Good news… winter is over and spring is here! That means you’re about to be busier than a one-legged cat trying to bury a mouse on a frozen pond, if you’re not already. This is the time of the year when it can be tough to get things done. The late Ed Lemco called it “getting caught in the swirl”. It’s when the ‘important’ things you should be doing end up getting sidelined for the ‘urgent’ things that are happening all around you.
It takes incredible discipline to simultaneously work ‘in’ the business (doing the urgent things) and ‘on’ the business (creating and following your vision/values, improving, training, following a well thought out marketing plan, etc.) when it gets busy, but you have to make ‘working on it’ a priority.
In the book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey devotes one of the habits specifically to time management. Habit 3: Put First Things First
He writes about how all the ‘things to do’ that come up on a daily basis can be divided into 4 Quadrants that differentiate between activities that are important and those that are urgent.
Important: Activities that lead to the achievement of your goals, both professional & personal.
Urgent: Activities that demand immediate attention, but are often not associated with the achievement of your goals, or are related to someone else’s goals.
The 4 Quadrants
1. Important & Urgent
2. Important, but Not Urgent
3. Not Important, but Urgent
4. Not Important & Not Urgent
Following is more detail on each of the four. As the things to do pile up on you each day, I challenge you to decide which quadrant they fall into so you can start taking better control of your time.
Quadrant 1 – Important & Urgent – Things that fall into this quadrant include putting out fires, crises that arise, other pressing problems, and things/projects that are deadline-driven. If you’re not careful, this quadrant will occupy your time and leave little to nothing left for Quadrant 2.
Quadrant 2 – Important, but Not Urgent – Prevention, improving capabilities, team building, your culture, finding new opportunities, planning, recreation, exercising, and marketing. This Quadrant is where your focus & time should be spent, but it’s tough to live in this quadrant because it’s not Urgent. It doesn’t jump out and demand attention.
Quadrant 3 – Urgent, but Not Important – Interruptions, some meetings, some calls/texts/emails, immediate pressing matters, popular activities. This quadrant is tricky because the activities feel Urgent, they need to be done Right Now! Therefore, you want to jump on it and get it done. This quadrant can give you a false sense of accomplishment. You may have accomplished something, but the only problem is that it wasn’t Important, so you likely were wasting your time.
Quadrant 4 – Not Important & Not Urgent – Trivial/busy work, time wasters (like constantly checking Facebook, YouTube, or playing games), some calls/texts/emails, etc. The endless amount of distractions around you every day fall into this Quadrant. Avoid them at all costs.
As you probably noticed, your marketing plan falls into Quadrant 2 – it’s extremely important, but it’s often not urgent. Especially during the busy season. But, as the old farming quote goes, “you have to make hay while the sun is shining.”
The good, direct-response marketing you do right now, when it’s busy, will not only generate more opportunities for your team and profit for the dealership each month, it will also carryover in to the slower season and makes those months better as well. In other words, you can make your peak months even higher and your low months better too.
So, no, you shouldn’t consider turning off your marketing during the busy season. Instead, learn to live in Quadrant 2 for all things business, especially your marketing. Simply put, there is no higher valued and rewarded skill in this great country than the ability to get your product sold.
PSM can drive QUALIFIED traffic to your store, generate leads who raise their hands and tell you what they want to buy in New & Used Sales, Parts & Accessories, Apparel, and Service. This level of lead generation provides a positive ROI on what you spend. Hands down, every time. And it’s even better in the Bull Market we have right now. Consumer confidence is super high and enthusiasts are spending money.
If your focus is of the ‘digital sort’, PSM can drive traffic to your website with a more holistic approach than just SEM/PPC. We can increase your web leads/conversions, grow your online reviews, and even email you every morning a list of the customers who were looking at inventory on your website yesterday.
Call 1-877-242-4472 for more info. Ask for me - I’m happy to help.