Posts Tagged ‘Automotive Training’

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. 

In sales, we’ve always been taught to “mirror” our customers, but what do you do when your customer is rude?

janitor

When my daughter MacKenzie says her prayers at night, I let her free flow-whoever and whatever she wants to pray for, I let her roll. One night as she was praying, she prayed for a name that I’d never heard before-his name was “Mr. Vic.” When I asked her who “Mr. Vic” was, she told me that he was the janitor at her school. “I’m praying for him, because he’s always nice to me,” she said. The other day Mack forgot her lunch, so I told her I would drop it off on my way to work. With only a few minutes to spare, I rushed into her school and placed her Lunchable on the table next to the lunchroom entrance alongside of a half dozen other kids who forgot their lunch too.  As I whirled around a man mopping the school’s floors, stopped swaying the mop from side to side and with a big, toothy grin, asked me how was I doing?  In a rush, I smiled back and told him I was doing fine and in turn, asked him how he was doing, but I didn’t have time nor the inclination to wait for his answer. As I waved goodbye to the ladies in the school’s front office it hit me, the man I had just spoken to in the hallway was Mr. Vic.

Turning around I walked back down the hallway and asked him, “Are you Mr. Vic?” he smiled and said that he was and as I shook his hand I said,  “Thank you for what you do, Mr. Vic.”  Stopping his mop, he pridefully looked around and said, “Oh, I’m just trying to keep it looking good around here.” “No,” I said, “Thank you for what you do while you’re here.”  I went on to tell him how my daughter prayed for him and that I appreciated how nice he was to her. “Sir, I’ve been here a long time, but I’m not here for the money-I’ve been offered opportunities to work at other places for way more money, but I don’t feel like that’s the position I’m supposed to be in. Maybe one day, but right now, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. My position is right here with these kids.”
Life is a blur and then we die. It becomes a blur because, we’re so focused on titles that we give no thought at all to our position in life. We’re so fixated on how the words printed below our name on our business card read; so hellbent on trying to schmooze with certain people, so adamant about rubbing elbows with a certain others, and are so seemingly obsessed with who we can step on, beat out, or crossover in our quest for a title, that we’ve lost sight of the most impactful part of our lives..our position.
If not today, one day you could find yourself wearing a title that you don’t care for-maybe you’re working for someone that you feel is inferior to your skills and expertise; perhaps you’re being asked to shoulder more responsibility with no more pay; or it’s conceivable that you find yourself standing in the ashes of a once promising career-for years you climbed the ladder of success-literally sacrificing everything, only to find yourself today back on the bottom rung having to start all over again.
Ground zero is where most people stall in life and ask, “Why?” Why was I passed over for this promotion? Why am I the one singled out to do more work while others stand around and get the credit? Why did injustice prevail and ruin my life? People who ask why park in life and become bitter; people who ask while move forward in life and become better.
The better question is to ask, “What do I do while I’m in this position?”
  • If you work for someone who you feel is inferior to your level of expertise and knowledge, your job is to make them look better. You have to understand this one position is not the end game in life unless you allow it to be. Use your vantage point to not only shore up their areas of weaknesses but also to gain a bird’s eye education into the pressures and decisions that they must make on a daily basis. If they’re poor at building relationships, you help build it for them; if they’re unorganized, you keep them on task; if they’re short sighted, you help them set the long-term vision. Stop competing for their title and begin completing their position. Not only will you earn her trust, but also you’ll build the morale of the  entire store. Remember, you’re teaching those who work under you how they should think and act. If you want it done to you, do it to others; if you want it done for you, do it for others.
  • If you keep getting volunteered for more work, shut up and do it. It’s been said that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. Don’t think like those who want to get the most for doing the least. Learning and teaching a new skill keeps you out of your comfort zone, raises your level of expertise, and makes you more valuable. Don’t wait for something catastrophic to occur to decide that you need to raise your game. Stay ready, don’t get ready.
  • If you find yourself back on the bottom rung in life…you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. I worked hard and lived fast until in 2008 I lost it all. I was financially, mentally, and spiritually bankrupt and had to start all over again. With my ego stripped, my position removed, and my hope lost I was scorched earth. But out of the ashes come new growth. It was at that time that I had to take responsibility for my life, put my feet back in the stirrups, and ride life’s horse again. I learned how to appreciate the good times and the bad; I realized that I could never be satisfied with what I already knew, and I had to lean on God to remind me that I still had more to give and much more to do. What you’re reading is my position..it is my testimony to let you know that you are not alone.
When you leave a room or leave this world what will be said about you? Obituaries are for titles-all the awards you amassed, all of the boards you sat on; all of the ribbon cutting ceremonies you attended will be printed on that piece of paper. But eulogies are for position. What will your eulogy be? What impact did you make for those you were around? Use your position to friend the porter who eats alone at lunch; use your position to encourage the accounting clerk who can barely pay rent and day care; use your position to develop the salesperson whose last resort is the car business.
Why’s not the question. While is. Use your position to go make an impact. They’re waiting on you…
Thank you, Mr. Vic.

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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 not excuses. 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.

If you’ve ever sent a text message or an email from your smart-phone, chances are you’ve had a run in (or 10) with the power of Autosuggestion. In an effort to save you time in today’s hectic pace, computer programmers have programmed your phone to anticipate what you are about to say. Unfortunately, the programmed suggestion brought you the wrong result, because what you sent was not what you meant to say- now you’ve got to stop everything and send another email or text clarifying what you meant to say the first time. 
When you first got into sales, Autosuggestion was a benefit to you…today it’s a barricade. It was a benefit to you in the early days because you, the programmer, programmed your mind-which correlated into action, that you were going to be successful. And you were.  Every customer was worth your time-every day you had multiple appointments, you believed in your product, the dealership, and your management. You didn’t totally understand the product, process, or paradigms-you just anticipated that you would do well and you did.
Did that is… 
Today, you believe the management, customers, and products are the ones barricading your success. And you know what? You are 100% correct! They are the ones stopping you because YOU, the programmer, have programmed your mind to believe that they are barricades to your success. YOU have programmed your operating system (aka effort) to anticipate negative results. With each keystroke of negativity- the management is out of touch and unfair, customers are liars, upside down, and idiots, the Internet has taken the fun out of the selling cars, the service department can’t ever get it right, and the manufacturers are idiots because you can’t get  leather and 20” wheels on a 26C package, you are getting everything you have anticipated. 
The people, product, and processes aren’t your problem-the programming is. Change your program and you’ll change your production. 
I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop!

Many football teams ended the weekend 1-0, others are 0-1. Just because you are 0-1 doesn’t mean the season is lost nor does having one win under your belt ensure you of a championship season.  Anything can happen.  

Winning teams may be known by having more wins than losses, but players become champions based on how they overcome the losses in order to get the next win.  The sales professional’s season never ends. As long as you have the heart, you’re still in the game.

When it comes to a Demo, Write-up, or asking for the sale, most salespeople take the path of least resistance by asking one time for a demo, to come inside, or for the business. When a customer tells you NO, take the path of most resistance by taking a “Just One” approach.