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​​Make Peace with Your Money Relationship

    Money is supposedly the No.1 issue that couples fight over. Talk with some dealers and you may conclude that this issue expands beyond personal relationships.

    One of the biggest reasons for this stems from an individual's relationship with money. While you may not fit neatly into one category, it is likely that you have strong tendencies to spend, save or avoid when it comes to cash. Each of these three categories has some strong advantages and dangerous disadvantages. It helps to know what they are.

    The majority of the American population falls into the "Spender" category, and our economy is forever grateful. Spenders are not afraid to leverage and don't tend to wait to jump on a great deal or a possible opportunity. They will spend money without reserve and that is where things become dangerous. Spenders may not take a look at all the factors involved, including whether or not they have the money to spend or if now is the time to spend it. They are usually very willing to use credit to get immediate gratification.

     It is important for dealerships to be willing to take some risk, leverage and spend money when it is needed. But it is also VERY important to look at all the factors involved, like return on investment, interest and floor-plan costs, timing and how decisions will impact other areas of the business.

    The polar opposite of this is, of course, the "Saver." The saver tends to be responsible, stable and secure. These people often have cash available to use if they are convinced to invest it and, if they must use finance, they usually qualify for excellent terms. Savers are often able to sail through setbacks and slow seasons without losing too much sleep. After all, they are prepared.

   The downside to all of this is that they may hesitate to jump on opportunities or wait until it is not such a good deal, and their returns can reflect this slow, small, albeit steady, growth. While they view themselves as 'sensible,' others can view them as a bit dull or a killjoy to inventive ideas or progress. It is very prudent to be a responsible businessperson, especially when others are on the payroll, but a balanced approach of looking at the opportunities and jumping in when the numbers make sense is critical to keep the dealership growing.
      
   Lastly, we have the "Avoiders." They probably are not reading this article because they avoid knowing about, talking about or dealing with money. They just can't be bothered. They tend to be more interested in the things that 'matter'. This can mean that they like to focus on the 'big picture' or the 'small details' and they often do a very nice job of being both visionary and involved in day-to-day operation. They believe that if you do this, the rewards will likely follow. While there can be some advantage and truth to this approach, it does not allow you to make fully educated decisions. Numbers don't lie and they are important to knowing "when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em," as Kenny Rogers pointed out.

   Determining how you can best communicate about money is key to getting balance in an avoiders' world. Do they prefer to see or hear about the dollar details? Use the preferred method and the important financial realities are more likely to be received.
  
   Now here's where it gets fun. What if one employee is a spender, one is a saver and one is an avoider? Put them in a room to discuss an important dealership decision and watch the fireworks fly.

   So is it hopeless? Certainly not, sanity starts with recognizing others differences and appreciating the benefits that each brings to the discussion. If you can make a collective decision, it will likely be a very well thought out and balanced one.

   One of the most interesting things I've seen co-workers do is "switch roles" and discuss a situation with the spender. This can really put you in the other person's shoes and it gives you a chance to say all the things that really bug you when you communicate with the other person. As you say them, you may find you have a greater understanding of why they may be saying it as well. They just might have a valid point of view. As you hear them use your approach, you might just understand why it could lead to frustration.

   Tap into the strengths and natural protection mechanisms of each and you will be a very strong team. It's all about finding the yin and the yang...peace.