- Former car salesman Tim Kintz now teaches automotive dealers how to reach their goals as President of The Kintz Group. He’s authored two sales books, whose titles sum up his active approach: “Frictionless” and “Fearless.”
- No matter where you stand in your career, you’ve got to have a map for where you’re going next. Tim says it’s time to leave behind the culture of complacency and go after your leading indicators.
- Turning knowledge into tangible skills is a personal responsibility. Take your career into your own hands by figuring out what you need to do today to “feed the beast.”
When most of us hear the title “car salesman,” we instinctively want to run in the other direction. Even having been in sales for years, I know I don’t want to be chatted up by a stereotypically slimy salesperson.
But every now and then, you meet someone who breaks the mold. And Tim Kintz, President of The Kintz Group, is that person in the world of automotive sales. Tim is a no-nonsense, action-oriented guy, which is clear from the titles of his books: “Frictionless” and “Fearless.”
Whether you’re currently struggling, just getting by, or exceeding your quota, you stand to gain inspiration from a confident industry veteran like Tim.
That’s why I invited him to have a conversation on an episode of the INSIDE Inside Sales podcast. We covered how to set goals using leading indicators, why you need to stay disciplined today so you can reap the benefits tomorrow, and when to start caring about your personal brand (HINT: now!).
Why you’re shooting too low
We hear about the importance of setting goals all the time, but how many of us brush past that preliminary step and jump right into arbitrary action?
If that pattern sounds familiar, it’s not entirely your fault.
Tim says we’re living in a culture of complacency. After all, we have the technology to do most things for us. If you want to go somewhere, you no longer have to think about how to get there; you can just set your GPS.
But life isn’t automated like our convenient tools are. Collectively, we’ve lost the drive to work backward with the end in mind, à la Stephen Covey.
People are so accustomed to not having to think things through that they don’t bother to dream big — and that’s why they don’t win big.
“If you shoot at nothing, you’ll hit nothing with amazing accuracy,” says Tim.
But I’m looking at my data all the time, you may be thinking.
Consider whether you’ve been focusing on lagging indicators (numbers that represent a trend up until now) rather than leading indicators (data that helps you make your next big decision).
The average person is shooting way too low because they’re focusing on what they’ve already accomplished. Tim challenges us to identify two elements of every new target:
- Your moonshot: If nothing stood in your way, what could you achieve? What sounds crazy to achieve from where you stand now, but would make you feel like a rockstar if you did it?
- Your “blood” number: What do you absolutely have to hit?
Stay green and growing!
Figuring out where you’re going is only the beginning. To get there, you’re going to have to get uncomfortable.
Dig up the knowledge you need, then apply discipline to make it yours. Knowledge means nothing if it’s not developed into a meaningful skill.
Looking to improve your video messaging skills? Watching a few examples or reading a blog about making videos won’t cut it.
Want to finally try going live on LinkedIn? The more you sit back and watch others do it, the greater the opportunity cost of not doing it yourself.
You have to get your feet wet in every relevant skillset, which means sometimes you’ll feel like you’re drowning. But with perseverance, you’ll make it out with a new tool in your belt.
Tim sums up the need to keep challenging yourself: “When you’re green, you’re growing, and when you’re ripe, you’re rotten.”
Transferring knowledge into skills is a long-term game, but it’s one you can’t stop playing.
Fuel your future by ‘feeding the beast’ today
Using the skills you’re learning every day, you should consistently invest time and energy in personal branding.
In Tim’s view, there’s no excuse for not reaching your potential audience in today’s digital business environment. Giving them what they want starts with establishing yourself as an authority in your space — and you can’t do that without putting yourself out there online.
Take the time to learn what brand-building is going to take, and then go feed that beast by doing it as soon as possible (even if you’re terrified).
Look and act like a pro — and other brand-building essentials
One of the first things I always notice about Tim is that he looks like million bucks everywhere he goes. When I ask him about it, he claims he dresses out of respect for his customers.
We all know physical appearance isn’t everything, but the truth is, it’s something when it comes to your brand.
Whether or not you look the part could be the only factor that makes you stand out from your competitors, so why wouldn’t you take care to put yourself together professionally?
Once you’ve donned a sharp-looking suit or nice blouse, it’s time to find your public voice.
Yes, that means taking those newfound skills and jumping in head-first to the posting, video recording, blog writing, and whatever else is required to build and maintain your public persona.
You don’t have to like it. You probably won’t love being on camera or putting your opinions out there the first few times, but Tim says, “Tough. Do it anyway.”
It might sound old-school, but he’s onto something with this pull-the-trigger approach. Think about all the life skills you learned as a kid. When you were afraid to pedal a bike without training wheels, you needed someone to give you a shove. Otherwise, you never would’ve taken off and realized that you could stay balanced.
What it takes to keep up with personal branding is ever-changing as technology and digital communication evolve, but the process is still akin to riding that bike. Once you get on, you realize that the worst possible outcome isn’t as bad as you thought.
Besides, there’s no need to look back and judge yourself when things get messy. Tim says he never watches his videos after they’ve been published. Instead, he moves on to the next.
A willingness to keep going is the real key ingredient.
As Tim puts it, “Survival is instinct, success is a choice.”