Res Firma Mitescere Nescit…And How To Keep It Up

If you've seen the movie, you know the line. It's not earth shattering, but it was more than a decent movie. American Flyers came out in post-LA Olympic 1985 and starred Kevin Costner (very pre-Waterworld), David Grant (as his younger brother), Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing), Rae Dawn Chong (yes, Tommy Chong's daughter), Alexandra Paul (Baywatch), John Amos, Robert Townsend (plenty of star power there) and an otherwise strong cast.

When the brothers walk into the sports institute, the character played by John Amos (who heads the facility) reads the slogan hanging up above the various people working out "Res Firma Mitascre Nescit". David asks him what it means and he loudly proclaims "Once you've got it up…keep it up!" and then proceeds to yell at the contingent of sweating people "Right?!!" to which they all reply "Right!!".

While the movie has nothing to do with car sales, it has everything do to with perspective, attitude and belief. In regularly spending time with dealers, it amazes me how many salespeople don't keep a sharp mind and eye, let alone know the fundamentals of process and success. Sometimes I'll randomly select a salesperson and ask about their goal setting. Invariably we'll sit down and the first real question they're typically asked is "how much do you want to make?". Once they (sheepishly) reply, the very next question is "how many sales does that take you and how many leads to you usually need to work to get there?". You can guess the answer 99% of the time.

Successful people always find a way to keep it up. Sure, down times happen and you might even catch a leader in a true slump. I've been in weekly sales meetings where the store is down and the top unit (and usually gross) performer is upset with their sales performance even though they are still in the lead. Like clockwork, a person with significantly less to talk about will pipe up, usually with "I'll take those sales any day".

See, the thing is that goal setters hold themselves more responsible than any sales or general manager ever will. They have an idea of what they need to do in February come January 28. They don't need to be pushed into reality on February 21 when they're on the bubble at 3-5 units. Most of them will also have daily goals and tasks that they make sure are complete before they leave as well as writing down the next day's activities.

If you're in a sales tailspin or simply finish 2 or 3 units down from where you want regularly, there are a few things that you can do that will likely get you, well…up!

  1. Work your leads as if they'll close within 72 hours (create action and excitement)
  2. Regularly and effectively touch base with your clients (yes, on top of the 'stuff' the store sends)
  3. Set, adjust and maintain daily, weekly and monthly goals (copy management for accountability)
  4. Track everything you do. It's a pain…do it (don't resort to memory, even if you're 25)
  5. Educate and refresh yourself on products and services (do your own walkarounds if you need)
  6. Eliminate habits and poor performance activities, period (listen to motivational CDs or read)

A few of my contacts have even gone as far as paying for software and/or services out of their own pocket since the dealership won't pay for them, but they know that having them is one of their keys to success. Not letting anything stop you from reaching your goals is what successful people do every day!

Remember that when you're not learning, you're dying. Don't let your thunder be stolen by circumstance, a boss, a coworker, a client or the media. Make sure you can easily identify what you expect to happen every month and take the steps to ensure you're on the cause side of the equation. Oh, and once you've got it up…KEEP IT UP!

Best practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

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