Posts Tagged ‘selling cars’

measuringtape

The other day I ran into a friend of mine and before I could say anything, he slapped his stomach saying, “Man I’ve lost it…I just can’t get back on track and I’ve started gaining weight again.” I cut him off in mid-explanation and told him that it was OK. “Yes, you weigh more than you did a few months ago, but you still weigh less than you did years ago…just get back up and get back in-you’re still in the game!” 

I think we do what Gary did-we compare who we were to who we are today. We compare the summits-the mountaintop, holy grail accomplishments of yesterdays to the valley we find ourselves in today. We do it when it comes to weight loss, finances, relationships, careers-even our spirituality. We get so down and beat ourselves up so bad that we feel that we can never go back to who we once were.

And you know what? You are right…

You can’t go back to what you were because who you were or what you accomplished then was fitted specifically for that mindset and situation. Something drove you to climb that mountain then…now something’s got to drive you to climb back up it again today. Not only are you capable, but you’re also cultivating your grit and perseverance. You need the struggles-you need the fights in order to grow in the unchallenged recesses of your being.

If you’re in sales, to figure out how many customers you need to work with in a month (or final week of the month),  take your delivery percentages and divide it by your goal-there’s your number. Divide that number by the number of days left and get to steppin’-notice those numbers have zero to do with rebates, interest rates, or weather. It’s a number…now go get that number.

The relationship you once had with him is not-nor will it ever be what it was when you first met. Stop bashing him and reminding him of what he once was. You ain’t getting him back, but you do have a version of him today. Figure out what you both want and need and get to steppin’ in that direction.

If you’ve maxed out all of your credit cards-stop reminding yourself that you were once debt free. You’re not now, so figure what can you do now (not then) and get to steppin’ in that direction.

The world is tough enough, but hell, we’re even tougher on ourselves. The world just picks on you-we condemn ourselves. 

Today, draw the line in the sand and don’t cross back over it. NO EXCEPTIONS! Your excuse jar is empty, and your exception account is overdrawn. When you draw the line, you cannot allow cravings to creep back in. Like Gary did, once he made the exception to taste a little bit of fried food, he kept on moving the line-making “just one more” exception.

The 1’s add up.

Determine what are the actions that are triggering negative behavior. For me, when I vowed to lose weight, I knew that when I drank liquor I made exceptions and overate. I made one adjustment-when I came home from work instead of grabbing a beer, I quickly grabbed my running shoes and went right back outside. I didn’t give myself time to make another exception.

The first thing I want you to do it L.I.G.-let who you were go and focus on who you are right now. Today is a new day of opportunities-force yourself back in the game and get to steppin’. You did it once…you’ll do it again.

Go find your new summit.

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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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The graveyard is full of people who sat around and waited for their opportunity-living a life of regrets instead of amassing a fortune through their failures. Standing at home plate, looking out into the grand stands of possibilities, their bats of action sat resting on their shoulders while waiting for life to throw the perfect pitch-yet it never came.

No one makes it to the halls by waiting on the perfect pitch, they make it because in the face of failure-with 3 balls, 2 strikes, and bases loaded, they would rather take the risk of swinging and missing than to have never swung at all. The difference between success and failure is razor thin, but the gap between those who are willing to risk failure in an effort to achieve ultimate success is vast.

Life doesn’t throw perfect pitches only imperfect ones, but it’s what you do with the sliders, knuckles, curves, heaters- even the ones that hit you that set the sail of your journey called destiny. Those optimals who choose to wait for conditions to be just right before taking action wind up becoming bedridden to risk, rejection, and failure. Because of their inaction, their minds and bodies become atrophied and are too weak to seize even the most perfect of opportunities.

