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 salespeople fail, because they were in a bad system or had no system at all. I have also seen relatively average salespeople succeed beyond their talent level, because they had adopted a strategic and systematic approach to their work.
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?”
In a highly competitive market, the struggle for exposure can be difficult and expensive, and sometimes your own resources aren’t available for a costly campaign blitz. This is why commercial dealership success requires a nimble-minded ability to think outside the box and develop advertising solutions that don’t break the bank. In other words, commercial dealers need to learn how to be scrappy in marketing without spending a dime — or at least, spending very few dimes!
It’s important to keep in mind that being scrappy with resources doesn’t mean a dealership’s marketing strategies should suffer. Even on a tight budget, commercial dealers can maximize exposure, cultivate a sterling reputation, develop a leading voice, and become a powerhouse in sales. In Part 4 of our Scrappy Marketing on a Budget series, we’re discussing how that success can be achieved when dealers Establish Local Partnerships!!Continue reading “Scrappy Marketing on a Budget: Establish Local Partnerships”→
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”→
Before online ads and targeted emails, and even before telemarketing and robocalls, sales often involved door-to-door salesmen and saleswomen traveling across the country, pitching to strangers. It was the coldest call imaginable, but also the only way to develop a hard lead outside of a customer physically entering a store or dealership. As technology developed, phone calls, emails, and website live-chat features have each, in turn, become widely accepted across industries as additional methods for contacting and nurturing leads. Continue reading “Rethinking Leads: Why We Should Embrace Emerging Opportunities”→
I still get in heated discussions with commercial sales consultants who will defend cold calls until the end; after all, they started their careers cold calling and it was how they built their business. I am not totally against cold calling, but that does not mean that cold calling remains the best method to grow sales. In fact, there is some pretty good evidence that there are more effective ways to generate leads and sales. Unfortunately, much of the commercial vehicle sales industry continues to over-rely on cold calling, so today we’re taking a closer look at cold calls and the real ways to make profitable connections. Continue reading “It Doesn’t Have to be Cold Out There!”→