. But, he doesn't have faith in his ability to perform. Ultimately, this new person has to produce to support this family. So, fear and doubt creeps in and the what-ifs eat him up. What he needs is leadership from someone who recognizes this situation and leads and assists him in handling it. Unfortunately, the GM brought him into the business and he doesn't recognize the fear that is dominating himself.
3. The General Manager knows down deep that the culture must change for growth to happen and for the dealership to reach it's potential. He has identified the moves that need to be made now.
All of these are keys to success, so why doesn't the GM execute? The worry and stress sets in because this is different and the fear coming from doubt and a lack of faith leads to the desire to just go back to what is comfortable and just do it the same old way.
This fear, from no faith, lack of belief and low confidence runs through the organization without anyone having the skills to overcome it. So let's face it, one of the problems is that many of the people in management positions in car dealerships don't study leadership and make learning a priority. If they are even spending time studying their business, this study usually consists of manufacturer related subjects or learning the new marketing landscape. Both of those are important, but do they even matter until the Fear, that is organization wide, gets eradicated? Remember, that the opposite of fear is faith. In order to overcome this fear that is stopping these changes from being made by these 3 people is being caused by a lack of belief in themselves and their skills and abilities.
That is enough time spent on the challenges, let's solve them. Here is the proven and guaranteed solution. Here are the 3 steps to defeating this fear that is crippling any sales organization specifically today's car dealership.
This expertise brings confidence and drives belief in your competence. That confidence in yourself and your process brings faith and that is the opposite of fear. Both cannot exist together. Drive the fear out with faith and then watch the productivity explode.
3. Continue to learn and lead. Continue to study to become expert in all areas of your business specific to your position. Then this cycle of fear and doubt gets broken. You will be aware of the fear problem and will be able to see it in your colleagues and those that you lead. You will be able to lead and teach how to overcome. You will be able to teach how to identify the areas of concern quickly and then lead on how and where to go to develop the skills to build the confidence and become an expert. That expert competency then builds the belief in potential which creates faith and defeats fear.
The Fear that stops action is 99% caused by a lack of knowledge and expertise. It doesn't matter what your field is, it certainly is not limited to the car business. It is a challenge in medicine, engineering, law, professional sports, etc. If you are finding fear is stopping you from taking action, it comes from a lack of faith stemming from a lack of belief in yourself and your product or service.
The GOOD NEWS is conquering this fear is totally in your control.
Expect to Win!