Posts Tagged ‘sales techniques’

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.

This weekend is absolutely gorgeous- cool temperatures & blue skies…days like this call for a good chicken & sausage gumbo. As I was leaving to run some errands, I saw a guy wiping down his car. Two hours later, he was still out there wiping down his car. He was meticulous about everything- he even wiped the wheel wells, & the trunk and engine compartment- he spent hours to make sure his car was on point.

What I found interesting is he was such a perfectionist on his car, but when it came to his well being, he was not. With chammy in hand, he had a cigarette dangling out of his mouth, 22 oz. Bud off to the side, & his pot belly was an indication he hadn’t worked out in years- if ever at all.

My question is this…what if he was just as concerned-hell, what if he treated himself half as good as his sports car? If he did, I’d venture to say he’d probably be around longer to enjoy it.

To show the world we’ve made it- that we’re “successful,” we’ll give our health up in the process. Marketers know this…they’re constantly hurling messages at us to wear this, drink that, & drive this one, and we fall right into their bait. We’ll sleep and work out less, work longer hours, extra shifts, swipe a few extra times to impress people we don’t even like.

Treat yourself better than the things you want to buy. Don’t treat your well being like a clearance item- foregoing tomorrow’s security for today’s insatiability.

There’s nothing wrong with having nice things, but at the risk of losing yourself emotionally, physically, and financially, ain’t worth it. Just go to a garage sale- look in your attic, closet, garage, and storage units at all the crap you “had to have.” When dissolving my marriage, I had to do a detailed descriptive list of all of the valuables in my home…by the time it was all said and done, thousands of dollars and years of finance charges, those “valuables” wouldn’t even equal a full month’s paycheck.

You’re already a millionaire. Scientists have noted that if they put a price tag on all of your key body parts it would be valued at over $10 million. Sports franchises know this- why do you think they have the best equipment and dietitians? You damn right they’re going to protect and nurture their multi-million dollar investments.

There are some areas of your health, once taken too far, no amount of money will buy it back. Taking care of yourself is cheap- compared to stints, surgeries, rehab, and big and tall sizes. I know a portly guy who spends $300 for each dress shirt- his flesh only touches the fine labels…me? Man I’ll rock a $30 dress shirt with a $10 bow tie and swag it out. I can pull it off because I work my ass off to look & feel better- and because of the investment in myself, I carry myself with more confidence on the cheap cheap.

Your greatest expense should be on the greatest brand ever created…

Brand You.

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As retold in Max Lucado’s book Fearless, reporter Bob Garfield tracked health articles in major publications and discovered that among other health issues, 59 million American have heart disease; 53 million have migraines; 25 million Americans have osteoporosis; 16 million struggle with obesity; 3 million have cancer; and 2 million Americans have severe brain disorders. Reportedly 543 million Americans consider themselves seriously sick…that’s a troubling statistic since there are only 323 million people living in the U.S. Garfield went on to say that either society is either doomed or someone is seriously double dipping.

We’re in an epidemic of fear …and while I’m not discounting the fact that there are some people who are obviously sick, I am highlighting the notion that many are living in a state of fear.

Fear sells. Networks, newspapers, the Internet -hell even your neighbor loves to serve up a good ole’ juicy slab of fear. Log onto Web MD and you’ll quickly be scratching your head wondering how in the hell you’re still living?

Fear is all around us….seriously.

What’s going to happen with Russia…what country is facing sanctions…who’s going to be called to face a Congressional hearing…what are the interest rates going to be…will the NFL commissioner get a contract extension…or who’s going to be the next President….man I have no idea. I don’t know, but I do know that I don’t have any control over any of that…so why should I be fearful over the things that are out of my control or likely won’t even happen?

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In sales, we tend to worry about what everyone else is doing.We worry about what the other dealer is doing down the road; we worry about why the top salesperson gets all of the “house cheese-” you know the one who gets all of the manager’s loyal customers and friends. We waste all kinds of time conspiring how one cat is succeeding when we should be knuckled up in learning how to be more consistent. And when something isn’t swinging our way-when Life kicks us dead in the center of our being, we freak out and double dip-pouring more problems onto ourselves…choosing to sit in fear instead of working by faith. 

Control the can’t control the total number of customers that come through your dealership today, but you can control the fact that you grab your 2 or 3 opportunities. You can’t control how many salespeople the dealership decides to hire, but you can control what you do when you show up every day. You can’t control the fact that they passed you up for management, but you can control the process of starting to act like one-developing yourself as a manger so when the opportunity comes-whether there are somewhere else, you’re ready for it. You can’t control the weather, but when adversity strikes, you can control whether you’ll use it as fuel to step up or fuel to flame out. 

Control the controllables…play your game today. Stop double dipping in fear and start doubling up your efforts. That’s what you can control..and when you do..when you play your game, we’ll all benefit because you gave us the only thing you have control over….


I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

So your month isn’t starting off like you hoped, huh? I know, you started the month off vowing to go back to the basics, but now it seems as though you’re the only one not selling anything. 

