Yoda is one of the most recognizable and quoted characters in film, and one of my favorite quotes is from The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda tells Luke Skywalker to raise the ship that sank into the Dagobah swamp, and Luke’s response is a half-hearted “I’ll try.” Yoda’s retort is a classic: “No! Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”
Have a goal, make a plan, believe in yourself, and then do.
People around the world are contemplating 2021 goals and New Year’s resolutions. Why do so many of these goals and resolutions fail? They fail because they try instead of do. The way to do is to execute on a specific plan.
If the goal is to lose weight, be specific: start a yoga regimen twice a week, commit to one extra mile on the treadmill, or walk twice around the block. Want better organization? Be specific about the solution. Create folders in your email system so that you can store things for easy reference later without having to scroll through hundreds of old emails in your inbox. Sort your sock drawer by color or style. Whatever the topic, make a plan and then do. There is no try.
I can’t count the number of sales meetings I’ve attended where the sales manager would go around the room and ask sales people to tell everyone how many cars they were going to sell that month. Sales associates who consistently averaged 8-10 would inevitably say 12-15, because that’s what they thought they should say and what they wanted.
Unfortunately, most would fall into their same routines, which would result in the same averages. They didn’t have a plan, which meant they were only going to try. They needed to calculate the number of calls they’d need to make, the number of ups they’d need to take, the number of test drives, the number of write-ups they’d need, and then calculate the closing percentages. If they worked the plan, they would’ve achieved the do.
F&I has the same challenges. We’ve talked for years about getting the customer into the F&I office within 15 minutes, presenting the menu in less than 10 minutes, and getting the customers in and out of within 45 minutes.
So how will you actually accomplish these goals? Some suggestions could include hammering out a solid process between sales and F&I. Another suggestion is to build and use chains in your DMS so that you don’t have to think about form numbers or missing something. Another idea is to practice presenting your menu so that it sounds less like a canned speech and more of a conversation starter.
Want to raise your PVR by $50? Don’t try; do. The average F&I person touches 80 deals each month. Raising your PVR by $50 means you need to make an extra $4,000 somewhere that month. That doesn’t sound hard, right? Wrong.
You already work hard to get the PVR you do. The only way to raise your PVR consistently is to have a plan and stick to it. You have options. You can push an inexpensive product a little harder on each deal. You can use the “Columbo Close” each time. You can bring out the 99.99% closing technique. The choice is yours. But don’t just try, do.
It’s easy to list goals or resolutions, but it’s another thing to make a plan to achieve them. When Yoda raised the ship out of the swamp, Luke said, “I don’t believe it.” Yoda responded, “That is why you fail.” Have a goal, make a plan, believe in yourself, and then do. There is no try.
Lori Church is an experienced F&I manager, a graduate of the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, and director of compliance for Holman Automotive.