|Almost all news you hear or see today is about the downward economy. People are losing jobs, the price of gasoline is skyrocketing, and then there’s the dreaded “R” word: Recession. As a leader, you are supposed to be upbeat and optimistic about the current economy. No matter where you go, someone will ask you how the car business is because it can be one of the barometers for the economy. You try to explain that you have no crystal ball and you have no idea how the entire market is relative to your community, and you do this all with a happy face. After all, they may be a potential buyer.|
You then casually ask how their business is and they may say, reluctantly, that they wanted to buy a car today but the economy feels sluggish and they’re just not sure about anything. Perhaps they will just save their money. They have a look on their face like they did you a favor by not purchasing a car today! As they walk away they say thanks for your insight into the economy, you may have saved them from investing in a car, of all things. No sale today, maybe after the elections.
In that very moment, you wish that conversation had never come up and long for the good old days when the news was lighter and people felt confident enough to purchase a new car. How can you not talk about the economy? How can you keep a positive attitude when the economy stinks?
Sound familiar and painful? You know you need a positive spin to rev up your sales team, who are wondering how to meet their goals in such a dismal economy. After all, they’ve had the same conversations with each other on your showroom floor. You may even have a little doubt in your own mind. If only you could just avoid the whole situation; maybe it will all be different tomorrow.
Stop it now! Stop talking about the economy! Stop telling people that business is slow. Stop all the negative whining about the economy. The more you dwell on your perception of the economy the more you look for proof you are right.
Below are four keys to creating a positive and prospering market around you.
Focus on what you want. If you focus on the potholes while you are driving, you’re going to hit the potholes. Instead, focus on a way around the potholes. When you’re talking to your staff or customers, indicate business is great and now is the perfect time to buy. Never talk about how tight money is for you (or anyone else, for that matter). Words trigger mental pictures that create emotions. How do you think people will feel if they hear the boss talking about how bad things are? As the leader, you should talk about success and how great it is to work in a winning dealership.
Create a perception of value. Would you trade me a $1-bill for my $20-bill? It may be a good deal for you, but is it a good deal for me? It is if I perceive the value of a $1-bill to be worth more than the 20. Let’s say I’m dying of thirst and the bottle of water requires a one-dollar bill. Then yes, it is a great trade. Your job is to create value that helps customers feel good about their purchase.
Create a positive environment. The only place you talk about the slow economy is with your competition. Let them believe that the market is bad if they so choose. However, you want people to feel good when they are in your house. So, take charge and a build strong belief in your people and yourself so you can prosper in any economy because you have the best team, product and location.
Plant encouraging and positive ideas, and discard negative ideas. Read positive material or listen to inspirational CDs; in other words, work on putting positive thoughts in your head. And, if you must watch the news, the second it is over say to yourself (out loud is even better), “I am thankful that business is great at my place.”
Every day I see people who know that no matter what is going on in the marketplace, there are many ways to win in this economy. You have a choice each day as to how you will face that day. Your choice is either one of adversity or prosperity. People who start the day with a prosperity mindset automatically think of creative ways to outsmart the market. People with a prosperous mindset look for ways to inspire other people to go where they didn’t think they could go. Leaders with a prosperous mindset see obstacles as an opportunity to win when others might see only doom and gloom.
How do you want to feel when you go to bed each night? You can believe you won’t survive this economy, or you can believe you can outsmart the economy—dread or excitement. The choice is yours each and every day. Use it wisely; it is a gift.
Cox Automotive’s latest Dealer Sentiment Index finds a ‘notable negative turn’ among U.S. dealers, the majority of whom took a dim view of the fourth-quarter market and their 2019 prospects.