WHERE ARE THE SNAKES?

DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE?

It’s been brought up before, and it bears repeating. There is a concept called “Situational Awareness.”

Roughly, it is defined as the “ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening to the team with regards to the mission.” Simply put: It is knowing what is going on around you, how to deal with it, and what it means.

SA is taught and retaught and retaught in the military, with police departments, fire fighters, and many other tactical groups. It’s a concept that means life or death, not only to those groups, but also to the public they serve.

Your SA may not entirely affect on your personal lifespan, but it certainly can mean the life or death of your business.  

The title of this visit referred to snakes. In jungles or similar situations, its one of those things that requires intense SA. The snakes are usually well-hidden, due to the undergrowth or their ability to simply drop out of a tree, and are typically camouflaged fairly well. It’s also important to note that not only are they the most elusive to spot, they are among the most deadly. Each different situation has different hazards. Maybe it’s a different type of snake, maybe its some other poisonous creature, or even a human adversary who manages to hide and be as deadly as those snakes. When they train tactical forces to go into a specific area, they train them on the specific hazards in that area. In addition to identifying the threats, the unit is also trained on avoidance of them, and dealing with the ones that cannot be avoided.

So, where and what are the “snakes” in the used car business? No, that’s not a crack on your sales staff. I’m simply asking you to sit down and put some thought into what the hazards are in your area, and what is your plan to avoid them or deal with the unavoidable ones. Your “area” being the Used Car Business, coupled with the city or state in which you are based. If you engage in dealer financing, you have added hazards to identify, as well.

Some of these “snakes” are more obvious than others, just like in the forest. Some are more annoying than poisonous, and also like the wild, some are only a threat to you when you become one to them. So, when you assess the various species of snakes in the Used Car Business, you also need to assign to them a reasonable estimation of the amount of harm they can do.

This is another situation where 20 Groups are useful, in that they can assist the newer dealers with identification of the hazards, and sharing proven methods for dealing with them.

Older dealers benefit from sharing the wisdom, because stronger dealers strengthens the industry as a whole.

In the US, there were 38.3 Million used cars sold in 2015, and franchise lots only sold 11.4 million of those. (Source: Autoremarketing.com)

That means the independent Used Car Dealers moved nearly 27 million used cars in one year, over 2 million per month. Unless you yourself have a lot that size, remember that we depend on each other. No man is an island, and neither is a dealership.

See you next time.

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