Noah, a man who had never seen rain before, stuck to his assignment of building an arc that took 120 years to complete.  It took 40 years of wilderness experience to prepare Moses for leadership. Steve Jobs was ousted from his own company-only to later reemerge and snatch Apple from the jaws of ruin.  Coach John Wooden coached the UCLA Bruins for 15 years before winning his first of 10 NCAA Championships. It took 13 years of trials, embarrassments, and glorious failures-admonishments of, “it’ll never work,” before Greg Kaplan made Redbox DVD kiosk a reality revolutionizing the movie rental industry. Jack Nicholson was a journeyman actor for 15 years before landing the role in Easy Rider. With every lick, they ticked.

Everything you are doing-everything you are going through counts. Even when: it seems you are working with no end in sight, promotion is never coming, someone else takes the credit for your hard work, you seem to be amassing more loses than wins, they call you crazy for pursuing your ideas, or say you’ll never make it on your own-keep on going because with every lick you tenaciously get back up- ticking closer toward your noons of success. Success doesn’t come knocking-it merely reveals itself to those who are willing to dig deep and find it. Defeat is never permanent unless you quit.

Keep ticking…

No one likes to wash clothes, take a bath (don’t laugh some people don’t), or pay bills, but we would all agree it’s a necessity in life. Although we may not enjoy the act, we enjoy the benefits it has to offer. We love the smell of putting on a fresh t-shirt in the morning; we feel reenergized after washing off the funk of a hard-fought day and enjoy the ability to walk in and buy goods just using our good name, but when it comes to investing (a.k.a. training) in our people, we are guilty of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Each and every day we bathe in the murky waters of rejection and pay the high price of missed recitals, games, plays, and dinners with our families all in an effort to put a day, month, and year together. While turnover is a necessity of business, we don’t have to throw the inundations of the day’s business out with our most valuable assets—our people. Often we are so blinded with putting together a day, that our people are overlooked; orphaned on the blacktop, they are left to fend for themselves, trying to provide for their families all the while braving the shark invested waters of rejection. Mentally beaten, battered, and depleted of any self-confidence, they walk away from a profession that lured them in with promises of Up to’s and As much as. Imagine the amount of untapped talent that has forever walked away from our profession.

Experts agree that the first three years of a child’s life are the most critical. Similarly, in the sales profession, the first 90 days are critical to the survival of your sales babies. Interestingly enough, it’s never too late for the prodigal son or daughter to come back home; as you begin to climb the Everest mountain of training those new to sales, veterans of past training classes will look on with curiosity and come back home—reengaged in a profession they once loved.

Some sales managers are good at desking deals, some have the ability to motivate, others are proficient at policies and procedures, while the rest are good at teaching techniques and strategies, but it takes a village to raise a child and every manager should play his or her part in investing in the future of your people

