Posts Tagged ‘salespeople’

janitor

When my daughter MacKenzie says her prayers at night, I let her free flow-whoever and whatever she wants to pray for, I let her roll. One night as she was praying, she prayed for a name that I’d never heard before-his name was “Mr. Vic.” When I asked her who “Mr. Vic” was, she told me that he was the janitor at her school. “I’m praying for him, because he’s always nice to me,” she said. The other day Mack forgot her lunch, so I told her I would drop it off on my way to work. With only a few minutes to spare, I rushed into her school and placed her Lunchable on the table next to the lunchroom entrance alongside of a half dozen other kids who forgot their lunch too.  As I whirled around a man mopping the school’s floors, stopped swaying the mop from side to side and with a big, toothy grin, asked me how was I doing?  In a rush, I smiled back and told him I was doing fine and in turn, asked him how he was doing, but I didn’t have time nor the inclination to wait for his answer. As I waved goodbye to the ladies in the school’s front office it hit me, the man I had just spoken to in the hallway was Mr. Vic.

Turning around I walked back down the hallway and asked him, “Are you Mr. Vic?” he smiled and said that he was and as I shook his hand I said,  “Thank you for what you do, Mr. Vic.”  Stopping his mop, he pridefully looked around and said, “Oh, I’m just trying to keep it looking good around here.” “No,” I said, “Thank you for what you do while you’re here.”  I went on to tell him how my daughter prayed for him and that I appreciated how nice he was to her. “Sir, I’ve been here a long time, but I’m not here for the money-I’ve been offered opportunities to work at other places for way more money, but I don’t feel like that’s the position I’m supposed to be in. Maybe one day, but right now, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. My position is right here with these kids.”
Life is a blur and then we die. It becomes a blur because, we’re so focused on titles that we give no thought at all to our position in life. We’re so fixated on how the words printed below our name on our business card read; so hellbent on trying to schmooze with certain people, so adamant about rubbing elbows with a certain others, and are so seemingly obsessed with who we can step on, beat out, or crossover in our quest for a title, that we’ve lost sight of the most impactful part of our lives..our position.
If not today, one day you could find yourself wearing a title that you don’t care for-maybe you’re working for someone that you feel is inferior to your skills and expertise; perhaps you’re being asked to shoulder more responsibility with no more pay; or it’s conceivable that you find yourself standing in the ashes of a once promising career-for years you climbed the ladder of success-literally sacrificing everything, only to find yourself today back on the bottom rung having to start all over again.
Ground zero is where most people stall in life and ask, “Why?” Why was I passed over for this promotion? Why am I the one singled out to do more work while others stand around and get the credit? Why did injustice prevail and ruin my life? People who ask why park in life and become bitter; people who ask while move forward in life and become better.
The better question is to ask, “What do I do while I’m in this position?”
  • If you work for someone who you feel is inferior to your level of expertise and knowledge, your job is to make them look better. You have to understand this one position is not the end game in life unless you allow it to be. Use your vantage point to not only shore up their areas of weaknesses but also to gain a bird’s eye education into the pressures and decisions that they must make on a daily basis. If they’re poor at building relationships, you help build it for them; if they’re unorganized, you keep them on task; if they’re short sighted, you help them set the long-term vision. Stop competing for their title and begin completing their position. Not only will you earn her trust, but also you’ll build the morale of the  entire store. Remember, you’re teaching those who work under you how they should think and act. If you want it done to you, do it to others; if you want it done for you, do it for others.
  • If you keep getting volunteered for more work, shut up and do it. It’s been said that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. Don’t think like those who want to get the most for doing the least. Learning and teaching a new skill keeps you out of your comfort zone, raises your level of expertise, and makes you more valuable. Don’t wait for something catastrophic to occur to decide that you need to raise your game. Stay ready, don’t get ready.
  • If you find yourself back on the bottom rung in life…you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. I worked hard and lived fast until in 2008 I lost it all. I was financially, mentally, and spiritually bankrupt and had to start all over again. With my ego stripped, my position removed, and my hope lost I was scorched earth. But out of the ashes come new growth. It was at that time that I had to take responsibility for my life, put my feet back in the stirrups, and ride life’s horse again. I learned how to appreciate the good times and the bad; I realized that I could never be satisfied with what I already knew, and I had to lean on God to remind me that I still had more to give and much more to do. What you’re reading is my position..it is my testimony to let you know that you are not alone.
When you leave a room or leave this world what will be said about you? Obituaries are for titles-all the awards you amassed, all of the boards you sat on; all of the ribbon cutting ceremonies you attended will be printed on that piece of paper. But eulogies are for position. What will your eulogy be? What impact did you make for those you were around? Use your position to friend the porter who eats alone at lunch; use your position to encourage the accounting clerk who can barely pay rent and day care; use your position to develop the salesperson whose last resort is the car business.
Why’s not the question. While is. Use your position to go make an impact. They’re waiting on you…
Thank you, Mr. Vic.