Here’s my advice to you: Be mad, but don’t get mad
Be mad at your situation, but don’t get mad at your process. The worst thing you can do is get mad- when you get mad, you lose your composure- quickly becoming agitated and make a big deal out of the smallest things; you become self-oriented-having a me against the world, I gotta get mine, mentality; start blaming everything & everyone instead of taking responsibility for your own efforts, and become uncoachable- choosing to be deaf, dumb, & blind to making the necessary adjustments in your techniques. 
When you get mad, you take shortcuts- the problem with that is when you shortcut your process you lengthen your time of recovery.  
So Be Mad, but Get Consistent.  Keep your thinking, speech, body language, and effort focused on the results you’d like to see. 
Have a great week on the Blacktop! 


When business is slow, are you a thermometer or thermostat?

Thermometers react by adjusting to their surroundings whereas thermostats cause their surroundings to adjust to their desired settings.

If you wait for the business to come to you, your mental thermometer will adjust to negative thoughts of fear, doubt, & resentment. And once a customer does show up, you’re in such a negative state of mind that you’ll find reasons why you don’t have a deal- asking questions such as what they owe on their vehicle, what’s their credit score, or what they want to pay per month, rather than finding the motivations of why they should stay and buy from you.

Set your thermostat by talking only about prospects that could potentially be deals, walking your inventory, mentally negotiating, presenting vehicles, and overcoming specific objections, following up with sold and unsold customers, and inundating your mind with positive information (I call it Cheer-me-oh’s)

Set your standards so high- your appearance, enthusiasm, energy level, expectations, knowledge, and professionalism, that when a customer does come into your presence, their mercury rises from a level of “just looking” to a level of “just bought.” 

Set it, don’t forget it.

I’ll see you next time on the blacktop. 

We’ll this is it, the time has finally arrived- no more Sundays of having to watch downhill skiing, slow pitch softball, or gymnastics (Admit it!). Football is finally back, but just before kickoff, the ultimate horror occurs- your wife drags you off to the store. You did your best to barter, beg, and plead, but there was no getting out of it. So there you are, big lipping it (pouting) on aisle 9 with only 30 more aisles to wondrously walk down. Not wanting to miss any of the game’s action, you do the next best thing and whip out your smartphone to check your Twitter feed. As the game’s highlight feeds roll in, you mentally connect the dots of action. but it’s just not the same. Even though you’re not technically not missing out on what’s going on with the game, the feed of the action is not the same as the feeling of actually watching it unfold. 

The feeling of watching a game live explains why you’re willing to pay 5x a ticket’s face value only to be crammed into a stadium with thousands of others and feast on overpriced beer and hotdogs. You also love the feeling of sitting at home watching the game on your 60” HD flat screen TV with the surround sound cranked so high that it rattles the pictures on your wall. 
Feelings always trump the feed.
Customers show up on your lot for a feeling. Sure they feed on the research, safety and reliability ratings, and best buying practices, but they show up because they want to feel the emotions of a new vehicle. Customers may not like the process of buying a vehicle, but they sure love the feeling of owning a new one. 
When a customer shows up to look a vehicle how do you make them feel?  Ordinary salespeople sell (or not) based on how they currently feel whereas sales professionals-regardless of how they’re feeling, depend on daily disciplines needed to bring about consistent results. 
As a sales professional, one of the disciplines required for consistent success is the ability to break everything a customer has been feeding on (I.e. research, gossip, & assumptions) and transform it into positive feelings. As a professional, you must positively connect to your customers by gaining a better understanding as to why they’re in the market, how they will be using their next vehicle, and then selectively present your vehicle based on their answers. Your primary focus is to prime your customer’s decision pump with positive feelings. 
Look, you have no control over what your customer ultimately decides, but you do have control over how you make them feel. If they feel good about you, the dealership, and the vehicle that you’ve helped them select, then they will feel good about the decision to stop shopping and buy from you. 
Make sure the feelings you manifest are bigger than the feed they originally walked in with. 
I’ll see you next time on the blacktop!

Some salespeople seem to have the natural ability to connect with their customers. (I envy these types) In just a few questions, they’re able to deconstruct customers’ lives and find common grounds of interests- like similar childhoods, military service, cities visited, or mutual acquaintances.

With that being said, these types of salespeople are great at connecting and poor at closing because they avoid the pain of rejection by never asking for the sale- they’ll stall by keeping the stories going, rolling from one story to another until the customer finally leaves. After they’ve held on to a customer as long as they can, hoping a deal somehow falls into their lap, they’ll end up accumulating many stories but very few sales.

There’s going to be times that you’ll be unable to advance a deal any further. If you’re unsure if your deal has stalled out or not ask yourself “Am I making progress?” If the answer is yes, then keep exploring (even if it’s slower than you’d like for it to, keep chipping away), but if the answer to your question is no, quickly move the conversation back toward making progress toward a decision. When you do reach an impasse, isolate and overcome objections, clarify any misconceptions-focusing on maximizing all of your available possibilities.

Sometimes moving forward is setting up an appointment, finding a co-signer, or selecting a more suitable vehicle. In either case move forward or move on (only after the maximization of possibilities).

Stalling is not a technique.  

I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.