Show Me the Money Staying Steady in Turbulent Times G oals. The holy grail of business objectives. Expectations are if you don’t set goals you’re never going to succeed. And how many times have you heard the expression: ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?’ So, we drag out our goal spreadsheets from last year, our calculator, the year-to-date reports of our departments and repeat the same thing from twelve months ago. A smile from our boss reassures us we’re responsible managers after we submit for approval and we go about our merry way. But what happens when things don’t follow our goal path? We panic and drag those spreadsheets back out to discover the downward trend. Then it’s a stressful mad race to get things whipped back in shape and at times, we come up short. We cannot always achieve all our goals, especially when we attach time-frames and expectations to them. And working harder is not the answer. As we've seen in 2020, there always will be unpredictable outside forces influencing our ability to complete a goal. Even though goals can help us, they aren't always applicable to the present situation and what's happening around us. At times, they often do not amplify the best of ourselves or our businesses. If anything, they're helping us compensate for what we aren't doing well. A lot of the time, these are the activities that we're not doing well: overcoming procrastination, keeping our focus, facing fears, and organizing our thoughts. I've found some people simply cannot operate without a list of goals. They're conditioned to believe it's the lack of a list of goals that is the problem so they ignore the real problem and bear down on achieving success as it’s associated with the spreadsheet. In other words, if there are no goals then there is no feeling of accomplishment, no boxes to check each day, and thus, no progress being made. And it's human nature to evaluate both others and ourselves by some measure of progress. Our goals are only as good as our imagination, and many times what we imagine is far less than what is possible for us to achieve. I don't always know what's going to happen, but I do know what I need to do when it happens, part of the pilot in me. How can someone live without goals? Listen, it’s not the lack of a goal that is most people’s problems. And I’m not talking about eliminating goals either. It’s the lack of proper goal implementation and order of importance that we need to focus on. Too often we associate goal setting with work product when the first thing we should be doing is focusing on getting our head right so we can accomplish the task in an as efficient manner as possible. “Our goals are only as good as our imagination, and many times what we imagine is far less than what is possible for us to achieve. I don't always know what's going to happen, but I do know what I need to do when it happens” I mentioned procrastination earlier. Think of how much more productive we all could be by doing the necessary things timely. Procrastination in F&I? That’s for newbies and amateurs. Putting off timely tasks will inevitably log jam your office in ways that will create nightmares. Learning to deal with your fears is another box to check off. Think about it for a minute. No matter how persuasive you are, you’re never going to convince that hard-minded customer who never bought in the past and has a snappy objection to every good reason you’re giving in defense of a product. Assume nothing. Manage your fears and organize your thoughts by following your process and don’t fear the ‘No’. Accept that some people simply won’t buy and move on. But if you harbor that fear, it will cause you to struggle in clutch situations so release it. If you do the work immediately in front of you, do it consistently and do it well, then you will be better tomorrow than you were today. The kind of goals I’m talking about can’t be measured on a spreadsheet. They’re the kind that becomes part of who you are professionally and are translated through your work. When you begin changing your thinking, the goals you set in your office will become easier to attain and more realistic. Hey, there’s a reason I call my F&I office “The House of Happiness”. “When a customer asks why the salespeople call it that,’ they will say, ‘Because everybody leaves his office happy and completely satisfied.” And, from my perspective, being better tomorrow than you were today is the only goal you need. Exiting 2020, an unprecedented year for the world, my wish is that you enter 2021 not simply imagining the possibilities but responding to them as they unfold. I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season, despite the pandemic. I hope you all have lots to be grateful for this year and much to look forward to in 2021, which is poised to be another unforgettable 12 months. 8 GP Anderson is a more than 25-year veteran of the auto industry and currently serves as finance manager for Thielen Motors in Park Rapids, Minnesota. He is ACE and AFIP certified.

9 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication