Why we never wax rental cars.

I work with dealerships across the country each month, and as I travel, I regularly rent a vehicle. Someone asked are recently, “Have you ever waxed the rental car before you return it?” Of course, I never wax a rental car. I don’t own it, and it wouldn’t benefit me in any way to provide extra care for something I do not own! We only take extra care with those things that belong to us. So, my question is simply this: Do you own your success? Success is a journey, not a destination!

There are three things we must own to succeed.

Let’s look at those.


We must take complete ownership of the results each month. There will always be factors that influenced the outcome. Those might include interest rates, the economy, the help or hinderance of others around us. However, we are responsible to determine the most effective manner to navigate through the challenges. Many will spend their time denying their mistakes, bemoaning their circumstances, and giving excuses for their lack of results. Not the most successful! Accepting 100% responsibility for your actions and being totally accountable for the results is one of the biggest secrets to success. Each month, you should monitor your individual performance in depth as well as department, lender and individual sales manager and salesperson performance. This will identify profit leaks and where the focus needs to be to improve. There may be a leak in your performance or with others, and you must identify opportunities and profit leaks, then train and focus on improvement!


Training is a journey that never ends. Growing your skills consistently through focused training efforts will grow your production and income! Each month you should be ready to answer the question, What have you learned this month that you did not know last month? Each month, obtain a repair order from the service department that reveals what happened with a previous customer. Also learn the details of the part that failed and how much it cost to replace. Developing new and more insightful questions that open up the conversation with your customers should be on your agenda. And don’t neglect training the sales staff. They should be passionate about the value of what you do for customers. You don’t need them to sell anything for you; they just need to know how valuable your offering is. And building those relationships will forge a team concept that will benefit everyone.


The finance professional is what most customers remember most when they judge how much they enjoyed the process of buying a vehicle. If they had to wait long to get into your office, they feel it is your fault. If they feel pressure in your office, they feel it was you who made them uncomfortable. So, our focus should be on meeting the customer early in the process. Have a positive, fun and excited attitude. Buying a vehicle is a big purchase for them, and it should be fun! The more fun they have, the more open they will be with you. And the products we offer are valuable and can save them money and time, and most of all, give them one less thing to worry about! Wrap your process with fun, excitement and a positive attitude, and you will be able to help customers have a great ownership experience because they are protected and ready for unforeseen events that try to rob them of the fun of ownership.

Never wax a rental car. And never push the ownership of your success onto anyone else. That’s yours!

Rick McCormick is national account development manager for Reahard & Associates.