When I started out on the line as a salesperson my personality and ability to work well with people helped me achieve what I felt was great success in sales numbers and I was sure making a lot more money that I had as a mechanic at the dealership! After a few months of being among the top sellers at the dealership became quite cocky and started breaking all the basic rules of sales; pre-qualifying customers, taking every short cut possible and even ‘brooming’ customer without management introduction. One of the drawbacks with my quick leap into sales was I though I had it figured out pretty well and blinded to my own shortcomings. It became more entertaining to engage in horseplay and practical joking than to spend my time working with those ‘jacks’ that always came on the lot just before the punch line of the joke I was telling! My numbers fell drastically however I refused to take any responsibility and continued to find all the wrong reasons for my sudden lack of sales. One of the Sales Managers of the dealership began to keep a close eye on me, luckily for me. The part that didn’t make any sense to me for many years was that he wasn’t even my own closer, and yet he helped me more than mine ever did. I was always told by my father that the likely hood of you doing the wrong thing depends greatly on the potential that you are being watched and sure enough it seemed like every time I wasn’t doing what I should have been doing this particular manager would be right there as I did it! Whether I was grabbing the keys to a vehicle on the lot to turn on the radio so I could listen while standing out on the point or playing some practical joke on a co-worker, once I looked around I would always see him looking at me with that same ‘tsk tsk tsk’ look on his face. He soon began calling me ‘Mikey Bad-Habits’ and it was a nick name I loathed! Each time he saw me he’d say “whats up Mikey Bad-Habits? When are you gonna get serious?” As he wasn’t my manager I would mostly blow him off and go about my day, usually ending up engaging in some time wasted antics that resulted in no car deals but kept me in the running as the lots ‘funnest guy to be around’! After an extremely disappointing check he saw me sitting in one of the booths, head in hands trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do and how I was ever going to pay my bills. In the booth he walked, sat down opposite me and asked me if I was far enough down on my ass and if I was ready? I felt pretty bad at that moment and asked him why he gave a shit about me, why wasn’t he worrying about his own team and he looked at me with a cold, hard stare that chilled me. He said, “nothing, and I mean nothing pisses me off more than wasted potential kid. You got a ton of potential but until you get over trying to be Mr Popular you wont ever reach your potential and that pisses me off.” I took a deep breath and said “ok, what can I do then, to get back in the game and sell cars again?” He told me to take out one of my cards and turn it over, on the blank back side he told me to write these words;
Am I Doing the MOST Productive Thing Possible RIGHT NOW? If Not, WHY NOT?
He then instructed me to put that card in my shirt pocket and to take it out and read it at LEAST 20 times a day. I wrote out my question of success and put it in my pocket, and at least a couple times a day he would ask to see it. At first I would look at it constantly to remind myself to stay focused and on track but soon it became a thought that constantly ran through my mind over and over as I worked through my day. That same manager lent me his own copies of many sales books and was the guy that later introduced me to the trainer that changed the whole game for me, Mark Tewart. Over the years I have told countless sales people to write out that phrase on a card and check them often as I was. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the many distractions that appear when you take your eyes off of your goals, and that in itself is the key. Keep your sights on your goal and the distractions fall to the wayside. As I write this I’m asking myself if it is the most productive thing possible and yeah, it is. Because I will look back over this one day and it will help remind me to stay focused and working hard to be the best I can be; the best manager, the best coach and the best leader. If you find yourself not being able to stay on track or getting distracted easily try it, write it down on the back of your card and look at it often. I hope it helps even just one person stay in the game and reach their goals! As always, Sell Something my friends :)
Yesterday I had an eye (re)opening experience at an indoor go-kart track. I took my son and six of his buddies racing for his 11th birthday and wasn’t sure how it was going to go so I prepared for a really long, tense morning. I was convinced that the staff would probably groan with irritation when I walked in with seven overly hyped up boys that couldn’t wait for their chance behind the wheel. I could not have been more incorrect! The staff was more than incredibly polite and the amount of sincere patience they showed with the kids asking a never ending series of questions about how to drive, what to do when they crash and my favorite of the day; "can we drift?" was inspiring to a guy that has worked in retail for over 25 years now! After the first race they even complimented the kids on their on track behavior and for the second one they gave them a bit more speed on the karts! As we left after an absolutely amazing morning of fun the young man behind the counter THANKED US for being a great group, he stated that the kids were totally fun to work with and made sure to tell us to come back again soon. I came into work afterwards with a commitment burning in the back of my mind to jump online and shout about how awesome the day was on every site I could imagine and believe me when I say, I know of MANY sites! It felt really good to write out how much fun we had and how much I would recommend to EVERYONE to go to that racetrack for a day of fun at speed! I posted it along with pics of my son going full speed and I was not just happy to spread the word about them, I was OBLIGATED to.
Now, what does this have to do with selling cars????
Yesterday I was a CUSTOMER, a customer who received some really outstanding customer service. Its kind of a sad statement of the world today that great customers service is so rare that it generates such excitement but the truth is that it IS indeed very rare! The good news is, with just a little effort, a little bit of pride and a commitment to selling cars as a career and not just a job we could all provide the same type of experience with every one of our customers every day. Imagine having the numbers of customers that we do at a car dealership all online shouting, er writing, as loudly as they can how awesome we are and telling everyone to come here and buy a car!
When we take a step back, take a deep breath and remember that the customer isn’t looking for a number, they are looking for a feeling it becomes easier to focus on providing that awesome customer experience and truly earn their business AND their loyalty while at it. That’s the exact moment that we become professional Automotive Salesmen and take the step toward ultimate success!
They say when you want some thing bad enough you find a way to get it, if you don’t truly want it you will find all the excuses that make it ok not to….
You have to ask yourself; do I want it?
Hey there, I'm Mike theCarGuy and here are some of my thoughts about cars, the car business and sales! Take a look around, maybe you will learn something or at the very least find your self smiling, and if you do... leave me a comment so I know I at least did something right! Thanks for stoppin by...
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