We certainly have enough ammo to keep us worried. It’s an election year, it has been a slow start to the season, sales are down, expenses are up, uncertainty is in the air and I can go on and on. I’m sure that you won’t have to look too far to find a reason why you should be concerned about the direction of this country, your job, business in general or any other aspect of life. But like a teenage girl waiting tables after breaking up with her boyfriend, you need to check the baggage at the door and put on your game face when you go to work. Then why is it so hard?
We are in an emotionally-driven and relationship-based business. Chances are you consider your customers your friends on some level. They come to you because you have earned their trust or they have enough confidence in you to give you a chance to earn it. They come to your store to escape the drama of their everyday lives and all of the same noise that you are hearing. They don’t want it regurgitated back to them during their escape. Even though they may bring up a common concern, they may be looking to vent or build rapport with you and getting drawn down the road of fixing the world’s problems with your customers by your side will result in you keeping them focused on the noise of the outside world and not fully focused on the products you have to help them escape those bonds!
So how do we avoid this trap? Here are a couple quick tips:
Attitude — We have to keep a positive attitude around our customers, co-workers and managers as well. By keeping a positive attitude with our customers we can pull them out of the gutter and into the happy place we have created at your dealership. The same thing applies to our co-workers. Negativity is contagious and we don’t want to be the guys sending everyone’s minds in a downward spiral. Quite the contrary, we want to be the ones uplifting our buddies at work, fostering a positive environment and helping them get back on track when they veer off course. I have a quote on my wall from Charles Swindoll regarding the importance of attitude, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
Information — My colleague Jackson Smith wrote a great piece that covers this topic well. Please read his blog here. By disseminating relevant and accurate information to our employees, you are able to avoid them filling in the gaps with their worst assumptions and creating the rumor mill.
Filtration — Filter what you allow to come into your head. Restrict the amount of negativity you are exposed to. Negative people, the news and some social media are all sources of this and like cancer the earlier you catch it and cut it out the less damage it does. I would have used the example of your parents telling you not to hang out with the bad kids at school but, we are in the motorcycle business and most of us were the bad kids!
We cannot control everything but we can control some things. The attitude we take on every day, the information we share and the decisions we make to only allow positive influencers into our heads all have a direct effect on the atmosphere we create at our dealership. Regardless of your role at the shop it starts now and is starts with YOU!
Napoleon Tetreault is a sales representative with Tucker Rocky, an aftermarket PG&A distributor in the powersports industry. He works with powersports retailers on merchandising, profitability and management of the parts department as well as the education of dealership personnel. His experience includes being the GM of the largest indoor motocross facility in the US, owner/operator of a regional distribution company and current role with Tucker Rocky. He can be reached at: