Posts Tagged ‘Automotive Management’

straight outta compton

Alan Wenkus, the screenwriter for the movie Straight Outta Compton (the story of N.W.A., the group that pioneered gangsta rap) was recently interviewed on a morning talk show and asked how much of the movie was real. Wenkus thought about it for a few seconds and said, “About 80% of it was real-it’s not that the other 20% was not, but it had to be colored in order to make the movie more cinematic.” He went on to say that, yes, the rappers’ lives-growing up in South Central L.A., having to face police brutality, gangs, and witnessing homicides on a daily basis was colorful enough, but certain emotional elements had to be put into the movie so that the audience could connect more with the characters of the movie. Essentially, Wenkus took actual facts, coupled it with emotion, and beget a blockbuster hit. “Before the movie my phone hardly rang-now I can’t keep up with the phone calls and producers are throwing money at me,” said Wenkus with a laugh.

When presenting your product, how cinematic are you? Your product presentation should be like that of Wenkus’ screenplay-factually written but comes alive with an element of flare. Customers buy cars, but they pay commissions based on how well you emotionally draw them into your product. They don’t need you to be a Wikapedia of cubic inches, torque, horsepower, and departure angles-no they need to know how your vehicle will improve their lives and the only way they’ll discover that your  vehicle is their best decision, is when you add an emotional element to make your script, i.e. your knowledge about your product, leap off the pages and into the mental screens of their lives. When they can imagine how they will look and feel driving their new vehicle, they’ll buy a ticket to your movie.
Great salespeople are great storytellers. Remember, your customer may have seen many shows, but they haven’t seen your show.  Take what you know and make it come emotionally alive with a hit show.
I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop. 

alone on deck

Showing up today matters.
It matters that you show up on time for work.
It matters-even if it’s 2 words or 2 sentences- that you find something worth writing down today that will help shape you into becoming better than you  were before you captured it.
It matters how quick and how many customers you are willing to get in front of today.
It matters that you are brave enough to pick up the phone and risk hearing a customer reject you instead of hiding behind a text message.
It matters that you ask your customer optimistic building questions instead of pessimistic, narrowing ones.
It matters that your customers demo the vehicle.
It matters that you write your customers up.
It matters that you persistently press forward beyond the 1rst, third, and 4th No.
It matters that you turn your customers over to let a fresh face help you.
It matters that you follow through after the sale-you not only need your clients to make your month, you need them to make your career.
It matters that you remain walking with your customers during the frustrating moments-the moments when the warranty they paid $2500 for won’t cover the repair.
It matters that you follow up and stay in touch with your customers’ lives not their wallets.
It matters that you help others regardless of what’s in it for you.
It matters that you’re willing to be a student of your profession.
You showing up today matters because everything you do (or don’t do) is significant to the outcome of your day, month, year, career, and your life.
(Yes, your life.)
What you do matters, but the emphasis of those matters have the wrong meaning.
When a customer hangs up on you…
When a customer won’t get out of the car and give you a chance to help them…
When a customer gets annoyed because you can’t tell them a price or tell them what their trade is worth in the first 30 seconds of meeting them….
When a customer won’t demo…
When a customer refuses to come inside “for your business card”…
When a customer  jumps across the street and buys from your competitor because you didn’t turn them over…
When a customer goes off on you because you dropped the ball while their car was in service…
When a customer won’t return your phone calls…
When a customer gets cold feet after agreeing to buy…
Failing matters, but it doesn’t give a meaning to what you are worth.
The ill moments-the moments when you screwed up, blew up, got yelled at, or were left standing alone should be tied to matters of the day not meanings of your heart.  What you do has to matter-showing up today, facing the giants in your life, has to be worth it…if it’s not worth it, don’t show up. Pivot and find something worth showing up for. What you do today has got to be so significant- so important to you, that the implications of what you do is higher than the outcome that it may produce. 
The outcomes only define how well you did something- they don’t define who you are or what you’re worth.  
Rejection is a lesson in self-education not self-worth. Use the losses, defeats, setbacks, and almosts as education to move forward not excuses to fall back. While circumstances are the banality of most, you forge ahead, working and reworking today’s defeats into tomorrow’s victories.  Sure rejection hurts- we don’t like the sting of hearing NO and the stains that it internally leaves behind;  we don’t like the fact that we poured out two hours of our best efforts only to have our customer go down the road to save a few hundred bucks. Rejection hurts, but you must not let it kill you.
Rejection has matter not meaning- the significance of what you do and how you do it matters. How much you’re willing to give to that matter is what has meaning.
I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop.

