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I was recently in a dealership and was sitting across from a salesperson that is a top producer.  He consistently is a 17-20 car guy and in November he ended up only selling 7 cars.  I could tell he was down in the dumps.  His happy go lucky energy was nonexistent and just wasn’t himself.  

So we took a look at his current opportunities to see if he was doing anything different that would cause this slump.  We noticed he was hardly following up with his customers.  When he did, it was a half-hearted attempt. This was completely abnormal for him.  

I started asking what was going on to see if we could find the root of the problem.  While we were talking he kindly interrupted me and told me he knew what was going on.  He was discouraged.  Down.  Tired of following up with customers that do not respond.  

He has been selling cars for 30 years and for the past 7 months he has been taking Internet leads as well as floor ups.  As one can ascertain he is not used to following up with customers the way he has been for the past 30 years prior.    

I told him that consistency is key and that he ultimately is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.  By not putting everything into every lead, he was not seeing the return he had been used to…therefore customers were not responding as much, and thus he was even more discouraged and putting less and less effort into giving the customer a great experience.

I told him he wasn’t alone.  This is common for an Internet Sales Manager but somehow someway he had to stay motivated.  He then flat out asked me…

“How do I do that? I spend all this time communicating with customers and I don’t see the results. They don’t respond, they ignore me, they are flat our rude. How do I stay positive in the midst of all of this?”

I went on to tell him how I thought he could stay motivated, but he posed a phenomenal question that almost every ISM or BDC person has every experienced.  How does one stay motivated when their close rate is 10, 12, 15, or even 20+%? 

I will follow up with another blog post on how I responded to this salesperson on how he can stay positive in the midst of day-to-day operations in a dealership.  But in the meantime let me as you the reader.  

How do you and your team stay motivated with 8 out of every 10 Internet leads do not buy from you???  What are some things you wish you were doing that you aren’t?  What have you seen work at your dealership that others can learn from?

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"It’s true we don’t know what we have until we lose it. It’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives. ~ Unknown"

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The realization that those things and people in your life that showed the capacity to develop into something in the future can no longer be due to a variety of reasons.  Life happens.  People happen.  Sometimes things just happen and we don’t know why. 

I have realized this and it still has the ability to suck.  Unrealized potential for me is one of the saddest affairs.  Why?  Because there *was potential and for whatever reason and that potential has faded, disappeared, or has somehow lost its will to fight.   

This could be a new business venture, and new idea, a passion that once was and is no longer.  It could be a possible new love that has the potential to whisk you and all your dreams away.  Either way…it is no longer.

But what I do know is that regardless of this unrealized potential coming to fruition that life still moves on.  More importantly life gets richer.  What we once thought was unrealized potential for a certain thing is then replaced by something much greater, richer, and more full of life than we ever could have dreamed or imagined.

I have been blessed beyond measure AFTER some of these potentials have become unrealized for me.  I have grown both personally and professionally far beyond what I could ever think.  That’s what I have hope in.  That’s what I look back on and give thanks for.  That’s what I trust in…His hand guiding my way.

So if you feel like there is some unrealized potential in your life….don’t fret.  The realization of something far greater is around the corner on His timing.   

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I wrote this back on Christmas Eve but never got around to posting it…

I sit in front of my mom and step dads fireplace with my baby girl sleeping, Christmas music every so softly playing, fire crackling, toes warming, and just realizing how blessed I am.  As I am tucking Andie in she asks for a “big hug” and in turn once again brings me to tears with her knowing exactly what I need.  

She embraces me and holds me when I needed it most.  The touch, love, and her need for her “daddy” melts my heart.  It reminds me that God truly is the giver of life and how grateful I am to have such a wonderful baby girl in my life.  I am reminded of what unconditional love is as she pulls me back, holds my shoulders, looks me the in eye and says, “Daddy’s happy? And gives me the sweetest most innocent kiss in the world.

