Think and be Thankful
By: Adam Yoder
I’m headed into my 13th year in the car business. I’ve spent about 9 years on the retail side, and almost 4 on the F&I training side. I haven’t been detached from retail long enough to forget what you guys go through every day… being in automotive retail is not for the faint of heart but rather for those with thick skin if you ask me. You work with a lot of different personalities with some giant egos, you put in the hours like no other, (except for maybe restaurant owners) and you go from zero to hero, and then hero back to zero 30 days at a time. Hopefully, you’re able to squeeze a vacation in there somewhere, even if that vacation takes place in the comfort of your living room (which is also a great time to lose your phone for the week). You are all warriors battling on the front lines. The best part about it, there is real purpose and significance behind all you do. Because of what you do, your customers can provide a living and support their family. Your customers have reliable transportation to get to work every day. You help people succeed, and when you stop and think about it, that is nothing to take lightly and is very rewarding and commendable. Job well done my fellow F&I friends.
Great speech, right? Thank you. Now I’m sure your all thinking, ok lets get back to the real world because every day is a grind, I’m not hitting my comp goals, everyone is focused on giving cars away and hitting the number while I’m left here in F&I trying to take a loser deal from red to black. Again, I’m not that far detached from retail I remember what it can be like. The good news is, you aren’t the only one feeling that way. In fact, throughout the course of history there are thousands upon thousands of managers who have felt and experienced those same feelings. There is nothing new under the sun with all the circumstances you face in F&I. Speaking from experience as a trainer and with a company who works with hundreds of stores, from small independents to large dealer groups, we can give you a lot of answers on how to address your specific challenges. From presentation to objection handling, understanding personalities and how people listen and learn, to managing your department and training sales people, there is an endless amount of information we have available that will help you grow and make more money in your department. However, that can come later at your request. For now, I want to give you something you can immediately put in to practice and experience an immediate difference. Here it is and don’t let the words stop you from finishing this article- practicing gratitude.
Can I really convince you that gratitude will solve all your problems? No, and it doesn’t. But what gratitude can do for you will change your world if you agree to change the way you think. It’s the one thing you can control that noone can take from you, and you can focus on it any time of the day, 24/7. Having gratitude is almost like a multi vitamin… when you have it daily you almost forget you are taking it, because you’ve been taking it for so long you stop noticing what it’s been doing for you. Its when you stop taking it that you start to feel the negative effects, and you quickly get back on it. Researchers from the University of Harvard found that gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, release toxic emotions, give you better physical and mental health, helps you cope with adversity, and gives you stronger relationships and higher energy levels. It removes toxic emotions and gives us joy in our lives. So you might be thinking well that’s great but I’m not buying it the whole “change your attitude” speech, I’ve heard it a million times and I don’t need your self help advice. That’s ok, this article is for those of you who want the best for yourselves and those around you and embrace the opportunities to get better at your craft, every day. Your attitude plays a big part of your success in F&I. There was an article written by Daily Health titled: “Neuroscience Reveals: Gratitude literally rewires your brain to be happier.” Look up the article, it’s worth the read.
I’ll leave you with this question you can ask yourself- What do you spend most of your time thinking about throughout the day? Think and be thankful.
Here’s something you can do today to start your never-ending journey of practicing gratitude. I stole this from our VP of Training and Development- Jeremiah Shelton: write down four things your grateful for on a piece of paper, and put it somewhere that you can see it first thing in the morning right after you wake up. Read them and add to that list every day. If you do, before you know it, you will have pages of things your grateful for and there is no better way to start your day then flooding your mind with things your grateful for. If your thinking about those things, it becomes literally impossible for you to be unhappy and that is the attitude your coworkers and customers need in the showroom.
All the best my F&I friends.
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