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Inside the Sale

January 24, 2011

So, what kind of year is it going to be? What kind of sales professional, manager or dealer are you going to typify? What major goals would you like to achieve? Have you written them down? Have you even had that conversation with yourself yet?

As you might have noticed by now, optimism is back in our industry. But if you have plans to cash in on the big year the pundits are predicting, you will have to stretch yourself. As the saying goes, “To do something you’ve never done, you have to be someone you’ve never been.”

I subscribe to the philosophy that it’s 80 percent psychology and 20 percent mechanics — a potentially controversial view, you might say. But think about it: How effective would someone be if a trainer loaded him or her up with the best word-tracks and rebuttals in the business, but that person didn’t believe or, worse yet, care about what he or she was doing?

What am I getting at? To answer, let me review how the right mindset for three critical positions will always trump mechanics:

Salesperson

To be successful this year, you must be focused on enhancing the customer experience and your own personal brand. You will also need to rethink your belief system when it comes to closing sales and asking for gross. Success also will require fine-tuning your interpretation of what a customer really wants.

As you know, I’m a big advocate of continuing education. However, I believe you can have a breakout year without learning a single new word-track or sales technique. What will make a difference is a shift in your belief system, which means breaking through myths such as, “Customers buy within 72 hours of visiting a dealership” and “You’ve got one shot to sell them.” It also means breaking through the idea that a prospect isn’t interested and shouldn’t be followed up with if he or she hasn’t returned your call after one or two attempts.

The problem is, those beliefs are still being employed daily, and they’re costing salespeople a lot of money. What you need to do is break down what you need to sell by year, month, week and day, and map out long-term goals to achieve results.

Sales Manager

The decisions that sales managers make on a daily basis can make or break a dealership. In my opinion, too many sales managers use fear or archaic control methods to engage salespeople, which can be ineffective. “Leadership by example” needs to be the name of your game.

One of the biggest challenges for the sales staff is working with a manager who thinks his or her title means he or she has nothing left to learn. This is another psychological issue — and myth — that kills the incomes of managers and the teams they lead. As a manager, ask yourself: When is the last time I brought something new to my team to help them and myself?

Dealer Principal

Most dealers today aren’t new to the game. Many of the names we know are generational and, in most cases, have been successful for a long time. However, with time comes complacency, an aversion to change and a resistance to taking risks. As the title of leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith’s 2007 book reads, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.”

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your principles and fundamentals. What it does mean is that you must accept that you don’t have all the answers to make your dealership better and that it’s okay to seek out and trust people who do.

The 2011 NADA Conference and Expo is upon us and there will be plenty of companies with the cure to what ails you and your business. Be willing to listen and learn, but don’t forget to do your due diligence. And don’t be afraid to make tough decisions. You never know if they may lead to the breakthrough you need.

I will leave you with this final thought: The next time you look at a plate of bacon and eggs, realize that while the chicken was involved, the pig was committed. Which one will define you this year?

Comments

  1. 1. Jesse Pappas [ February 02, 2011 @ 12:39PM ]

    Thanks Cory, I think you nailed it.

    Your reputation will make you or break you in this business. With new media forms, word spreads fast. Strive to serve your customers the best you can and don't take short cuts!

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Author Bio

Cory Mosley

Dealer Consultant

Cory is a sales training specialist who brings a new-school approach to automotive retailing. Get his monthly take on the opportunities and challenges impacting today’s front-end departments right here at www.fi-magazine.com.

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