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Sales and Service

Shop Talk: 15 Minutes A Day

Even with all that’s going on in the world, you still have to go to work and get the job done. You still have to open up the dealership, make certain that everything is in place for doing business and be responsible for your part of the operation. Whether you’re the recon kid, salesperson, service tech, manager or owner, you all have important responsibilities in a successful dealership. But, sometimes just doing the job can be overwhelming, even without a national pandemic going on.

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When someone asks you about a task not complete or you’re sitting by yourself wondering why things didn’t get done, do you say, “I just didn’t have time today.” If it happens more than a few times, it can become very stressful. And we all know stress can lead to poor performance and even health issues. What would it be like to take total control of time? And, it only takes 15 minutes a day.


No time to read? Listen instead!


Since each of us is different, I’m going to give you a few different 15-minute ideas. Take them all or use one that seems to fit. Regardless of which exercise works best for you, the change from being short on time to having mastered time, will change your mind’s view of limits.

Exercise No. 1: 15 Minutes

For those of you who feel there aren’t enough hours in the day, this might help you understand time ownership better than you ever have before. They say that when you want change in your life, the first change must be the change of mind. So, how do you think of time right now? Limited? Maxed out? Nothing you can control? Try this:

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Beginning tomorrow, set your clock to help you wake up 15 minutes earlier than you usually do. I know it will be hard, but anything worthwhile often is. Force yourself to physically get up out of bed. You need to find that quiet place in your home and get comfortable there. Once you’re comfortable in that place, simply relax. Don’t think about work. This is your time. And, you can do this for 15 minutes as the beginning of every day.

First, your mind begins a transformation. As it tells itself about doing nothing for 15 minutes, your brain justifies the action by telling itself, there must be plenty of time in the day if you can waste 15 minutes of it. At the same time, because your brain wants you to be healthy, it begins thinking about how valuable that 15 minutes is and eventually starts valuing the time available for the rest of the day. When you value something, it is used wisely.

Exercise No. 2: Five College Educations

Think back to when you first applied for a job. How would you feel if the person interviewing told you that they were looking for someone with five college educations? Could you still be considered? Well, to be successful today, that’s what you’ll need. The equivalent of five college educations. Here’s how to get them: read.

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Reading is one of the best solutions to many challenges facing us every day. For example, you read this article and others like it, looking for tips and ideas. You read the sport section for entertainment and information. 

In my first book, Reject ME – I Love It! 21 Secrets for Turning Rejection into Direction (Available on Amazon.com as the 20th Anniversary Edition), I talk about this very thing. G. Gordon states at the end of the chapter on reading, “Setting aside just 15 minutes a day will enable you to read up to two dozen books a year. Keep it up and you will have read 1,000 books in your lifetime. That’s the equivalent of going to college five times!”

If you’re a manager or an owner, why not invest in your people with a book of the month program. Start with your sales team. If you have 10 salespeople and the average paperback book is $16, you grab a month’s worth of training for $160! 

Plus, your people will see this as the dealership investing in them and their success. Doing that on a consistent basis will improve work quality and results dramatically, while reducing turnover. If you want to offer them an even better bonus, let them take their 15 minute reading break during the work day.

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Exercise No. 3: Bedtime Solutions

Anyone who has ever been in sales or management has stressed about having a bad day. This often carries over to bedtime and prevents getting a good night’s sleep. Lack of proper rest compounds stress and diminishes overall performance resulting in more stressful nights struggling to break the cycle. 

I recommend literally sitting on the edge of your bed with a pad of paper for this exercise. Take 15 minutes and plan. Even if you don’t have the answers right now, plan on finding them tomorrow when you wake up. But, write them all down. Managers could write questions like, “How can I get more impact through advertising on the same budget?” It can be even more specific, “What can I do to get Joe over his slump?” And of course, you can get personal. “Why am I less patient with ____ and not with ___?” 

Will you wake up and have solutions to all of them? If you did, I think we would all do this and create world peace. Others may simply help you realize that they are not a real priority and certainly not worth stressing over. You will be amazed at what your mind can accomplish while you’re asleep. Heck, that’s where the idea for this article came from! 

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