  • Connect the dots: Babies are born with 100 billion cells, but not all of them are connected. In the first three years, these cells begin to form connections. Your people come in with a network of unconnected cells. Use their traits of lofty ambitions, outgoing personalities, and mental toughness to begin to connect the sales cells together. The best thing about new salespeople is their stupidity—they have no preconceived notions or formed opinions of how to sell. Like a baby, they are walking in with a clean canvas in which you as a leader have the responsibility to create your future masterpieces. Connect their sales (cells) together by using techniques such as how to properly set each month’s goals. Show them how to determine the number of Ups that are needed to reach their desired outcome, (i.e. 8 sales/20% closing ratio = 40 ups/23 working days = 1.7 per day) (Note: what new salespeople lack in skills must be made up in numbers), manage and track each day’s progress (i.e. tweak the minor adjustments of the day’s efforts to prevent the major shortfalls of having a bad month), how to actively prospect (vs. waiting for the Up Bus), ask for referrals, as well as how to develop themselves per-fessionally (Continuous personal and professional development). Great salespeople aren’t born—they’re developed.
  • Brainpower: Initially, a child’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s. Between the ages of nine and 10, their brains begin to slow down. As their career begins to mature, don’t let your people’s brains slow down. Unfortunately, there are many brain dead salespeople occupying showroom floors today because they are no longer challenged. Professional athletes don’t sharpen their skills by scrimmaging against the local Pop Warner league—instead they push themselves to new levels because they compete against two worthy opponents: themselves and the next man “up.” It is your job as a leader to provoke, push, and prod your sales athletes to not only surpass last month’s goals, but also create an air of positive paranoia. Apple and Microsoft don’t succeed on yesterday’s inventions; instead, they are constantly aware that if they are not continuously pushing to levels of new innovation, they will quickly become yesterday’s headlines. In a similar fashion, you as a leader have to foster an environment of creativity. No longer is it permissible to just pass the OEM’s standardized tests (didn’t work too well in the education system either) and label your team as certified; instead you must foretell the future and become adaptive to the rapidly changing landscape that is readily confronting your sales staff.
  • Use it or lose it: By the age of three, a child has 1000 trillion cells; because it is more than the child will ever need, the brain begins to prune the cells that are not being used or stimulated. Early experiences determine the health, education, and economic participation for the rest of a child’s life. As a leader, you must set the expectations, then prune the results. If you were to put a patch over a child’s eye, by the age of six he will forever lose his vision in that eye due to a lack of stimulation—however if an adult’s eye is patched, the lost vision is only temporary. Whether direct (one-on-one coaching) or indirect (sales meetings), stimulate the vision of your new recruits so when they encounter the temporary blindness of negative thoughts, actions, and setbacks, in a later season, their vision will soon become restored.
  • See Skip Go: Early on, an eight-month-old can see and be directed toward specific objects; by the age of three he has a vocabulary of 900 words. Due to a lack of knowledge, your sales babies will do exactly as they are directed, but as they “mature” in the growing weeks, they will begin to use negative enforced words. When they first hit the blacktop, the world was their looking glass. With no preformed prejudices or cynicism, they set out to sell the world, but as the rejections and negativity mounted, the glass soon became a mirror. They begin to mirror negative behaviors and reinforce those beliefs with a limited vocabulary of doubt and skepticism. Don’t let the speech of your people fall by the wayside; the Bible says that life and death come from the power of the tongue. What you allow your people to speak can bring life or death to their sales career. Too often as managers we profess to our salespeople to stay positive, yet when they bring a deal to the desk we vaporize their hopes by making fun of their customer’s expected payments, credit situation or equity status. It is your duty and obligation as a leader to stay positive and give your sales consultant’s customers options. If your people fought for over an hour in the sweltering sun to land and influence a customer to buy today, the least you can do as a leader is give them their options.

Statistics reveal that over one million children die each year from injuries that could have been prevented. The most common deaths are from accidental drownings and traffic injuries. While death is one of life’s certainties, it doesn’t have to be now, in your back yard, with your people. As the strains of life try to pull them under and as life and circumstances collide with one another, the greatest commission in life you could ever earn is by saving the lives of those who follow you. Put all of your resources in your most valuable assets—your future is in the gardens of your people. Throw out the water, but keep the baby. I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.

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Some things in life don’t seem to make sense. If you’re caught in the ocean’s under-toe, don’t resist, but instead save yourself by swimming horizontally to the shore with the ocean’s pull. If you want to effectively snow ski down the side of a mountain, you must lean forward or if you ever find yourself in a skid, driving experts advise you to do two things: steer into the skid and don’t hit the brakes (I’ll add that to my list just below the “play dead if you encounter a bear” rule). Advice like these instances are counter intuitive to our feelings. Fearing a pull, who wouldn’t immediately swim to shore? Bracing for a fall, why wouldn’t you want to lean back on your heals? Launching into a 360 degree spin, it makes perfect sense to reflexively hit the brakes and steer away from the oncoming ditch and when you do, you only make the situation worse. If you want to be more effective and save yourself, you must go in the same direction of the very thing you want to get out of. 

