Channel | Training

Don’t Get Bitter, Get Better

Smart agents improve their ability to launch new initiatives by committing to those that succeed and learning from those that fail.
By: Gerry Gould

Don’t Get Bitter, Get Better

The meetings all went well, the dealer and GM were present, all the sales and F&I managers seemed to agree with the plan and the coffee and doughnuts were fresh. What more can you ask for? Now it’s off to the races! … Or is it? Everyone agreed with the plan, but are they actually committed it?

In the agency space, when it comes to implementing change, there is a big difference between agreement and commitment. Whether it’s the rollout of a new account or the installation of a new product, the process for account development can take a sharp turn if the dealership’s staff is not fully committed.

Getting to know the difference between a commitment and an agreement before you trust the rollout or installation went as planned is vital to the overall success and development of the account. It’s also the only way to ensure all those meetings make you, the dealer and their team better, not bitter.

Fear of Commitment

Typically, all you have accomplished when the dealership’s staff displays a lack of engagement during meetings is an agreement. It’s the meeting in which the dealership’s staff engages in meaningful discussions, dialogue and debate that a true commitment is formed. Agreement happens when people sit in meetings, nod their heads and then, afterward, either fail to take action or deliver on time.

Commitment, on the other hand, occurs when people take responsibility and then follow through to completion. Agreement results in head nods. Commitment results in action. There is something about progress and improvement that gets a dealer’s attention. No progress or improvement and you may find yourself swimming with the sharks. No amount of coffee and doughnuts will save you.

One of the greatest obstacles impeding your ability to development and progress with a dealership is its staff’s commitment to make the shift. Just because they say they’ll do it doesn’t mean they will. How many times have you found yourself shaking your head in wonderment after learning that the F&I and sales management staff had not begun executing a specific procedure, policy or process that they all agreed would make a positive impact? Does your stomach turn while listening to the list of excuses they provide for not following through with the plan? Do you find yourself disappointed and discouraged with their lack of motivation and discipline? Do you find yourself on the edge of that slippery slope known as mediocrity?

Don’t give in to their shortcomings. Don’t allow the dealership’s staff to control your destiny. Sometimes you will work your tail off, do all you can do, and still not get the results you want. Sometimes there will be obstacles that get in the way of your progress and you will feel defeated. Sometimes you will simply give in to all the mediocrity that surrounds you. That’s life! When things simply don’t go as planned you have two options: get better or get bitter.

Personal Standards

When you feel you gave it your all or put in a great effort and fell short of the objective, the important thing when evaluating the outcome is your viewpoint. It’s your viewpoint that matters the most when assessing the damage. Every now and then, you need to take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself, what is the real reason? Did you truly give it your all and what can you do to make the outcome better the next time you’re faced with a similar situation?

Reevaluate your drive and your knowledge. Be truthful with yourself. Once you evaluate the facts and assess whether or not you truly gave it your best, you can take comfort in the fact that you left it all on the line. Only then can you step back and realize you have bettered yourself by pouring your all into it. If your best effort wasn’t enough this time, you are better prepared to accomplish it next time.

Becoming the best agent you can be requires holding yourself to a high standard. If you fell short of your objectives because you failed to give your all during your preparation, that will become immediately apparent to you. Life is full of probabilities. If you can learn from your shortcomings, you will be better prepared to take on a new challenge in a meaningful way. Sometimes falling short and realizing that you did not provide the effort needed and working harder with your next chance can make you stronger in the long run.

The choice is always yours. When faced with defeat, you can get better by focusing on correcting past mistakes, providing necessary effort and working your tail off to ensure that you will be ready next time. Or you can get bitter by allowing yourself to slip into sulking self-doubt, failing to correct your mindset and ensuring you will be unsuccessful going forward. Get better at controlling your destiny. If you don’t, someone else will.

This article was written by:

- has written 12 posts on Agent Entrepreneur.

Gerry Gould is the director of training for United Development Systems in Clearwater, Fla.

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The views expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Agent Entrepreneur or any employee thereof.

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