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What was your September like?  Or how do the year-to-date numbers look?  How is the sales force working out?  How many are left?  How is inventory?  Do you have enough of the right stuff?  How did you feel reading your last aged unit report?      

Those questions could have good answers or bad answers.  The future depends on what you're ready to do regardless of the answer.  This also applies to your entire operation.  How you answer the tough questions determine how you fare in the tough times.  My solution is simple.      

Are you willing to take just one more step?      

Jimmy was one of my first trainees back in 1988.  He was formerly a sheet rocker in what was a building boom in New England.  When he came, he was totally honest and let me know that physically he knew he couldn't keep doing that forever and wanted to see if sales would suit him.      

We were training to staff up for Washington's Birthday which is a big deal in the Northeast.  Some salespeople earned a month's pay in the few days dedicated to the Presidents.  So, we were training hard and getting ready.  Jimmy had a fantastic attitude and was really doing very well in training.  Of course no one makes any money in training.      

As a high volume store we sold and delivered over 150 units in the four day weekend known as "The Birthday".  I had 32 sales people and some of them sold a dozen or more units in four very long days.  Jimmy - zero!      

In fact Jimmy didn't get a deal for the entire month.  I watched him greet people with a smile, bring them in, sit them down, demo all of them, etc.  He followed our system to the letter.  But had nothing to show for it.  I had never seen anything like it.      

Sure, I had sales people who took shortcuts or freelanced how customers were handled.  Those guys didn't produce and were let go.  But Jimmy was doing it the right way.  It just didn't make sense.       Jimmy knew it too.      

He came into my office and told me that it looks like this really wasn't for him.  He had such high hopes but it just wasn't meant to be.  My brain told me to agree with him.  My gut told me that what he went through was virtually impossible.  So, I did what I always do when I'm not really sire what I should do.  I asked a question.      

I asked Jimmy to write down what he needed to make and come back and see me.  He came back with $50,000 on a piece of paper.  I said that to make that he needed to earn $1,000 a week.  If he worked 5 days a week and averaged $200 commission(It's 1988 in the story) then he would need to sell a car a day.  And, I share with him that we sold an average of 1 car for every 3 appointments that were made.  So, his goal, if he was serious was to forget everything and focus on making 3 appointments a day.       From that day forward, Jimmy was willing to take one more step. Give it one more try. He started prospecting and calling old service customers. Way before CRM was even a word. For the next 10 years, good months and bad, Jimmy NEVER made less than his $1,000 a week. 

10 years later, after my first few books had been published, I saw an ad for sales people.  They were to be interviewed by the GSM.  You guessed it - Jimmy.  

    Are you willing to take one more step?      

    Please send any comments to . Dealer inquiries are also invited. Check out my books on sales, management and leadership on      

John Fuhrman is the Senior National Trainer for Carolina Automotive Resource Services, a unit of The Dealer Resource Group. His ten books have reached 1.5 million readers and he has trained sales professionals around the world. Our Trainers are ready to work for you and develop a sales team you can be proud of. Email us by Wednesday and we're in your dealership on Monday ready to interview. When your dealership needs amazing results hiring new people, visit ATTENTION DEALERS: VISIT OUR WEB SITE AND REGISTER TO KEEP UP ON MONTHLY TRAINING SAVING SPECIALS. Our trainers are ready to show you our "WOW!" factor. (c)2012 by John Fuhrman - Permission to reprint this post in its entirety, including contact information, is hereby granted.    

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Tags: Anthony, Bartoli, Dealer, Fuhrman, Group, John, Resource, The, auto, car, More…dealers, hiring, new, recruiting, sales, training


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