Posts Tagged ‘sales training’


Check out the all of the episodes of The Sales Life Podcast

One of my favorite shows to binge watch on Amazon is the detective series called Bosch. In one episode,  Bosch picks up his daughter from her volleyball game and asks her how it went. Flustered, she got in the car and said that the other team was huge and annihilated her school. Bosch, his mind a thousand miles away, offered an offhanded apology to his daughter to which she quipped, “Hey, you can’t practice being taller…”

I found her statement interesting because she was quick to point out the one reason why they lost, but gave no consideration as to what specific leverages she and her teammates could’ve used to give them a better chance at winning the game. 

We do that…

We tend to point out the giants in our lives. We look at the one thing-the one obstacle as the reason why we cannot succeed. No, you can’t practice being taller, but you can practice utilizing your leverage points to better benefit you in sales and in Life. All of us-yea you too, have leverages-specific skills, talents, and positions readily available to use, yet instead of putting them to work, we highlight the one trait someone else has and discount the tool box of leverages we already possess.

We always seem to covet what the next man has…

I call this the McDonald’s Fry Syndrome. My brother used to come home from work late at night with a fresh box of fries from McDonald’s. They smelled soooo good and I would beg him to give me just one fry. (You know how it is-the next guy’s plate lunch always smells and looks better than yours.) The urge to have just one of his fries was far more powerful than the past feelings I’d had when I’d bought my own bag of fries. I wanted what my brother had…

It reminds me of the parable of the talents; two men reinvested their talents  while the 3rd one buried his. Don’t bury your talent-these are your leverages that you’ve either cultivated over time or naturally possess.

In sales my leverages are:

  • I’m 6’3″ so my height gives me a dominate presence.
  • I have a powerful voice that commands attention.
  • I’m insatiably curious and have learned to read body language.
  • My 4th quarter, seconds left in the game, experiences have enabled me to perform well under pressure.

All of these leverages have helped me professionally, but they’re no better than the next man. The guy who stands 5’5″ or who is butter-ball lovable, or soft spoken has leverages too because his height may not intimidate others; his weight makes him seem more fun loving and amicable and his soft inflection draws people in to listen closer.

Whatever you got, use it-whether you’re a planner or the fly by the seat of your pants kind, make it work for you.

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. 

The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?” (Proverbs 18:14)

Circumstances are the sicknesses of life. Some of your people are suffering sicknesses that are a result of poor choices; others are experiencing sicknesses that were of no fault of their own. 

 Many come into the sales profession with no cards left to play-crushed in spirit, they’re relationally broken, financially battered, & their self esteem badly bruised. They’re not only sick, but sick of it.

As a leader, your role is to renew and protect their spirit. When they don’t feel valued, you must remind them that they’re priceless; when it seems the whole world has walked out, you have to show them hope by standing in; and when the decisions they make today seem meaningless, teach them that those decisions will bear significance in the tomorrow’s ahead.

When life’s prognosis is deterrence, derailment, and detrement, the right spirit heads the cure.

Life may create a mess, but the spirit can clean it up. 


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. 

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. 

At work, we’re surrounded by dicks- if you aren’t one, then chances are you know of one or many self-appointed dealership detectives (a.k.a. dicks) who make it their business to know the who, what, why, when, and where’s of every sales consultant (Note: if you don’t know a dick, then you likely ARE the dick). Here are a few:

  • Overall Dicks: These detectives are a bit deceiving because they come across as “we” minded. They ask questions such as, “How many Ups did we get today,” or “How many cars did we sell today,” but are not a part of the “we” equation.  Their real reason for asking is to justify their shortcomings. If the dealership had only 8 Ups that day or if only 1 car was sold all day, Overall’s will use this information to validate their poor performance. Instead of being a part of the effort, they’re the reason for the cause. Revelation: Organizations succeed because individuals excel. Successful sales consultants don’t have time to ask overall questions-their only concern is to be in front of a prospect(s) in order to be on the board. There is such a thing as asking a dumb question. Take care of you and the team will be taken care of.
  • Chicken Little Dicks: These detectives are the most detrimental to your sales team’s success because of the negative mind viruses they spread. They’re quick to give their own State of Union address of how bad things are to any salesperson who’ll listen by offering theories such as what they would order, how they would advertise or who they would fire if given the throne for a day. Revelation: Unless you own your own news channel, negativity isn’t profitable. Even when things look grim, do not fan the flames of negativity with the words coming out of your mouth-it’ll only make things worse. Do not rehash a dead or blown deal to another salesperson (because they are glad it was you who caught that Up and not them) UNLESS you need advice on how to overcome a certain obstacle. Remember never take advice from someone you wouldn’t swap places with. 
  • Robin Hood Dicks: These detectives seek justice for all sales consultants. The dealer lives too lavish, the managers are stealing my commissions, and health insurance should be free are just a few war-cries these detectives decree. Revelation: Be a contrarian-where the masses of salespeople are zigging, differentiate and position yourself by uniquely zagging. Most salespeople stand around and blame everything and everyone for their mediocrity. If you want to make a difference at the top, then put in the sweat equity it takes to get to the top. Stay uncomfortable-that’s where the growth is. Look in the mirror, hook up with a reputable dealer, and take action.  Success will show up if you do.
  • Management Dicks: These managers aren’t detectives at all; they’re just jerks who are drunk with power and authority. They live by the, As I say, not as I do mantra and have no place in a dealership. Revelation: If you are one, there’s hope for you yet. Move from being a transactional leader (taker) to becoming a transformational leader (giver). The best leaders are the ones who give freely in an effort to positively transform another’s life.

The best detectives are the ones who first investigate themselves. 


After giving nearly half of his life to the car business, I had a salesperson tell me he was quitting. His reasoning was that he couldn’t take the customers any more. Take…

You can take a flight to the Bahamas; you can take your car in for an oil change, you can take a to-go plate home, but taking without first giving is called theft. If I want to lay on the beach with a Corona, keep my vehicle running smoothly, or enjoy Chinese food while watching an episode of Scandal, I must first be willing to give- first my time, then my resources. Give is the exchange rate for take.

You’re customers aren’t the problem, you are your problem. You’re locked up in your self-imposed prison because you’re always on the take.

Your customers aren’t unable, they’re unwilling- and there is a difference. They’re able to take your product home but unwilling to because you haven’t offered a compelling solution to their problem.

It’s called give AND take- not OR.