In sales environment, there are actually a lot of things to keep you occupied .In whatever you do, pay more attention and try to rectify or improvise things that you think is not properly done but that can be further improved. It could be a small effort not so important to others but such action open up the mind set and can emulate creativity. This way you will subject your mind to think differently.
A liaison clerk at the reception counter will just answer telephone calls and pass the line to whoever the caller wants to talk to. She may connect the caller to the receiver’s extension and that’s it. The telephone rings until it becomes disconnected. The caller calls again and the same thing happens. You see her action is not connected to her brain. This is just an example. She perceives that things are all the same. She fails to see the difference she’s going to make if she exercises some creativity in answering the call and getting the message across to the receiver. Remez Sasson once said “It is a matter of choice. Your mind is your room. Do you darken it or do you fill it with light”.
Many people are lazy to think outside the box. Negative thinking and poor perception on other people has become culture and sort of lifestyle for some employees in some companies. You might think that you have done the best .This is true if you do it in isolation where there is no one to comment, to monitor or to judge your work. Perhaps, get other people’s opinion. Always ask yourself why you need to do it and how can you further improve it if you do it this way or that way. Finally ask yourself again what if you don’t do it.
If you stand right there in your company’s showroom, do you think everything there in perfect order? Are the vehicles displayed of the correct model mix? Are they really clean and presentable? Is the specification sheet or catalogue available for customers to view if they request one? A creative person will suggest the cars to be displayed possibly at different position every half yearly or he might want the boutique items to be replaced with new ones in every 2 months and then rotate them once every item have found itself in the display case at least once.
When a person walks into a car showroom, he or she expects a friendly greeting. Secondly, he expects to see nice clean and well presented display cars. Thirdly, he may want to see some of the vehicle accessories that could be fitted to the car or he may want to buy some boutique items as souvenirs.
More often, accessories or boutique items are kept in the display case just for show. Many of these items are available in the office’s store for giveaway. No effort has been taken to promote or sell them. Company must keep some stock of the display items and sell them at every opportunity during customer’s visit for service, closing of vehicle sales, or during special event. Challenge your assumptions that they are not saleable. Promoting boutique items is another form of product branding as they normally carry the brand. These items can easily generate a handsome margin of 15% to 30%.
Two most interesting areas in an automotive company are the After Sales and Vehicle PDI services. These areas receive a lot of complaints from internal and external customers. Thus Sales and Service have to collaborate to achieve certain quality standard on vehicles produced. Most companies establish an SOP to guide and monitor quality control and set certain CSI standard to benchmark quality on customer satisfaction in processes like parts delivery, vehicles inspection and repairs right first time, workshop performance including productivity, efficiency and productivity.
When business volume is low, some staff may work under pressure that they cannot think rationally. Some people are bossy in nature, very autocratic and indirectly induce stress to others. Under certain circumstances, we should move away from established pattern of executing our job. Problems should be approached from different perspective, from different view-point and angle and by challenging our normal assumption we can tackle problems in most amicable manner. Always think differently and think positive. While logic is concerned with “truth” and “what is”, lateral thinking is concerned with “possibilities” and “what could be”. Edward de Bono said “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend an After Sales meeting conducted by the company’s After Sales Division where members were focusing on the various problems they faced. Let face it. Every company has problems of their own. So there is no need to be very defensive about it. I am a salesperson, so I really took the opportunity to highlight the quality standard of the vehicles they produced because quality issues have been much talked about most of the time and all the time. From my observation, I deduced that old habit and attitude still prevail among the staff and had resulted in negative implications. I say this because the moment I commented on the quality concern, people with negative attitude raised their voice and tried to be very defensive. They could not accept the fact. When people do their job because they have to, they will do it just to satisfy what is expected of them. On the other hand, if they are committed to produce an excellent job, they will make sure the vehicles are properly PDI and do beyond what is expected of them to make the customers feel delighted and enjoy a great experience.
I just tell myself, I don’t care if people don’t like me because of my thoughts. I keep on emphasizing positive thinking. If you keep on saying that it is difficult to do, it is not easy to do, you may end up becoming incapable of doing it. Negative thinking only takes away your belief, your faith and your strength what seems difficult at first. Though “a positive attitude may not solve all your problems, it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” said Albright. It is quiet normal that many people prefer to instruct or delegate their jobs. They are lazy but work smart. They just want high praise and credit. Think about what Oprah said,”Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus when the limo breaks down.”