Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Someone can take away your home, car, job, money- even your children, but no one can take away your excuses. You’re the only one who can let go of excuses. Excuses justify why you’re where you are today and release you from an obligation to give more. Let go of the excuses of where you’ve been and where you are and take responsibility to where you’re heading. 

(HT Eric Greitnes’ awesome book Resilience) 


Ok, it’s official. Your month sucks. It’s been one of those months that you just wish it would quickly end, but instead it’s been an arduous, tortuous demise.

Most salespeople stare down the barrel of a lackluster month and do absolutely nothing. With one day left, they accept their fate and choose to sit down and ride the rest of the day/month out. Starting today, they’ll spend the next 2 weeks sharing woeful stories of why their month was so bad only to look up and realize that they’ve just pissed half of their new month away. Behind the eight ball, they begin to fearfully scramble to make their month in half of the time. With more month than there is money-with double rent and car note looming, there’s no margin for error-every customer has to buy and when their customers don’t buy, they give up and jump ship to try their luck at another dealership or get out of the business altogether. (Sound familiar?)

Instead of waiting for your month to end, look at today as the beginning toward your new month. Having a new month mindset will put you one day ahead and not weeks behind. Instead of being regretfully burdened thinking of all of the missed, blown, and almost opportunities of yesterday, you’ll already be working to build momentum for a more prosperous month.

And who knows, while your working to build next month’s business, you may just salvage this month’s.

P.S. What’s NOW spelled backwards?

I’ll see you next time on the blacktop. 

Failing is a state of nature….
Failure is a state of mind.
What state are you living?


Note: This is my guest blog post for AutoSuccess Magazine

Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, had a saying painted on the side of her airplane; “Always think with your stick forward,” which means do all the thinking you want as long as you’re moving forward.
My offensive line football coach in college had a theory very similar to Ms. Earhart’s. When the ball was snapped, Coach Fremin had 2 simple rules:
#1) If you forget the play, don’t just stand around; go hit somebody-anybody from the other team.
#2) Play until the whistle blows because you’re more likely to get hurt when you’re standing around the pile.
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the sales profession, you’ve seen variations of sales careers that have either never gotten off of the ground or were once soaring careers that stalled in mid-flight and crashed in a fiery demise. Regardless of which extreme- unhappy endings come when you are not thinking with your stick forward.
Here are a few ways to keep your stick moving forward.
Stop Looking For Perfection : Stop waiting for the perfect opportunity. Opportunities aren’t luck, they’re revelations and are discovered only by those who are tenacious enough to keep digging, scratching, clawing, and scraping their way to success. As long as they’re making new vehicles, you’ll never be perfect in your product knowledge or negotiating skills nor will you ever find the perfect customer, inventory or management staff. Perfection is another word for procrastination; we procrastinate because we fear failure. Whatever you fear, run towards it. You want to get better on the phone? You want to close more deals? You want to be able to control your sale better? Then take action-you’ll never be perfect, but where others become bitter with each failure, you’ll become better.
No more chalk talk: No team wins a championship simply by the plays that they design-every play put on paper is designed to be a win. But what is designed in practice is refined in play and it’s learning from the setbacks and unforeseen circumstances that allow you to win. Like children, we pout when things don’t go our way; when a customer doesn’t buy, hangs up on us, or buys elsewhere we sit down and pout- all because the play we designed was supposed to work but didn’t. Pick up your lip, and get back in the game. When will you win again is not the question; the better question to ask is how long will you sit in your loss?
They’re not your problem : You’re the problem not anyone or anything else. The best place to look when things aren’t going your way is the mirror. You’re not a tree, if you don’t like where you are then get off of you ass and make a move. You couldn’t help where you came from, but you can help where you’re going. If you’re overweight, have bad credit, an alcoholic, or sell 5 cars per month, you have to own it and take the necessary steps to be slightly better than you were yesterday.
Bonus: I know I said a few, but there is a 4 th
You’re worth it: Enough said.
Most people live in the 8th day of the week: Someday. Someday I’ll get my big break; someday my plans will come into fruition; someday someone will see that I’m being cheated. You’ve got 24 hours to make the most of this day-you don’t know how many more minutes, days, weeks, or years that you have left to play this game called LIFE, but one thing is certain. You have now and it’s called “present” for a reason.
Think with your stick forward.
I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop.
(HT to Ryan Holiday’s book The Obstacle Is The Way to write this weeks post.)

Wake with hope, walk with purpose, work with integrity, communicate with love, & leave with satisfaction.