I would have never guessed my life would be where I am at this Christmas season of 2011, but I am thankful for where I am.  I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ.  I am thankful for friends who continue to remind me and point me towards the Light. 

My path at times seems muddy and unclear but I do know I am moving the right direction.  I do know I am exactly where I am supposed to be at, and with that, I rest.  I gain peace.  I gain confidence.  I hold on.  I move forward.  

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I woke up this morning with my heart heavy and burdened for those who are hurting.  Over the past few weeks I have learned of friends who have heartache due to what life has dealt them: a friends car was repossessed who truly is doing what they can to make ends meet, another friend is going through pain with relationships in their life, another just trying to be happy with where they are at, another I found out has stage 4 colon cancer, and another just trying to get out of bed crippled by depression…. 

Me?  I’m somewhere in between all of the above.  2011 has been a year of heartache, pain, anger, bitterness, strength, wisdom, forgiveness, freedom, and inspiration.  I have learned how big and strong the heart that resides in me is.   God has moved in me in so many ways that I have been surprised by myself.  I have walked through this year with honesty, integrity, strength, and love.  I didn’t get there alone.  I have so many great friends and a family that has held me up to get to where I am.  Through this process I learned how strong of a person I truly am. 

As I sit here with tears of pride I cannot wait for 2012.  I cannot wait for new beginnings.  I cannot wait to see what God is going to do in Andie and I’s lives.  I cannot wait for the blessings he will shower down upon us.  I cannot wait for next chapters.  I cannot wait to start a new.  

In a mere 3 weeks it will be 12 months to the day when my life got flipped upside down that cold January Monday when I sent my brother a text to tell him I am coming home.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, its taken me the past 11 months to get there.  Home.  To my safe place.  A place where I am happy to be.  A place that welcomes me.  A place that embraces all of me for who I am.  A place that loves me fully. 

So I don’t have any major words of wisdom for those struggling with life, love, pain, and heartache.  What I do know is that I am still standing 12 months later, stronger, wiser, and a better person.  Has it been the wildest ride of my life?  Without a doubt.  What’s even better is that this ride has been preparing me for my next chapters and adventures.  So I am doing my best to embrace my here and now so I can fully experience life not just for today, but for tomorrow as for tomorrow is what I have hope in.  

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This is why I love the Sing Off.  Period.  

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Today I am daring to believe in something greater than myself.  I am dreaming in such a way that said dreams will change the world.  I am daring to be different and not go with the flow.  I am daring to be “me” no matter what the cost.  I pray and hope that these words might be able to capture these thoughts bouncing around between my ears and heart.

Today I am filled with excitement, dreams, passions, and an unspeakable joy that is pouring out of me. I am dreaming of tomorrow and the opportunities and the life that sits and waits before me.  The world is moving all around me; I just want to shake it up a little bit.

I am not sure how that shaking will all take place, but I *know it will happen.  My dream is to impact those people around me in such a way that my fingerprints of love, compassion, caring, leadership, passion, generosity, and my encouraging spirit will forever change those I come into contact with.  

Life and those in our lives have a way of knocking us down but as we are picking ourselves off the ground our vision becomes ever so slightly clearer.  The wisdom that is learned from being on the ground is forever invaluable.  The scars on our wounded spirit will forever be a reminder of that times when we were down, but the fact that we are now standing up reminds us that they are just that…scars.

Over the past year multiple people have asked me what my hopes and dreams are…and to be honest it was very hard for me to answer at times.  Even right now I don’t have a clear “vision” of what those dreams are exactly, but I do know this; I am moving towards making those unknown dreams a reality. 

Are you dreaming today?  If not, why?  What’s holding you back?  What’s keeping you from moving towards what you have always wanted, hoped for, or desired? 

Today history has yet to be written for tomorrow.  Why not take out a pen and starting crafting your great masterpiece of life and begin to allow yourself to dream? 

