FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out and is defined as “an anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.” Yet, FOMO is not limited to only online activities.
As managers look into reports and compare the CSI scores, profitability, and retention of their department to the internal, regional, or national numbers, it is easy to feel fear of missing out on the department achieving greater results.
Similarly, a service writer will experience FOMO when they hear about another service writer doing better than them, getting higher-paying customers than them, getting technicians that are more skilled than theirs, or working at another dealership that has stronger exposure than their own dealership. Thinking that the grass is greener on the other side is a form of FOMO. Thinking that the top service advisor is getting high-paying leads from their managers is another form of FOMO.
We see this in intimate relationships. A girlfriend that is upset that the boyfriend spends more time working than being with her is experiencing another form of FOMO, as she fears missing out on activities with her boyfriend. A marriage that was broken by an affair is another form of FOMO.
We see this in families. A parent with positive intentions tells one of their children that their sibling is better at something and wants all their children to be equally successful. This parent is experiencing a form of FOMO, a fear that they are missing out on the potential of one child in comparison to another child.
There are many positive effects that are generated by FOMO. It helps owners, managers, sales and service associates to set higher objectives. It helps companies to maintain healthy competition, which leads to progress and development of products and services that serve and improve quality of life.
FOMO helps to motivate many employees. Some employees will work longer hours and more days because they are afraid to miss out on a greater paycheck. Other employees will dedicate themselves to learning about the dealership’s sales and service process so that they can perform more effectively and efficiently because they are afraid to miss out on recognition from their manager.
Like with anything else, there are always two sides of the same coin. When associates are too focused on their FOMO on making extra money, they tend to take less care of their health in lieu of taking extra customers. They could skip on eating healthy, resting, or working out, which could later make them agitated and rude with colleagues and customers. Other associates would focus on spending more time on the job because they are on commission-based pay and have every incentive to work more. It becomes a problem when they disregard their family needs to the point of having family conflicts, which later takes the associate’s attention off work.
The goal needs to set healthy objections that are relevant for each associate, each manager, and each department. Objectives based on individual performance levels rather than someone else’s.
There are two simple steps to set personal objectives: (1) assess and (2) do more of what works.
In terms of assessment, no matter how, as a service writer, you want to be better than the top service advisor at your dealership, make more money for your family than your own parents, and receive the most recognition in the region, when it comes to setting personal objectives, you want to begin with evaluating yourself in comparison to yourself. This is as true for the top guy as much as for the new guy.
Your individual skills, knowledge, and abilities make you unique and interesting to customers. When you dedicate too much time to be like someone else, rather than yourself, you become fake and customers can sense that fakeness from a mile away. No one wants to work with a fake person because it is hard to trust someone who is fake.
When I was selling cars, my most promising customers were housewives. Because I am a woman, they were naturally able to connect with me on a level that would be challenging for my male counterparts. Being myself and utilizing my ability to speak in a soft, non-threatening, and patient manner helped me stand out and connect with customers in a unique way.
There were also times when, by looking at the top sales guy at our dealership, who was much taller, at least twice my weight, and had a dominant presence, I would try to be direct like him and it would turn out a failure every single time. This is because it was not who I am, and customers felt it.
This moves me to the second point, do more of what works.
When trying to improve your skills, begin by thinking what worked for you the last time during the sales or service process. Think about what it is about your attitude, your knowledge, your skills, that customers with whom you already worked before, found useful. Do more of what has worked before.
For instance, I noticed that my customers would be very appreciative of me answering my phone right the way. I actually made some sales only because I would answer phone calls from my customers in front of new customers and the new customers would buy from me because “I want you to answer my calls too when I call you in the future.”
So, let others look at you and feel the fear of missing out, while you are paying attention to yourself. Let them question what you have that they don’t, while you are being your own best teacher.
Author: Dr. Katia Tikhonravova, Ph.D., LMFT
Dr. Katia Tikhonravova, Ph.D., LMFT is a business and relationships coach who specializes in automotive sales and service relationships. She is an owner of Corporation Clinic. EMAIL: email@example.com