What Makes a Great Commercial Sales System?

In a previous lifetime, I was a high school football coach where I learned that you only win if you take a systematic approach to training, coaching, and playing. Those early experiences led me to a mantra that I still live by today, “In a bad system, even a talented individual is likely to fail. In a great system, even an average person is likely to succeed.” It’s true in sports and it’s true in sales. I have seen exceptionally talented … More What Makes a Great Commercial Sales System?

6 Tips for Taking the Lead in Commercial Sales

Success in commercial vehicle sales often comes down to small actions that place your dealership just ahead of the competition. Yet while the actions are small, the return in sales can be huge, which is why I refer to this principle as “the magnifier effect”. To think about it another way – consider a horse race where the lead horse only wins by a nose, but the prize money for 1st place is 10X what the runner-up receives … More 6 Tips for Taking the Lead in Commercial Sales

Ability & Attitude: Qualities of the Most Successful Salespeople

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 … More Ability & Attitude: Qualities of the Most Successful Salespeople

Skill & Will in Commercial Vehicle Sales

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 … More Skill & Will in Commercial Vehicle Sales

What If: Should Retail Dealers Go Commercial?

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 What If: Should Retail Dealers Go Commercial?

Striking Gold: Cultivating Your Top Customers for Continued Success

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 … More Striking Gold: Cultivating Your Top Customers for Continued Success

Sea of Opportunity: Tips for Organizational Networking

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 … More Sea of Opportunity: Tips for Organizational Networking

10 Tips for Building the Best Commercial Dealership Team

Only a small percentage of 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 build … More 10 Tips for Building the Best Commercial Dealership Team

How to Lose Vehicle Sales

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 … More How to Lose Vehicle Sales

Warming Up Our Cold Calls

As the Fall season begins, we’ll soon be feeling a chill in the air and warming up by a fireplace with cups of hot chocolate or coffee (possibly pumpkin-spiced). 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’m not against … More Warming Up Our Cold Calls