Posts Tagged ‘blacktop’

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 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.

It’s just after 5 A.M. and I’m really questioning why I am doing what I am doing-now that I’m too far from home to turn back, I might as well swipe my gym membership card and pay my penance for last night’s meal consisting of crawfish etoufee and fried fish. As I walk through the front doors, I can tell immediately that spin class is in full effect. Flo Rida’s Good Feeling is jamming at club-like decibels while the maniacal instructor dares the class to sit down during an uphill ascent. As I settle into my comfortable pace on the treadmill I stare at the spin class that is sectioned off from the rest of the gym. The lights are so dim (I’m told bright lights make the room hotter.) that if it weren’t for the music and instructor you’d think the room was empty. The instructor’s commands continue to wail track after musical track with urges to “Push through the pain!” and “You’ve got to earn it!” As the commands roll off the instructor’s tongue, I can’t help but feel sorry for those unfortunate participating souls who will be crawling to bed tonight. The treadmill I’m on is one of my favorites because I have the unique vantage point of seeing the drained, contorted faces of those leaving the class. When the class ended and the doors swung open, the instructor stepped out and politely smiled at me (I know it was one of those are you man enough to show up for my classes kind of smiles). I courteously smile back, wanting her to get out of the way so I could see the volunteers file one by one out of the room, but to my dismay, the room was empty. As it turned out, no one showed up for the class, yet the instructor ran the class as if it were full.

There are going to be times in your life as well as your career when no one will show up to help you achieve your goal-you will have to scratch, fight, and claw to an audience of one.  It is at these intersections of life that you can either choose to turn back to a life of mediocrity simply because no one is watching or you can instead elect to push forward as if everyone is depending on you. When you are willing to risk putting your feet in life’s clips and ride, assertively commanding yourself to stand when you feel like sitting, push when you feel like coasting, grunt when you feel like crying, and finish when you feel like quitting, that your loneliest, darkest moments will soon become the dawns of newer, brighter beginnings.

Don’t dismount-keep pedaling and don’t ever turn back; show up and do the work because everyone is counting on you. Everyone begins with YOU.

I’ll see you next time on the blacktop. 

Posted: September 4, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The car business is fair. She’ll always pay you more than you give & none of what you don’t. Unfortunately we’re always looking for the unfairness- don’t expect to receive what you’re not willing to give.

Posted: September 1, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Prospecting is like shaving, if you don’t do it every day you’ll soon be a BUM.

Cavett Robert

Have you ever thought about the cycle of a sports athlete? In sales, it’s not about your athletic ability, it’s about your at-let-it ability. (Press play for more)

Posted: May 26, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Appreciation comes with blue koozies

This is an actual email I received from a customer:

“I have been looking for a truck for a while now and happened by your lot at about 5 PM today to see if you had what I wanted. I drove through slowly, looking at both new and used. One of your salespeople – a lady – smelled blood in the water and started following my car on foot as I drove around. I left the lot and went to the used lot, and still she followed me. I felt like a tuna being pursued by a shark. I made a loop around the lot to get a closer drive by of a vehicle that I thought might fit what I wanted – which was a mistake, as it put me in a position where I was unable to avoid the shark any longer. This tuna was a goner. I had no option but to stop. I asked if I could help her. She introduced herself, and I immediately forgot her name, as I knew I would not be dealing with this person, then she asked if she could help me and asked my name. I declined to give it to her, and told her that I would not be dealing with her, and that I might consider dealing with someone else. She asked why, I and told her that she was too mercenary and made me uncomfortable by ‘stalking’ me. She seemed shocked at what I said, made a face, and walked away, I left the lot. If all of your salespeople are like this one, I will not be back to your dealership. Quite frankly, you need me far more than I need you. If I consider how many car dealers there are between Lafayette and Houston, it has to be well into the tens of thousands. I really have no dealer loyalty and very little brand loyalty. I really don’t much care where I buy a car – as long as I get a good deal and feel comfortable doing it. I did not feel comfortable at your dealership.”

A few days later, this man bought a truck…from us. We didn’t change our process; he didn’t get payoff for his trade; we didn’t sell the truck below cost, and his monthly payments ended up being higher than he initially agreed. Although this may seem like an anomaly, we did nothing outside of the norm other than we took the time to listen to and meet him in the midst of his fears. He had fears that he would not feel valued, would be pressured into buying, and would not get a good deal. How did we make him feel comfortable? We asked him.

When you’re facing resistance from your customer, you have a choice to make. Either you can prove your point by giving your customers the house rules of How They Should Buy A Car, which results in them giving up and abruptly leaving, or you can instead make the decision to give in. Of course the last thing a competitive salesperson ever wants to do is give in and tap out-conceding to a customer’s demands, but think of giving in as a temporary stint in order to allow your sales process to continue to flowingly move toward the permanency of making a sale. It’s not you-your customers don’t know you. When customers arrive, they are bringing the baggage of lies, unfulfilled promises, and the regrets of making costly decisions from past sales experiences with them. Because of those negative feelings, customers put up resistance in and effort to maintain control. They resist test-driving, giving their name and phone number, or coming inside because they don’t want to lose control and make the same mistake thrice.

The only way to overcome resistance is to not resist. When you run into opposition from your customer, discover and address their fears and adjust to their pace, by asking them questions such as, “How would you like for this to go?” “What direction would you like to take this?” “What is the next step for us to take from here?” Traditionally, we salespeople always want to set the pace, but pure power doesn’t always win the race-sometimes we must strategically draft behind the customer’s vehicle of concerns and fears and address them in order to sling shot ahead-earning their trust, resulting in a sale. In short, instead of being combative, sometimes we must comply with a customer’s uncertainties in order to find a mutual concession to move forward.

The next day the customer asked to see me in private. With a smirking shyness about him, he proudly presented me with a blue koozie that he brought back home after working in Russia. Evading eye contact, he said to me, “I’ve bought many, many cars in my lifetime and this was the easiest, most pleasant experience I’ve ever received.”

Sometimes even the most valuable lessons come from the thankful simplicity of a blue koozie. I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.