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Perfect love casts out fear and anxiety…

Fear and anxiety casts out perfect love…

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""As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit." ~Emmanuel Teney"

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Daddy daughter date night! (Taken with Instagram at Chick-fil-A)

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Throughout my lifetime I have learned I was always a little *different.  An odd duck if you will.  Many times I felt like a fish out of water but the older I get the more I realize my anomalation is a good thing.  It makes me wonderfully unique and able to offer compassion, love, and understanding to those around me and in turn have deep and meaningful relationships with those who I love and trust the most. 

The problem with my unique nature is that it that I very few “walls” in my life.  I am an open book and straight shooter.  You will know where and how I stand very quickly.  I don’t hide my emotions or feelings as I have found honesty with no passive aggressive communication is the best possible way of doing things. 

With that said, time and time again I run into friends, “more than friends ;)”, and even family that constructs emotional walls in order to protect themselves.  These walls many a times comes at the expense of an authentic, safe, genuine, and trusting relationship.  

So to you my reader – why do so many people put up so many walls?  Do we, as people not desire that genuine and safe place to land?  Are our past hurts and failures so big that we allow them to dictate our present and future relationships? 

I don’t think we need to be flippant nor be the ultimate protector of our heart – but I am asking why so many times we put up so many walls, boundaries, and safeguards that we end up sabotaging a chance at genuine and authentic relationships that sit before us.  

I have done it; those around me have done it…but why? Why do we protect ourselves to the point of actually hurting us rather than protecting us?  I mean, I understand it to a point – but my nature is one in which for me the rewards far outweigh the risks of getting hurt.  Maybe I haven’t been hurt bad enough yet in my life, and trust me there have been some doozies, but my desire in life is to have true and authentic relationships with those around me.  I guess that’s why I have such a wide array of friends that are co-workers, business associates, and random folks that I meet along the way.  

So to you my reader – are you holding back and constructing such a fortress around you and your life that you aren’t allowing fulfilling, enriching, and authentic relationships to exist in your life?  As the great theologian and philosopher Bob Marley states, “truth is everyone in your life is going to hurt you, we just have to find the ones worth suffering for.”

So if you are this person, what’s holding you back from making a leap? 

Today you can change. Today can be a revival.  Today can make all the difference as you dance about this thing called life.  Today I will choose to loosen those ties that hold my walls up.  Will you?

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the eyes that will be able to get her what ever she wants from daddy (Taken with instagram)

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Jerry’s GM Internet Team #movember style (Taken with Instagram at Jerry’s Chevrolet)

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Over the past 10 days I have been posting once a day about what I am thankful for and as I was typing out what I was thankful for today I was overwhelmed that a simple status update wouldn’t suffice. 

So today I am thankful for tomorrow.  I am thankful for that today is not the end.  Tomorrow is coming.  Tomorrow is what I hope in.  Don’t get me wrong – today is going to be a phenomenal day, but I am thankful that I am not the same person I was yesterday and the day before that.  Therefore I am changing, hoping, and believing in a better tomorrow.  Today brings me joy.  Tomorrow gives me hope. 

I am amazed what a thankful heart contains.  My thankful heart in the not too distant past birthed forgiveness.  It allowed me to see that a resentful, anger-filled, and bitter heart only infects and hurts me.  As I focused on what I was thankful for that late summer day – forgiveness gave birth to freedom.  With that said – my life was forever changed.  The weight of holding on to past hurts was lifted and freedom reigned.  Freedom enveloped my heart. 

So as I as stand on the shoulders of my yesterdays I look behind and I can’t help but smile, hope, and believe in what is yet to come.  I look back and see the Hand that played a part in getting me where I am at today.  I see the paths that were created, the choices made, and all the lessons learned along with way.  

I am a better man, father, son, brother, uncle, & friend than I was yesterday.  Therefore – I hope, believe, and trust that tomorrow will even be better.  So today….I am thankful for tomorrow. 

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LOVE me some Ben Rector!  I seriously think I might have a man crush!