If you’ve been reading my columns over the last few months, you’ve heard me talk about taking responsibility, setting goals and the benefits of continuing to be a good student. I want to drive that message home with what I believe are the six keys to making 2011 your best year ever.

1. Reinvent Yourself: Whether you realize it or not, you’re a brand, and that brand is reflected in how you sell or manage. In fact, at this very moment, you are known for something. It could be that you’re great with customers. Maybe you’re a strong closer.

Now, whatever you are today doesn’t have to be what you are tomorrow. Way too often, people will hide behind the idea that they are simply just the way they are, which is really an excuse to ignore their opportunity to be better. Why not try to become a specialist in trucks, SUVs or coupes and learn all there is to know about the category, including competing brands? Not only will this newfound confidence contribute to higher gross profit, it will eliminate the fear of losing deals to products of lesser quality.

2. Create Separation: When all things are equal, you have a 50/50 chance to win or lose with each prospect. While those odds may be OK on the roulette table, I doubt they will work in the showroom. That’s why you need to focus on enhancing the customer experience to the maximum level. For instance, instead of telling people to “come on down,” invite customers to schedule a “price and vehicle consultation, where we use all of our resources at the dealership to help you make the best car-buying decision.” Doesn’t that sound more intriguing?

To improve in 2011, you must focus on enhancing the experience and your approach on the road to the sale. During a recent celebration for my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary, my grandfather gave a short speech and offered a few words of wisdom about marriage that I think are extremely relevant in the sales environment. He said that the way you stay married for 60 years is to always make your wife think she’s in control. The same goes for your customers, make them feel like they’re in control. All it takes is a little finesse.

3. Focus on Service: It saddens me to see salespeople who spend their day staring at the door, waiting for the next “up” to come in. I don’t care what you sell, every brand and dealership retains a certain percentage of its customers. It is your responsibility as a salesperson to maintain a relationship with your customers after the sale. And we all know the rewards associated with customer retention: referral business, sales to others in the household and less negotiating the second and third time around. In most cases, the result is a higher gross profit.

4. Strive for Excellence: If you don’t care, who will? Strive to be the best and don’t settle for anything less. And if your gauge for excellence is what others are doing, stop.

There’s a story I like to tell about a salesman I once knew named Al Bowers. He could literally take half of the month off and roll 20 cars in the last week. Al, who had two phones at his desk, didn’t mess around. Some salespeople were jealous of his talents, others just wanted to beat him on the monthly leaderboard, but never thought it was possible — well, until someone finally did.

5. Evaluate Outcomes: Start taking a look at the deals you don’t make. Sales guru Zig Ziglar states that every sale has five basic obstacles to overcome: no money, no hurry, no time, no desire and no trust. Instead of simply deactivating that lost deal from your CRM system and moving on to the next customer, take a moment to reflect on which obstacle you might have failed to overcome.

6. Work the Payplan: Do you really understand how your payplan works? More importantly, do you know how to maximize it? If not, you could be leaving big money on the table. Are there special “spiff” cars that pay double the commission? Do you get a piece of the back-end action, but haven’t taken the time to work closer with your F&I manager? Are there bonuses on aging inventory? You need to know all of these things before you work your next customer.

Finally, let’s have some fun! Experts who track the business say it should be a good year for the business, so let’s rock ’n’ roll and make it the best year ever!

Cory Mosley is principal of Mosley Training LLC, a nationally recognized training provider focused on new-school techniques, products and services. E-mail him at [email protected]


Cory Mosley
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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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.

View Bio