Posts Tagged ‘sales consultant’

When Dr. Howard Thurman- philosopher, educator, minister, & mentor to Martin Luther King & Mahatma Gandhi, took his young children back to his hometown of Daytona Beach, his girls saw a nearby playground and asked to go swing. “You can’t swing on those swings,” said Thurman.

He promised them that he would explain more once they got home…Dr. Thurman had to buy some time because he was at a crossroads- a moment that I’m sure every black parent faced during those times (& still in some respects today)…

….how do you tell your children they can’t play on a “White’s only” playground.

Later he sat his girls down and told them that they were important…so important in fact that they couldn’t swing on those “public swings,” because the “public”only consisted of white children. He said, “You’re so important that it takes the state legislature, courts, sheriffs, white churches, bankers, & businesses-it takes the majority of the white people in Florida to keep 2 little black girls from swinging on those swings.”

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Dr. Thurman reframed the racial inequality he and his family were facing. He reframed the hatred and racism and made it a bridge instead of a barrier. He calibrated his daughters to-yes, see the injustice for what it is, but encouraged them to keep on going- to not let someone else’s opinions, narrow-mindedness, and blatant ignorance be the force of limitation for their lives.

Yes… there will be opposition, but maybe you’re facing opposition because what you are doing is of such magnitude- of such great importance, that those who oppose you are so fearful of you reaching your pinnacle, that they’ll stop at almost nothing to see you not succeed.

Importance is not some, Life’s good…I have no problems…kind of seance- no, Importance is recognizing the significance & impact that you are making and not letting up, giving in, throwing the towel, nor raising the flag.

It’s passages like this that remind me that I need to tell my children how important they are- not just to me, but to the whole world. My son is going through his first love breakup and while it’s incredibly painful to watch, I have to sit on the foot of his bed, rub his back, and remind him that maybe his boo can’t handle all of his awesomeness. His importance is irrelevant to the opinions of others.

We’ve got to remind salespeople, coworkers, & family members that some wrinkles in time are due to the fact that Life chose you…not because you’re weak, but because you are strong… Life deemed you worthy to enough-competent enough to fight this war you’re in. Not everyone can handle it…. but you can.

Whatever you face today, never underestimate your importance. The greater the opposition the greater your importance.

….Keep going.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

Well it’s over! If you had a good month, you’re probably in a little bit of a funk today because you’re sitting at “0,” but if you had a bad month, you probably feel fresh because you get to start over again. On the first day of the month, we all start the same, how you end is up to you. 

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Your customers don’t sing a cappella-there is always music accompanying their lyrics, but we salespeople get so hung up and hell-bent on what the customer is saying that we miss the intent behind it. We get bogged down when a customer lyrically demands our rock bottom price, to only have their trade appraised, to not demo or come inside, nor buy right now, and we miss the true meaning behind their objections.  What a customer says often has nothing to do with what they mean. A lyrical objection is the bravado of a customer protecting himself from making [another] mistake. We reach an impasse in our sale when we only hear the lyrics and miss the music. Amateur salespeople only hear the lyrics-professional salespeople delve deeper to find the meaningful music behind the lyrics.

Lyrics: “I want your lowest price.”

Music:I don’t want to be taken advantage of, again.”

Lyrics: “I don’t want a used vehicle.”

Music:The last used car I bought gave me nothing but trouble.”

Lyrics: “I’m not doing anything until you tell me what my trade is worth.”

Music: “I made a mistake buying this vehicle.” or

“I’m upside down and don’t know what to do.”

Lyrics: “I don’t want to demo today, we’re just going around to all of the car lots.”

Music: “If I drive it, I’m afraid I’ll want to buy it.”

Lyrics: “ I don’t need to come in, just give me your card.”

Music: “I don’t trust you.” My “No” is really a “Know”

(I don’t know: if I trust you (or the dealership), if the vehicle is the right fit-because you didn’t know enough about it to convince me, if I can get approved or if I can afford it)

Lyrics:I’m not buying today.”

Music:You haven’t given me an emotional reason why I should.”

Customers write their lyrics from past experiences and favorably compose their music for future ones. You be the maestro. 

I’ll see you next time on the blacktop. 

You were hired because you were a competitor, yet you are losing each month because you are too accepting of defeat.

How you start your day determines how you will finish your month. We waste so much time in the car business because we start late and quit early.

When you show up to work have a Fast First mindset. See how fast you can get to the first customer.

The source of the customer doesn’t matter-it can be a customer sipping coffee while waiting on an oil change; a customer who isn’t satisfied with his sales or service experience; following up on yesterday’s customer or one who drives up on the lot-just see how fast you can get to the first customer.

Regardless of the result, that initial encounter with a customer will begin to build the momentum of confidence needed for the day. Have you ever had one of those days that you didn’t talk to a customer until late afternoon? How confident were you?

Lost confidence = blown sales.

When you show up today, think, Fast and First-you’ll love yourself for it.

I’ll see you next time on the blacktop. 