When you feel your sales career is hitting the skids take action that is counter-intuitive to your feelings. Steer into the skid and don’t let up. You have more than the blink of an eye to make a correction toward your career’s intending path. Accidents in sales rarely happen suddenly; it’s our non-reaction to the tugs of the under-toe of seemingly minor transgressions that lead to a major pile-up on our road to success. 

In sales, it’s a natural reaction to want to preserve what’s left of our tattered ego and self-esteem. It seems as though it was just last week, we had the hot hand- we wore the lucky shoes and wrote with the profit pen. Now that same hot hand is back slapping all of efforts-everything we try to do is in vain-every customer hates us or is buried in their trade, the inventory mix is all wrong, F&I has no interest in getting our deals bought, and the manufacture won’t put any rebates on the hood of the car-“If they’d give me more rebates, I could easily sell more cars,” we rationalize. It’s not that you suddenly got unlucky, instead of working harder,you let up and intuitively hit the brakes, steering away from your skid to save yourself… and made it worse. 

Churchill said, “When you are going through hell, keep going.” When the shoe is dealing you a bad hand, keep playing the game. In the final straws of No after No-seemingly from every customer-when your mind is telling you to go sit down and ride out the day, don’t let up, go find your next opportunity. Your next win is resting in the folds of your losses, but you’ve got to find it.

Body builders lift incredible amounts of weights and push their bodies to extreme limits to obtain a physique like no other-similarly you must brain-build your career by lifting huge amounts of rejections, failures, and set backs to build your mental toughness. Your mind will give out before your body will-force it with a one more mentality- one more phone call, one more Up, one more referral.

It’s always too soon to let up-elites are discovered because they incessantly tried once more; they did not give up until they found what it was they were looking for.

Run with the struggle-it’ll always give up if you don’t. 

 

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Your customer doesn’t care how busy you are. It’s not their problem someone’s transmission went out, or that another will be there in 5 minutes despite that fact that you haven’t even gotten the car washed yet, nor the fact that yesterday’s “lick” (a.k.a. a customer that paid you a healthy commission) now wants to return the car. Customers aren’t ignorant to the fact that you are busy helping others-they just don’t want you to be too busy to help them. 

You see, not long ago, it was you who sold them on the gadgets and prestige of owning their new vehicle. It was you who convinced them to stay when they wanted to keep shopping. You were the one who promised that you would be there for them anytime they needed you…I guess today doesn’t qualify for anytime. 

Customers get angry because they feel they’ve been betrayed. You were the one who whispered blissful promises prompting them to make a decision to stay, yet you failed to tell them that those promises end at midnight tonight.

It is true, your customers want the most for the least-they want the most service for the least risk. That’s why they’ve contractually invested their trust in you.  Sure, it’s easy for you to just throw your hands up and walk away, but true professionals, in good times and bad, commit both the time and effort to make the marriage work. 

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Your customer doesn’t care how busy you are. It’s not their problem someone’s transmission went out, or that another will be there in 5 minutes despite that fact that you haven’t even gotten the car washed yet, nor the fact that yesterday’s “lick” (a.k.a. a customer that paid you a healthy commission) now wants to return the car. Customers aren’t ignorant to the fact that you are busy helping others-they just don’t want you to be too busy to help them. 

You see, not long ago, it was you who sold them on the gadgets and prestige of owning their new vehicle. It was you who convinced them to stay when they wanted to keep shopping. You were the one who promised that you would be there for them anytime they needed you…I guess today doesn’t qualify for anytime. 

Customers get angry because they feel they’ve been betrayed. You were the one who whispered blissful promises prompting them to make a decision to stay, yet you failed to tell them that those promises end at midnight tonight.

It is true, your customers want the most for the least-they want the most service for the least risk. That’s why they’ve contractually invested their trust in you.  Sure, it’s easy for you to just throw your hands up and walk away, but true professionals, in good times and bad, commit both the time and effort to make the marriage work.