When you know better, you do better – Maya Angelo-via Oprah Winfrey
When most people hear the word operating system, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a computer, and in this case, that is exactly what I want you to visualize. I would like you, for moment, to imagine your brain as an operating system and all your current skills and abilities are the software that is being controlled by it. To further this point, think about it this way, a child coming into the world, is a blank slate without any judgment, prejudices or reference points. So everything that they know how to do, the belief systems that they hold and the reference points that they have are all acquired information that they have picked up like luggage along their journey. With that being said, no one intentionally sets out in life to be a failure or to be anything less than the best at whatever it is that they choose to be because as I said earlier, we all begin with a blank slate on which to begin designing a life.
This brings me to the heart of the matter and my reason for introducing the elements of a computer as the analogy I will use to explain why individuals succeed or fail in life and the business environment.
An operating system is considered the brain of a computer and without this brain, the computer is nothing more than just an expensive paper weight. To take it one step further, in addition to the operating system, all computers must have software that is designed to produce an effect. The operating system and the software must be compatible in order for the computer to work properly. So, if any incompatibility exists, the machine or the program will never perform as originally intended or expected. It is extremely important that you understand this analogy because as you look around your showrooms and the different profit centers within the dealership and observe individuals who are struggling to meet expectations, regardless of the “training” that has or has not been provided, it will now be clear that there is a compatibility issue with the operating system, which is the skill set of the individual and the software, which is the requirements of the position that exist. To bring this point home further, the operating system is the knowledge that the individual possesses and brings to the table that they are using to interpret how to execute the activities outlined for the position and the software is the actual standard or the right way for executing the activities required to achieve success in that position. In other words, telling someone to go prospecting without providing them with a template consisting of step by step activities along with training on the specific skills they will need to be effective will result in the individual struggling at each turn to figure out what they should be doing, when they should be doing it and most importantly, how.
Here is the elephant in the room, many dealership professionals come from a diverse background and lack the core competencies, education and training to perform their job functions. These individuals and the results that they are producing can be compared to a computer with an operating system that does not meet the minimum requirements of the software that is being installed. In other words, these employees are struggling to excel because they lack the critical skill sets or the core competencies that the activities of the position is demanding. Furthermore, in the absence of these core skills, they are using their own personal experience to interpret what is being asked instead of following a proven and predetermined path towards excellence.
Let’s talk solution. The facts are these; everyone is capable of succeeding at any given position if they are first taught all the activities they will need to know in order to excel. However, in addition to being taught these activities, they should also be trained on the core skills that they will need to execute each activity correctly and these skills are continually monitored and reinforced until the individual achieves skill mastery. For example, in the current sales process being used in dealerships today the first activity is the meet & greet, but the necessary skills that will need to be reinforced in just that first step is the art of ask questions, listen effectively, dressing for success and so on. What most fail to realize is that if the professional lack these skills, it diminishes their opportunity and ability to see the sales process all the way to the close because the client has already prejudge the individual’s ability to serve them. So in essence, it’s time to upgrade the operating systems of many of our professionals in our businesses by installing some mission critical updates that include the core competencies required to be effective at achieving sustainable results.