Today, you may not be able to control what comes at you, but you can control what comes from you.

It’s on Y-O-U.


If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes in sales, then you’ve likely cried out, “These customers are wasting my time,” more times than you’d like to admit. And you know what? You’re right, they are a waste of your time. Here’s why:

  • You hold a grudge: Newsflash: When you show up to work today (and everyday after that), you will fail more often than you succeed. Now that you know that you will fail 70-80% of the time, what are you so scared of? If you’re going to fail, do it well and do it often. Failures are tragic only when you are unwilling to go out and fail again. What distinguishes great salespeople from the average ones is their ability to move on. Whether you make a sale or you don’t, hold it loosely-when we win we celebrate too often and when we loose, we commiserate too long. As the ancient saying goes, “Pray, but move your feet.”
  • You hold a gavel and not a brush: It seems as though we as salespeople attain our professorship in Sales-ology right around the 30 day mark. After about a month of getting screamed at for walking a customer, presenting numbers without a commitment, and sprinkling gallons of be-back dust all over our customers without success (the be-back dust must’ve been expired), we become jaded and cynical. I remember my first month in the car business; I  filled a 3 subject notebook full of customer’s names and phone numbers, their desired vehicle, what they were trading, what they did for a living, their hobbies- I was like a courtroom stenographer; anything I could think of I wrote it down. I thought I was going to be different…wrong! The more customers that didn’t show up, bought elsewhere,  lied to me, or hung up in my face, the more cynical I became. At one time, I was so cynical I didn’t even cover my draw-I couldn’t pay rent nor the day care, and my truck note was already 2 months past due. Athletes, writers, musicians, and yes, even salespeople are artists. Selling is your muse. Not every play will result in a touchdown, not every book is a best seller, not every song is a #1 hit, nor will every Up will result in a sale. Every day, every encounter with a prospect is an opportunity for you to create another masterpiece. Put down the gavel and pick up the brush-use your experience to work with your customers more efficiently, not judgmentally. Navigation systems efficiently follow roads not trails. If you were driving to Disney World, sure you could try to save time by driving though someone’s pasture, but eventually you’ll wind up stuck or in a ditch. If you want to find sustained success, find the disciplined roads and skip the trails. 
  • You’ve got to max out: Customer’s are a waste of your time if you don’t maximize their possibilities. Selling cars is physically easy, yet mentally tough. Not asking enough questions to uncover what and why your customer is in the market will lead to you looking like you’re trying to catch chickens in your back yard-before you know it your customers are all over the place leaving you mentally exhausted and frustrated (Which is precisely the time that you throw in the towel and cry to anyone who will listen that they are wasting your time). When you are working with a customer, do not give up until you’ve exhausted every possible opportunity: switching them from New to Used (I know the used car has 60,000 miles but let them say no, not you.), or Used to New (New rebates will help them with their negative equity situation.), more down payment and why (When you ask for [more] down payment, customers think of us as extortionists. Explain to them why more down payment is needed and how it will benefit them in the long run.), or adjust trim levels and option packages (Don’t say, “You need to be on a base model,” instead say, ” We need to adjust the package to get you closer to where you are trying to be.”). Just like exercising, the harder you are willing to push yourself, the greater the gains. 
  • You need books not lines: Legendary Coach Paul Brown said, “You can learn a line from a win, and book from a defeat.” The greatest injustice you can give to yourself is not drawing the lessons from your defeats. Instead of eulogizing with a bunch of other salespeople, who are glad it was you who “wasted time” and not them, recycle your defeats for fuel toward the next win. Sure there are people who want you to sell a car for $3000 below invoice; I know you printed out and showed your customers book values and market averages, but they still want retail for their car-stop getting hung up on the ten percenters. Don’t allow 10% of irrational people to screw up the other 90% of people who need your help. You are worth every dollar you ask for-act like it. After every encounter, ask yourself how could you have done better? (Every encounter, sale or no sale, can be improved.)  How could you have handled the phone call, demo, write-up, negotiation, or after sale service call better? Be absolutely honest with yourself to discover the miscues and missteps and make the mental adjustments needed in preparation for the next opportunity.  What the customer didn’t do isn’t the issue; what you could’ve done better is.
If you hold on to grudges, aren’t thinking creatively, not exhausting every possible option, nor learning from your mistakes, the customer’s aren’t wasting your time, you’re wasting theirs. 
I’ll see you next time on the blacktop. 

Posted: May 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

In the game of life, when the final buzzer sounds, the only stat you carry with you is the number of assists you made.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg