Every person in sales has a picture of what they would like to achieve. As I coach individuals around the nation, I regularly hear descriptions of the record levels of production that they are going to achieve. Many even have a well-developed strategy on how they are going to reach their goals. While strategy is the plan, execution is the doing; and the perfect strategy poorly executed will fail. Execution is where the magic happens. Three ingredients are necessary to consistently execute a winning performance in the F&I office. Creating success is like baking a cake — you must never leave out any ingredients.
“Having a vision for what you want is not enough. Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas A. Edison
The consistent execution of a process is how you can achieve consistent results and scale your efforts. A process that drives profits is one that is focused on the customer’s wants and needs. The Golden Rule is easy to follow in sales: Treat others the way you want to be treated. However, in the F&I office, I challenge you to follow the Platinum Rule: Treat customers the way they want to be treated. The Platinum Rule is much harder to implement since it yields control of how the process is carried out to the customer. Yet, when we give the customer the process they want, they are willing to give us an opportunity to lead them through the process to uncover their needs and show our solutions to those needs. The result is the customer gets what they want and need, and that’s a win for us.
Communication and Connection
The foundation of the execution of a successful sales effort is effective communication and connection with each customer. Articulating your ideas and compelling people to act shows an effective execution of process that will provide amazing results. Charisma, a great personality, and a natural ability can never match the results of the consistent execution of a customer-focused process by the average person. Communicating and connecting with customers is an art that can be studied, implemented, and developed. For instance, body language can account for up to 80% of communication; tone, 15%; and words, 5%. To be more effective with these two skills, make the study of every angle of the buyer’s perspective a priority. It’s not about our ability to sell, rather it is about why they buy.
Measure and Tweak
Results must be consistently measured to assure we are following the best path toward amazing our customers and gaining amazing results. If either of these are lacking, we must tweak the process and adjust, adapt, and pivot to a more productive effort. Many times, if things are going well, we stop measuring our success. Why do we have to spend time measuring success, just enjoy it, right? Wrong. Stop measuring execution levels for any reason and the results will go into a slump. Every slump comes after great success. Success does not cause the slump; however, it will cause us to slumber and ignore the need to constantly measure and tweak. Most F&I professionals have ideas on what will work with customers; however, no idea should survive if it’s not working. Being committed to execution means you must fine tune/tweak as you go so you can continue to see increased results.
Our industry cries out for those that can execute a sales strategy that customers enjoy participating in. Customers having fun and enjoying the F&I process? Exactly. And when they do, we have executed at an amazing level and amazing results will naturally follow.
Join me in the next and final installment of Circle of Development on Peak Performance. Keep climbing.