BY NAPOLEON TETREAULT
Accept ownership for what is in your area of control as well as your area of influence in order to give your customer the best experience possible.
One of my more recent reads is the book by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin titled Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. While I would love to cover and review this book, I recommend you read it yourself and be the judge. The premise is basically how we should take ownership of our area of control and also our area of influence. Accepting responsibility for our area of control is seemingly obvious, however less obvious is how to accept responsibility for our area of influence. The latter is what I would like to discuss as I feel those of us at all levels in the powersports business have a great deal of influence on others. Yet when things don’t go our way we are quick to point out that the failure was outside of our area of control.
We in sales, that is all of us by the way, have a distinct honor. We are the producers for our company. Whether it is PG&A, units, F&I or service that we are selling our employer is relying on us to close deals and bring in that revenue for the company. We do this not by controlling, but by influencing others. We use our strengths, our skills (listening being a frontrunner), our knowledge and our experience all in order to influence customers’ decisions on how to get the most out of their powersports experience. So how can we take responsibility for our area of influence? We must start by accepting responsibility for our area of control.
Area of control
- Is your desk and showroom clean, stocked and free of items that should not be there? Are flyers and brochures filled for current inventory?
- Is your clothing clean and ironed?
- Are you up to date on your product knowledge and what you have to offer in the marketplace?
- Is your online presence up to date? Is your Facebook updated with correct and relevant information? Does your google maps have a recent showroom tour? Are yelp reviews replied to?
Area of influence
- Are you listening to your customers? Are you asking probing questions in order to identify their needs?
- Once their needs are identified are you able to make relevant recommendations based on their feedback and your knowledge in your area of expertise?
- Are you effectively using downtime to increase your area of influence? Are you prospecting? Are you calling customers who bought and entry level bike or helmet from you last year to see if they may be ready for an upgrade? Are you checking in with customers annually (birthdays, anniversary of purchase) in order to keep the relationship? Are you asking for referrals?
- Are you developing content for your social media presence? The best advertising is word of mouth and social media is the vehicle for people’s mouths.
- Are you influencing your co-workers by your actions? Do they know you are the go-to guy in the parts dept because you get things done? Do they know to recommend you as a tech to their customers because they won’t have to worry about the job you do? Are you the unit salesperson that the staff sends customers to because you are on the ball?
There are a lot of things that are out of our control. The weather, the economy, gas prices, etc., etc. However, our areas of control and influence within these conditions remain our responsibility. It is up to you to accept the responsibility to influence others for the desired outcome. Happy influencing!
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 U.S., owner/operator of a regional distribution company and current role with Tucker Rocky. He can be reached at: