3 Things I Pondered Today:
- What do you spend a lot of wasted time doing?
- How long have you been doing this?
- Are sales and entrepreneur skills something you are born with?
Lately I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what I waste time doing. In specific at work I can think of a ton of different things that my job has me do that is a waste of time. A perfect example is I have to start rows of cars every Monday. The task is daunting.
It is my least favorite part of the job. I start up the cars in the middle of the heat, rain, or winter and most of the time the cars might not start due to dead batteries. The batteries drain out because of the GPS tracking devices on the car. The part that is wasteful is that if I find something wrong with the car I have to tell the lot tech and a manager. Why even have me doing this? Have a manager or lot tech do it. They have to check it in anyway. If I could pay somebody $5 a week to do my task for me, I would in a heartbeat.
In my personal life on my drive home while listening to a podcast I had this thought come to my mind. I spend a lot of wasted time sourcing tapes for my projects. If I don’t source locally I end up spending a hefty price for shipping from a tape cassette place out of Canada. The last time I went sourcing for cassettes I spent literally the whole day thrifting and ended up scoring 5 tapes for $1. There has to be a way to do this with less time or more inexpensive except there isn’t.
I thought about a couple solutions for this and my current project will be how to resolve my own problem. I can’t spend days on days thrifting so I need to come up with a way to source for tapes without having to spend hundreds of dollars or hours to get them.
Today I went on a test drive with a customer, on the drive he asked me how long I had been selling cars for. I told him I am going on two years. This is accurate however I am at my year and half mark. I round up because it sounds better and it’s the closest rounded number. My customer told me that he had tried to sell cars for a month then quit because it was too much for him. He said that when he sold the cars it was great but the in-between was hard. I could relate however I didn’t at the same time because my strategy is a car a day.
The interesting part was that the person wasn’t able to do something I have done for close to two years. That says a lot. Most people who start to sell cars end up quitting very quickly. It’s not for everybody. It’s definitely a competitive industry. You are not only competing with your coworkers you are also competing with other dealerships and factors beyond your control. In the last week I have lost 3-4 sales to other dealerships for more competitive deals. Unfortunately some of the financial stuff is out of my control but I can cast a larger net to try and close more deals which is what I do.
In the podcast I listen to today they were talking about how Entrepreneurship is a natural skill that needs to be practiced to excel at. I believe that is true as with sales. Another audio book I listen to this morning explained that we are constantly selling. Even from birth we are influencing other people. As a baby you influence your parents by screaming and crying when you need food. You persuade them to feed you by your screams.
Sales of course goes further from that and I think a lot of it has to do with empathy and listening. My empathy skills I learned throughout my life but specifically when I worked for a non-profit. I had to do an intervention course where I would be able to talk to or guide somebody out of a suicide. That was one of the toughest courses I have ever done. In that the most important thing was you needed to listen to what the other person was saying and find anything you can from what they say to bring them into the moment and give them their own reasons of why they should stay alive.
Those are skills I am very grateful for. Not only to help other humans however for the fact that I am able to use it in all different aspects of my life. The skills I learned are so very important. Today I had a women come in that said she needed a mini van or third row suv that needed to have two anchors in the front and one in the back. This is a very specific need and she explain to me why it was important.
With that information I know that I need to find her what she is looking for if I am going to close this deal. That is easy enough for me to do and with the car I found at a different location I called up the other store and had them check for me. One simple step that could make or break the sale based on one sentence she said about having three car seats.
I mentioned in a previous blog that I sold a car to a sales person. He was a car dealer from a different dealership. He told me that I was a natural sales person and that I was excellent at sales. It was such a huge compliment and I know what he means. Selling comes natural to me. When people ask me if I like the job I tell them I like the people first and the cars second. It’s true. I couldn’t really care less about the cars. I only know about them because that’s what I have to sell. I love talking and helping people. I think that the part I get excited for.
Sure it is awesome to close a deal and I get a rush when I am helping more than one or two customers however at the end of the day I am more content helping others. There are many times I will help people that are going through a major life event and they are very grateful for the help. That the important part.
I’m unsure if I am an entrepreneur however I do think I have the gene. My father was an entrepreneur who started multiple companies and my grandfather was an aerospace engineer who also started his own company. Even my grandmother ran the family company for a while. I came from a house of entrepreneurs. I think circumstantially I have been working to build companies with less risk. It’s also to learn things. I have been in many different industries and each time I have taken information in and see how companies work which will help me run my own companies.