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 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.

Because sales systems can have a major impact on your dealership’s success, it’s important to understand the main components of an effective system. So what makes a great commercial sales system? Continue reading “What Makes a Great Commercial Sales System?”

6 Tips for Boosting Commercial Sales with Attribution Data

6 Tips for Boosting Commercial Sales with Attribution Data

Commercial dealership marketing and sales look dramatically different than they did a few decades ago. Today, most buyers get the majority of their pre-purchase research online from an average of 30 touchpoints before making a purchase. In response to this changing landscape, dealers are increasingly relying on attribution analysis – the process of identifying which advertising channels convince consumers to make a purchase – to truly understand where their buyers are coming from and to guide their marketing and sales efforts. Continue reading “6 Tips for Boosting Commercial Sales with Attribution Data”

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”

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”

The Dispatch E2: Generating Leads through Content Development

the Dispatch Podcast Logo

Hello and welcome to The Dispatch, a Commercial Sales Podcast where we talk about all things related to commercial trucks, equipment, and trailers. We do this in partnership with Trader Commercial Solutions and their brands CommercialTruckTrader.com, EquipmentTrader.com, and TrailerTrader.com.

I’m Ethan Smith, and today we’re discussing how the development of quality content can effectively supplement your dealership’s marketing and CRM efforts, and help you generate leads and connections. To listen to the podcast, simply click play below, or subscribe on iTunes, GooglePlay, or SoundCloud. Continue reading “The Dispatch E2: Generating Leads through Content Development”

An Ideal Sales Day vs. A Typical Day

Senior Adult Planning Agenda Calendar Concept

Is there such a thing as a typical day for a commercial sales consultant? Maybe not, but there absolutely are certain priorities and actions that can make a day ideal for a dealership.

A commercial salesperson’s ideal day has its beginnings in the days and weeks beforehand, through a process known as “strategic planning”. A typical day that lacks previous planning means that we arrive to work unprepared to avoid distractions or to seize opportunities. An ideal day, however, is intentionally structured by focused and prepared dealers who consistently lay the groundwork for future success and create their own opportunities. Continue reading “An Ideal Sales Day vs. A Typical Day”

10 Vehicle Dealership Tips for Working Smarter

2018 has so far been a breakthrough year. Our commercial sales training program has had more telephone calls in the last two months from dealerships who suddenly want to get into commercial sales than in the last five years combined. Over the last few years, sales have hit records as an improving economy, rising wages, and low interest rates have driven consumers to invest in new vehicles. Continue reading “10 Vehicle Dealership Tips for Working Smarter”

9 Steps to Vehicle Dealership Success

I get calls on a regular basis from new commercial sales consultants and most have the same question, “What is the quickest way to grow my sales volume?” My answer to that question is always the same: take a “systematic approach” to the business. No one thing can really jump start sales, but over the last seventeen years training commercial operations, we have come up with a formula that works. As one of our most successful students, Nick Henshaw has said, “Just drink the Kool-Aid.” What Nick means is that simply following the cookie cutter system I created will really work. Ready? Here are 9 Steps to Vehicle Dealership Success — and yes, they require work!! Continue reading “9 Steps to Vehicle Dealership Success”