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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.

Getting into my truck this weekend, my daughter reminded me that I had not taken the picture that she drew for me to work. “I want you to take this picture to work,” she said, “that way, when you look at it, you’ll think of me.”

This got me to thinking…in sales, have you lost your picture?

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As of late, the New England Patriots have been under fire for allegedly playing with under-inflated footballs. Playing with under-inflated footballs allows the quarterbacks, receivers, and running backs a better grip. When under-inflated, quarterbacks have more control when throwing and running backs and receivers are able to catch and carry the ball better. (Especially in inclement weather.)

Having an under-inflated ball definitely has its advantages. 

 
For those in the sales profession, I suggest that you always keep your balls under-inflated. From your triumphant highs to your darkest lows; from your string of runs of those who say yes to those who rollback, bought elsewhere, or the deals you have to split. 

You have to keep things in perspective because you’re never as good as you think you are nor as bad as they say. You will have good days and bad, but no matter how high you are sailing or how often you keep failing, keep your moments under-inflated and maintain your grip on life.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

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“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” Friedrich Nietzsche German Philosopher
How many times have you set a goal only to let loose of the idea the minute adversity hits you? As Nietzche relates, the reason why you don’t accomplish your goal is because you’re inflexible in your path yet flexible on your goal. For instance, let’s say your goal is to break out of your 8 car shell and sell 15 cars this month- a few days later you  find yourself backing back into your 8 car garage again. Like putting your hand on a hot stove, the reason why you’re stuck in your career is because you’re inflexible to your comfort zone-the minute you feel the discomfort,  pain, and setbacks, you immediately drop the notion of doubling your sales output and fall back into the warmth of familiarity.  
If you want the taste of success, then you must become dyslexic in the way that you eat it- flip your inflexible/flexible mindset around. Be tenacious and lock into your goal, yet remain adaptively flexible to the adversity that comes against you. Like everyone, you’ll have setbacks, rollbacks, turndowns, rejections, and misfortunes this month-every month for that matter, but what separates extraordinary salespeople from ordinary ones is that EXTRAordinary salespeople don’t allow adversities to have any permanence in their career. Ordinary salespeople hold onto unforeseen, uncontrollable circumstances-thus letting go of their goals and sinking their month, while extraordinary salespeople handle the adversities by learning how to manage the setbacks (flexible) while still moving forward toward their goal (inflexible).
Don’t adapt the goal to the path; adapt the path to the goal. 
I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop!
  

After going to my daughter’s 1rst grade Christmas play, I realized that like my daughter, your salespeople are looking for a familiar face. Here’s what I mean…

The reason why most people fail in sales is because they don’t create value- not so much as in their product, but more so in themselves. 

In his excellent book, (No More) Mediocre Me, Brigadier General John E. Michel writes,  ”Feeling valued by others is fundamental to our happiness and well-being.” 

In the rejection-infested business of sales, how do salespeople gain value from their customers? We gain value by not asking…

Salespeople don’t ask for the sale. We’re tireless in establishing trust and credibility; we’ll work feverishly to ask the right questions, select the vehicle, and present our product based on our customers’ needs, yet when it’s time to ask for their business we back down because we want our customers to accept us; we want to be liked; truthfully we want to feel valued and the only way we think we can feel valued is to not hear our customers say the word NO. Every time a customer says NO, we feel less valued; we’re less sure of our abilities, and less confident in the service that we provide. We’d rather tell ourselves NO than to risk hearing it from a customer. So we don’t ask. 

Our perception of value is all wrong because we place too much of an emphasis on results and less of an importance on the effort. 

While it’s true you are in results oriented business, you won’t yield the right results if you don’t invest the right amount of effort; and you won’t put forth the right amount of effort if you haven’t created the right value…in yourself.  

You should be more internally driven and less externally motivated. Val-You is a state of mind. 

The prefix VAL is Latin which means, “to be strong, to have worth.” Your worth comes in the fact that you are strong enough to bravely show up every day and fail. (Outside of the sales profession who goes to work to fail every single day?) You are willing to invest thousands of hours in studying your product, your competitors’, and your craft as well. You go to bed late at night weary from rejection yet rise early with optimism. Strength of that magnitude can only be paid for with adversity and perseverance. 

You set the price for what you’re worth- nothing or no one else can- not your childhood nor your past; no abusive family member nor disrespectful customer. The value that you have placed on yourself is translated into how you think, speak, the manner in which you carry yourself, and the effort that you’re willing to exert.  Albeit little or much, the world will pay the price for the value that you have placed on yourself. Orison Marden said, “Personal value is the minting of one’s own coin; one is taken at the worth he has put into himself.”

So the next time you boldly ask a customer to buy and they say No, remember it’s not that they don’t value you- it’s because they can’t afford you. 

I’ll see you next time of the blacktop!