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I think there are 2 defining moments for a leader: The first one is leading through adversity and the second is leading at midnight. Leading at midnight are those rare moments where it’s just you and a lingering salesperson-no incoming phone calls, no pages to the showroom floor, and everyone else has gone home for the night- the only light left on is the one in your office.  Initially, it looks like he’s just rehashing the day-he tells stories of the objections he overcame, the customer he bumped $40 dollars a month, and the phone call of a rude customer who refused to give his name and only wanted a rock bottom price-he survived another day on the blacktop.  As you tally the day’s numbers, you smile when prompted, and insert the, “oh really’s” in all of the right places, but the truth is, you’re just trying to get home. Then it happens; he comes back in to tell you goodnight for the third time, but this time it’s different. Instead of just walking out, he opens up. In a rare, vulnerable moment, he opens up to reveal what he’s going through in life. His wife has grown tired of him never being home-working long hours for a minimal paycheck; his daughter, limping into 6th grade, is failing miserably; and he just found out that his mother has been diagnosed with bone cancer. But even though he is terrified and has no idea what to do, you begin to see him come out from underneath the yokes of life; his burdens seem to become lighter, more manageable simply because he is able to talk about them. It’s as if his trials are temporarily suspended-almost as if life has given him a brief reprieve enabling him to catch his breath and reveal even more.

If you ever want to know the hopes and dreams of a child, give her a sheet of paper and a box of colors. She’ll draw a big house that she’ll one day live in, a solid gold car that she’ll be chauffeured in, and she’ll even bring a departed loved one back to life. She doesn’t worry about the messiness of the what and why’s in life, she just colors, unbridled. It is in these late night moments, after the venom of life is released, that your salesperson gets the chance to color. As if a child again, he opens up even more and begins to color his dreams for you-who he wants to meet, where he wants to live, what he wants to do in life and often, it’s got nothing to do with the car business. This is where I’ve failed many times as a leader because instead of admiring the picture they’ve colored for me, I’ve discredited their dreams-tearing them in half by calling them crazy, ludicrous, too expensive, too late-too anything if it had nothing to do with the car business. It’s as if I was insulted that their dreams had nothing to do with selling cars, becoming a manager, or even a dealer one day. I’ve come to realize that my dreams aren’t their dreams and instead of aborting their dreams, I want to give them life.

  • Respect their dreams. Respect the fact the fact that they have dreams. Most people go through life drifting along while those who have dreams are purposefully driven. It was Jim Rohn who said, “There’s a difference between making a living, and making a life.” Acorns of dreams, planted in the right soil, given the right nourishment become the mighty oaks of success. Sure their dream may seem far-fetched, insurmountable, downright crazy, but weren’t all great achievements? People thought humans flying through the air in cylinder tube was far-fetched; having an overweight black woman with her own TV talk show, eventually becoming a self-made billionaire seemed insurmountable; using your cell phone as a gateway to buy or know anything in the world seemed downright crazy. But yesterday’s dreams are commonplace today. 
  • Dreams need legs.  Give their dreams legs by having them write it down. There are no boundaries-no how’s, just let them color, unbridled and when they’re done, don’t judge the picture- just find a place in your heart to hang it.  They don’t need to worry about creating a best seller; they need to create a crappy first draft. Get it first down on paper; they can make revisions along the way. Use their dreams of tomorrow to fuel their motivations for today.
  • Believe in them. Their dreams will meet plenty of resistance from others. Including close friends and family, you are likely one of the few who believes in them. Everyone looks at them as who they are; you need to look at them as who they are to become. The people who try to talk them out of their dreams are the ones who have given up on their own. Give their dreams room to grow; you don’t have to understand their dreams today, you only need to believe that they’re capable of achieving great things. One spark of your belief can ignite the bonfires of their potential.

Some of us treat the car business as a home; others treat it as a highway. Many of us stumbled into our dreams and finally found a career where we could use our quirky skills and talents; others of us use this business as a byway-a detour toward what we feel are higher, loftier callings. One thing is certain, if allowed, this business of selling cars-all of the peaks, valleys, twists, turns, and calamities-all of the doubts, struggles, fights and strains you have to overcome will make achieving your dreams-whatever they may be, worth it.  

You have your dreams, now let them have theirs.

Sure, some customers may be persuaded into buying by the Lifetime offers-Lifetime oil changes, tire rotations, as well as Lifetime (lifetime) warranties, but they return and refer others because of the actions of their lifetime sales consultants. Those lifetime sales consultants are known when their customers whisper, “(s)he even..” to others.

“When I locked my keys in my car, not only did he get another key cut, he even brought it to me.” “When I was out of town and my daughter’s car wouldn’t start, he even drove across town with a set of jumper cables.” “When I was in the hospital, he even came to check on me.” “When my vehicle broke down while on vacation, he even worked with the other dealer’s service department to get me back on the road.”

On the contrary, everything a lifetime sales consultant does for their customers comes with strings attached-strings of putting the cares of their customers ahead of a commission.

You can make a month by making promises, but you can make a career by fulfilling them. If you want to get ahead, get uneven by becoming a he even sales consultant.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

 Thanks to the auto tune software, even the most mediocre artist can be transformed into a star. A producer can fix an artist by funneling their lackluster vocals through a program-match it with a great beat and catchy hook, and produce a #1 hit. Their true talents are discovered much later when they perform live sounding nothing like the Platinum-selling artist we shucked out 14 bucks for on iTunes. You don’t have that luxury.

There is no auto tune in sales- how you practice in your studio is how you perform live in front of your audience (i.e. your customer). If you can combine your vocals of truly connecting with your customers by becoming interested in them and their needs, create your unique beat by listening speaking, thinking, and acting positive at all times, lace it with a hook of great customer service before and after the sale, and then perform it live-you’ll have a chart topping career.

The best artists are those whose live performances sound better than their recordings. Who’s buying your album?