Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Now, sometimes during a class or seminar I’m conducting I’ll get asked “Jeff, can’t you just share the secrets to selling? The tricks, shortcuts, or just some really good closes?” The answer is, “Sure.” I’ve done it thousands of times. I’ve even trained competing dealers while I was employed by one of them! I’ve trained literally hundreds of competitors (at factory request or even the competitor’s request) in the mechanics and philosophy of what I was doing to make my own dealership number one in the nation in sales or customer satisfaction or leasing or service volume. I’d ask my owner, who allowed our secrets to get out (drove me CRAZY ‘til I understood the harmlessness of it), “Boss, why do you allow me to train the competition and not hold anything back?” He would repeatedly reply, “It makes us good sports. AND they won’t do it.”
“What? Everything I know, whether I refined it or not, I learned from someone else. Why wouldn’t they…”
“Jeff, listen. They won’t do it. They’ll hear it all and even take notes, won’t change on the inside and go home and say that they already do all the stuff we do. They don’t realize that who they are being speaks louder than what gets said to their staff and customers. Also, they wait for proof (more proof than the fact that we’re already dominating the market with these attitudes and systems) to come to them before they fully commit to the program. Life happens to them before the new way ever becomes a habit, which would allow them to realize their potential for success. They just plain won’t do it. Don’t hold back out there. Give ‘em a great show!”
So for years at two different dealerships, I continuously conducted facility tours and classes on what we do. I gave the participants all the answers, yet I haven’t seen enough of them change and implement anything to ever get concerned about helping the competition.
I got to witness another distinction on another level. For the years that I ran sales departments, I did the training. I did the “green pea” class, the “remedial” class for the guys who once had it but had somehow temporarily (or worse) lost it, and I did the general training and motivation. In working with so many people over so many years, I got to watch my systems work and fail simultaneously on my sales floor. I realized that applying the medicine of selling system training to a salesperson covered in the “Teflon” of being the same person with the same beliefs had nowhere near the success rate of a salesperson ready to absorb and transform by first making some decisions. Further, I’ve seen many who become the “right person” have large sales success well before they get the mechanics of the system down. As a hard-to-avoid benefit of personal transformation, they also experienced and shared a greatly improved feeling of happiness, better marriages or other relationships, more interest in charity, their spirituality, reduced used of alcohol or other numbing substance or activity, and physical benefits ranging from losing weight or quitting smoking to just plain not getting sick as often. This combined with a mastery of the selling system has produced incomes beyond the salesperson’s actual goal.
During a management stint at a dealership where I spent nine years, I had one gentleman working for me who had been there for 16. He’d achieved tremendous growth after his first full year on my team’s program. Remember, he earned a very similar amount each year for 16 years, and prior to his “buy in” his income was naturally declining as he was within five years of retiring and he was just not “killing himself” anymore. He certainly deserved to enjoy this part of his career. I think that when he proudly showed me his pay stub’s YTD compared to last year (up 300%!), he was enjoying himself pretty well! It still makes me feel good to think that I participated in a more luxurious and travel-filled retirement for him. Another fellow in that same dealership’s used car department, with similar tenure, was already the dealership’s top money earner year after year with Salesman of the Month plaques literally covering every inch of his walls. He gladly reported that in his 1st year under my systems, he had the largest money year of his life with an approximately $50k increase over his previous best. He said that he still regrets not getting more serious about my prospecting/referral program as he would liked to have stopped being on the dealership’s rotation schedule and taking “ups” off the floor. He deserves proper credit though, as with such a successful history some would be closed to being coached. I had yet another fellow whose income grew, but not as dramatically.
He did however leave the floor to come and go as he pleased on his own schedule. To him, the extra income was nice but what turned him on was time on the golf course. This occurred after 2 1/2 years of him buying into “The System.”
So how did these people as well as thousands of others improve their lives, make hundreds of thousands of dollars more per year and actually have a life? They started with a decision. When you think of it, everything does. How does the woman in the weight loss ad go from being too heavy to 150 pounds lighter and bikini-proud? A lot of things happened but the first one was a decision. The decision was not to deprive herself of one of life’s pleasures like eating can be for any of us. Her decision was to feel good and look good. After that, she didn’t have to use will power or “white knuckle” her way through having only one bite of dessert. It was clear to her. She made a decision. She set a goal. She pictured the end result. She was specific in her end result (size 1, 120 lbs, be able to run 5 miles by Jun 5, etc. etc.). We’ll get into affirmations a bit later.
She DID NOT just say, “Give me a diet and tell me what to do in the gym; thanks, bye!” If she did, she’d have the “system” but she’d also have a 99% chance of failing because of the way she would have been talking to herself and because she wouldn’t have had a CLEAR and SPECIFIC end result stated and written and perhaps shared. When the dessert was in front of her, her willpower would only be able to do so much for her. Plus she would have been miserable at best with all of that deprivation. She would not have been trained to stay focused on her goal. She would not have realized that it’s ALL a decision, a choice. Plus, her subconscious would have been working against her. More on that later, too.
By stating her goal and picturing the end result, she did not have to fight off her dessert urges! She simply chose her “new” vitality and body! She was not saying no to a second bite, but she was saying yes to the bikini or health or that happier marriage or whatever personal reason she originally decided. There is a pointed and specific way to do this and anything else you want in life. We are about to dig into it. This above example is also why I’m not just throwing a selling system at you. I don’t want you to fall off of your diet and exercise program in the middle of it. When you do this stuff and do it right, coming from and going to the right place, it can make you a millionaire and it will be easier than your lowest paycheck months have ever been! To just give you the diet and gym instructions without the groundwork laid out will not do the trick. If you are willing to pay the small price and follow these instructions to a “T” you will never believe it isn’t part of every school’s curriculum. You are about to make a choice right this very minute. This can be the moment (RIGHT NOW) that causes the rest of your life to be what it will be. You get to decide what you want to use your life for. You get to be a victim or accountable for what happens next. You are about to do everything on purpose.
Good thing those competitive dealers that I toured over the decades didn’t get this part first! My owner’s dealerships may have fallen to #2 under my watch!