I was sitting in my favorite green chair this morning and just thinking of what I wanted to share. There were so many opportunities, and there always is every single morning. I might go through a hundred or more thoughts to share and finally, I will say, “that’s the one!”
One thing I’ve learned really well, and I learned it as a sales manager a long time ago: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. They have to want to drink. I could lead someone to consider a few of the always plentiful opportunities, but I cannot cause them to choose one. They must choose. But, first, they must see it, realize that they could do it, and then choose it.
I was thinking specifically about the car business, of which I’ve been associated in one way or another all my life, but I was directly in the car business working at dealerships for about 25 years. I saw myself as a teacher and that is why I wanted the sales manager job. That is exactly how I fulfilled that position as well. And, as a teacher, I was the number one student in the learning camp.
It is very rare to find a salesperson in the car business that sees the grand opportunity that this position can afford, and I believe much more so than any other position except the owner. Most see it as a job. Sell a car, eat, sell another, pay a bill, sell, sell, sell. Of course, sales is a requirement, but to see it as a job where I make a sale and get paid is a truly narrow view to me. The grand view is to see it as a business opportunity–a chance to be in business for yourself without needing a bunch of money to do it.
Now, this applies to a lot of sales positions, not just the car business, but I’ll focus here as an example.
A salesperson who can see the real opportunity will see that the dealer (the owner), puts up almost all the money. They build the dealership, hire a team, fill the parts department, create a service department, buy a massive dollar amount of cars and trucks, provide training from the factory and from the dealership and other sources. They do a lot of advertising, have computers, phone systems, and all manner of things needed to operate a business like this, including paper, pens, notebooks, you name it.
Now the salesperson can make use of all this accepting what they are hired to do as a job, or a career (a long-term job), or they could see this as a way to be in business for themselves with the partnering and financial backing of the dealer and all his or her resources. One of the reasons there is a lot of turnover at car dealerships is that the salespeople see it as a job. They have little or no investment in it, see no big future generally and it is consequently treated as something they feel they need to do for the moment to pay bills and eat until something better comes along.
But, when one sees the real business opportunity, they can lead rather than follow. They create rather than accept. They build because they have an investment in the outcome that is far greater than making a living. They are creating an empire and their biggest, boldest, and the most enthusiastic investor is the dealer. As a dealer, who would not want to invest in someone like this entrepreneurial adventurer?
The average salesperson at a dealership typically from my own experience makes between $25,000 and $40,000 a year and may last less than two years before finding greener grass elsewhere. A typical entrepreneurial adventurer will gross $175,000 to $300,000, and some higher. That will buy a lot of food and pay a lot of bills, but it isn’t the money that is really important. It’s good, but the more important thing is SATISFACTION! It is being a builder.
Have you ever built anything and then proudly admired your creation? This is that. I know for sure and for certain that to start a business, grow it, and make it successful is nothing but joy. To stand back and look at it is a joy. To feel the ways I serve my clients is a joy. But in my business, I had to put up the capital myself. At the dealership, the salesperson is supplied with the necessary capital AND gets a paycheck for their trouble. Their investments would be very minimal.
This is but one example of the millions upon millions of opportunities that we may or may not see that are all around us all the time. Sometimes those trees may just be in the way, but rest assured, the forest is there.
Wow! Just Look At That Forest!
Spread Some Joy Today–by loving what you do and being willing and even eager to see more than you may see at first. No matter the view, there is always more there than we see.