Visualization and Positive Mental Attitude
While driving home last night I was thinking about the automotive industry and how at times when things are slow, or a customer is a tough close it can be easy to get ” ratted out. ” We all see it all the time; all it takes is one team members to have a tough morning and the snowball can form and start rolling around the showroom.
My rookie season
It has been a few years since I was on the floor and in the trenches but I recalled the words of the General Manager who brought me into the business. One Saturday morning I had a gentleman and his wife come into the showroom and I was new and eager to impress both them and my boss. I did all the right things I introduced myself, sat them down, asked the proper qualifying questions, completed my 4 square, executed a textbook hood to trunk presentation, engaged them during the test drive and thought I was on the clear path to a sale. They seemingly loved me, I thought that a sale was going to be a breeze…
We returned to the showroom after a the test drive and I asked them if they would like a water, soda or some coffee. They politely declined and told me they need a moment to discuss the vehicle. I walked over to the sales desk and said with confidence,” please hand me a P&S I am pretty sure I am going to need one. ” I waited there for a couple minutes before approaching my customers.
As I did I felt eager, excited and ready to wrap this deal up. This was a home run. A sale that I didn’t need a T.O. for, one that I handled on my own. I was looking at them thinking easy breezy.
My first curve ball
Little did I know that they had other plans in mind. The husband was a grinder. All the cordial attributes he displayed up until I sat down at that table went right out the window. I felt ambushed. I had only had maybe a dozen customers that made it to the negotiation stage at that point in my new job. This one got off on the wrong foot out of the gate. He did not like the trade value or the payment, he was irate and I noticed his wife looking a tad bit uncomfortable. He said he liked the car and he liked me but I would have to do better. It wasn’t really what he was saying rather how he was saying that got under my skin.
I marched up to the desk with steam pouring out of my ears. My GM noticed and slowed me down, ” Danny relax ” he said calmly ” this business is full of challenges and I assure you this one right here will be just the first of many. ” Although I recognized and appreciated what he was saying I was acting with my emotions and not my mind. I had spent nearly 2 hours, I had provided them with answers to each and every question and now they were going to blow up my” home run “.
Visualize the positive and your goals can and will likely follow, a lesson learned
” Danny you need to visualize your path to success with this couple ” Don my GM said ” I need to what? ” I replied in a confused tone. ” They have objections. You need to overcome them. The only way you will do that is if you use Positive Mental attitude and visualize your success. ” I thought he was joking. He wasn’t; he said ” close your eyes and visualize you are a batter in baseball game, they are the pitcher. ” “huh?” I replied. ” just do it. Think of it this way, their job is to strike you out. Your job is to get a hit. ”
That simple visualization method or metaphor resonated with me at that moment. I calmed down, fastened my bootstraps and went back and fouled off a bunch of pitches before finally getting a hit. As it turned out the gentleman was more reasonable that I initially was giving him credit for. He was the type that needed to ” work ” a deal. We had a few back forth exchanges that required me going back to the desk but at the end of the day. In hindsight I over -reacted in losing my cool and getting emotional. I was new, I didn’t understand that every customer would present several layers of challenges. In most cases if I let my emotions get the best of me I would like not obtain my goal of sale not because of the customer but because I ratted myself out if things didn’t go smoothly. The first sale wasn’t easiest but all the years later it wasn’t the hardest either. Both Mr and Mrs. were happy that day and I subsequently have sold them two more cars over the years.
In either your personal or professional life how frequently do you evoke the power of visualization and positive mentail attitude to reach your goals? Without being evangelical do you work to instill the same methods and outlook on your sales teams, family and more?