Studies indicate that a child will hear the word NO anywhere between 140,000 to 200,000 times while growing up compared to only fractional amounts of hearing the antonym Yes. Today as adults, it’s no wonder why we will go to great lengths to avoid hearing the word No -particularly in sales. What air is to breathing is what No’s are to selling-the key to survival. Salespeople’s careers are becoming asphyxiated because we are terrified of hearing the word No. Instead of taking a chance and possibly making a sale, we avoid rejection-take the path of least resistance, bowing out graceful and broke. As a consequence to our fear, we perform the ancient ritual of Hari Kari, shamefully falling on our sword-disemboweling our career and becoming yet another casualty of the blacktop. If you are tired living up to your draw; if you’ve run out of Hollywood worthy stories of why you cannot pay your rent; if you’ve grown weary of parking your car in the service department, secluded from Rodney the repo man or if you’ve once again written the day care a check “from the wrong account,” take the path of most resistance and become a pro and hearing the word No.

  • Become a rejection specialist: If your mama didn’t tell you Yes very often, why do you expect a customer to? In selling, No’s are professional, and never personal. If you want to hear the word Yes more often, see how many No’s you can grab today.  No’s are an indication of your work ethic. While most salespeople faint at the first sign of defeat, great sales consultants press onward.
  • There really is safety in numbers: The #1 reason why most sales consultants do not perform to their ability is because they are not catching enough Ups. When a salesperson’s month begins to derail, they elect to sit instead of surge taking on the role of victim. Instead of surging ahead, vowing to working harder, increasing the amount of Ups-even in the face of more rejection, some salespeople take a back seat to their month, swearing they’ve become cursed by the bad credit gods, blame management for not taking a short deal, or sneer at the top producer for hording all of the House Cheese. Each month you stroke a check to your insurance company insuring your valuables in the event of a total loss. Similarly, if you want adequate coverage in order to safeguard your month from a total annihilation, grab the Up’s and enjoy the No’s.
  • You can’t grow without the No: Walt Disney went bankrupt; Oprah was not “made for TV”; Steve Jobs was fired from his own company. In spite of failing miserably, successful people are dyslexic to the word NO. When successful people hear the word NO, they move ON because they know, you can’t grow without the No.  Success is uncomfortable; when something doesn’t work, learn from it and try another approach. Remember No is only temporary, never fatal.

Hockey great Wayne Gretzky advised, “You will miss 100% of the shots you never take.” On the blacktop, as well as life, you will receive everything you never ask for; work every deal, every customer as if they will say Yes, sometimes you’ll be right.

I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.

Fearful of the Boogie Man, my 4 year old daughter asked me to escort her into the garage so she could get a soda. As we approached the door leading into the garage, I opened the door and stopped. Sensing I was still with her, she opted not to turn on the garage light and waded into the darkness in search of the refrigerator. Once she realized I was not with her, she immediately stopped and called out, “Daddy?”  “Baby I’m right here,” I called from behind the door. “But I can’t see you,” she demanded.

Even though my voice could be heard, she needed the assurances of seeing me in order to totally feel protected; those who you lead are no different. Employees need to feel protected; they’ve got to know [and you’ve got to show] you’ve “got their back.”

Managers are heard; leaders are seen.