Ability & Attitude: Qualities of the Most Successful Salespeople

Overcome and achieve success

As part of my sales-consulting and dealership-training work, I often interview candidates for job positions in commercial sales and management. In fact, I interview over 50 candidates every year, and – just like the insurance commercial says – I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two. Almost every factor I’ve seen contribute to sales success can be placed into two categories: “Skill” and “Will” (a pair of terms I’ve adopted from “The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness” by Kevin F. Davis). Continue reading “Ability & Attitude: Qualities of the Most Successful Salespeople”

Skill & Will in Commercial Vehicle Sales

american football players are ready to start

I’m a big reader, averaging one book every two weeks. My topics are usually related to sales, customer service, leadership, or motivation. That may sound boring to some, but I consistently learn things that make me a better sales-consultant, dealer-trainer, and professional-coach. As the old saying goes, “when you’re through learning, you’re through.” In that spirit, I recently finished a great sales-management book titled, “The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness” by Kevin F. Davis. There are a lot of great ideas in the book which are relevant to commercial vehicle salespeople, but the topic that stood out most to me was the concept of “Skill and Will.” Continue reading “Skill & Will in Commercial Vehicle Sales”

What If: Should Retail Dealers Go Commercial?

What if question on napkin

From time to time, it’s important to consider the state of the commercial industry. This is true for both dealers who sell commercial vehicles, and those who do not sell commercial but may be considering it. Before we dive deeper into the state of the commercial industry, I have a question for the retail dealers who do not sell on the commercial side: What if you could exponentially increase your connections, leads, sales, and profits? More specifically, what if you could accomplish the following? Continue reading “What If: Should Retail Dealers Go Commercial?”

Striking Gold: Cultivating Your Top Customers for Continued Success

Close up lump of gold mine on wooden table

The California Gold Rush may have ended over 160 years ago, but there is still gold to be found among your own customers. Every time I give a seminar or consult for a dealership, I’m asked, “What’s the fastest way to grow my business?” My answer is always the same: “Through your best clients.” Just like gold that has been wisely invested, our top customers maintain and increase in value over time, providing both retained business and prospect referrals. Continue reading “Striking Gold: Cultivating Your Top Customers for Continued Success”

Sea of Opportunity: Tips for Organizational Networking

Dawn Patrol

Here’s a fun fact: bottlenose dolphins and “false-killer whales” (which happen to look like orcas) are distinct species, but often form interspecies “super-pods” to coordinate hunting, with dolphins eating first and making way for the false-killers to prey upon smaller mackerel schools that hide among larger fish. In fact, dolphins and false-killers not only hunt together, but socialize, travel, rest, and even babysit in groups, forming lifelong bonds that occur over many years and great distances. At first glance, there’s no reason for these separate species to interact, but they’ve learned that together — in numbers which can reach into the hundreds — they can accomplish complementary goals. That diverse groups provide opportunities for mutual gain is a lesson commercial salespeople should learn as well. Continue reading “Sea of Opportunity: Tips for Organizational Networking”

10 Tips for Building the Best Commercial Dealership Team

happy and confident team leader in front of his group

I get phone-calls and emails almost weekly from new commercial vehicles salespeople. Many of them are near the end of a three- or six-month draw against commission and are looking for answers on how to survive when their draw disappears and their income becomes based on commission. I typically ask the same questions — and receive the same answers:

Q: “What has been your main prospecting activity?

A: “I was told to knock on doors of local businesses.

Q: “Have you attended any trade associations or group functions?

A: “I only go to the Chamber of Commerce events.”

Q: “Doing those activities, have you had meetings with decision-makers?

A: “Very rarely. How do I get those appointments?

You get the idea. Only a small percentage of these new hires make it past the guaranteed draw period, much to the frustration of the commercial sales manager. What sets apart the dealerships that seem to consistently find success when building their team? In my view, the answer lies in developing and implementing quality hiring, training, and management practices. Here are 10 tips (3 tips on hiring, 5 on training, 2 on management) to help you build the best dealership team: Continue reading “10 Tips for Building the Best Commercial Dealership Team”

How to Lose Vehicle Sales

Businessman cowering on blue blackboard background with chalk drawing of

Yes, yes, I know the title sounds negative. Losing sales, after all, is a dealership’s worst nightmare. But talking about what NOT to do helps dealers identify mistakes to avoid and highlights the more productive solutions commercial salespeople should pursue. It’s an important conversation, because some of those pitfalls are not just small stumbles along the way, but major setbacks that contribute to missed sales opportunities and negative attitudes among sales team members. In other words, highlighting “How to Lose Vehicle Sales” allows us to have a discussion about if your dealership’s systems and practices perpetuate a culture of success or failure. Let’s dig into 3 quick scenarios: Continue reading “How to Lose Vehicle Sales”

8 Essential Gadgets for Truck Drivers

Red big rig semi truck tractor going with empty flat bed semi trailer on the awesome winding road in green forest in Columbia Gorge area

Life as a truck driver is not easy. Even with a decent remuneration package being offered by companies, there’s still an ongoing shortage of drivers. The shortage of drivers is due, in part, to the hardships of life on the road, including isolation/loneliness and negative health impacts. Fortunately for drivers, there are a lot of gadgets that can help make the trucking life better. Here are some essential gadgets for drivers that make driving easier, safer, and more comfortable. Continue reading “8 Essential Gadgets for Truck Drivers”

Warming Up Our Cold Calls

Steam from a cups with a hot cocoa on the fireplace background.

As the Winter season begins, we’ll soon be feeling a chill in the air and warming up by a fireplace with cups of coffee or hot chocolate. However, warming up your cold calls should be a year-round practice! Most new commercial sales consultants struggle to get started with cold calls, and it is by far the most frequent and recurring topic I receive questions about. I am a big proponent of network- and referral-based selling, but I am not against cold calling. In fact, cold calls very often make perfect sense, if you do them right. Continue reading “Warming Up Our Cold Calls”

4 Trends Driving Semi-Trailer Market Growth

Red truck on highway in Colorado at autumn

Each year, road transportation businesses carry 6,000 billion ton-kilometers of goods throughout countries such as US, China, and the whole of Europe. Big companies involved in construction, energy, automotive, defense, and manufacturing rely heavily on semi-trailers for transporting materials. The reliance on heavy duty vehicles is driving the semi-trailer market, with experts predicting it could exceed $37 billion by 2025. This equates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.98% from 2017 to 2025!! Here are 4 trends driving semi-trailer market growth: Continue reading “4 Trends Driving Semi-Trailer Market Growth”