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. That is the power of the magnifier effect and why we are breaking down 6 Tips for Taking the Lead in Commercial Sales: Continue reading “6 Tips for Taking the Lead in Commercial Sales”

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”

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”

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”

Scrappy Marketing on a Budget: Create Referral Programs

Boxing Gloves Hanging In Change Room

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 3 of our Scrappy Marketing on a Budget series, we’re discussing how that success can be achieved when dealers Create Referral Programs!! Continue reading “Scrappy Marketing on a Budget: Create Referral Programs”

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”

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”

Successful Selling: Creatively Getting Prospects to Visit Your Website

Technology. Websites. Internal Metrics. Social Media. We live and work in a rapidly evolving world with more online tools than ever before. While some sales principles will always remain constant, success in our competitive industry requires commercial dealerships and salespeople who adopt the digital tools that help sell more inventory.

Welcome to Part 4 of our commercial dealership Successful Selling blog series, produced through a partnership between Commercial Web Services, Commercial Truck Trader, and Equipment Trader. As leading providers of innovative solutions that connect buyers and sellers in the equipment and trucking industries, we’re committed to using this blog series to help dealers reach more customers.

To check out the previous entries in the Successful Selling series, just click on the titles below:

Today we’re talking about creative strategies for getting prospects to visit your website!! Continue reading “Successful Selling: Creatively Getting Prospects to Visit Your Website”

Successful Selling: How Technology Can Influence Sales Pitches

Technology. Websites. Internal Metrics. Social Media. We live and work in a rapidly evolving world with more online tools than ever before. While some sales principles will always remain constant, success in our competitive industry requires commercial dealerships and salespeople who adopt the digital tools that help sell more inventory.

Welcome to Part 2 of our commercial dealership Successful Selling blog series, produced through a partnership between Commercial Web Services, Commercial Truck Trader, and Equipment Trader. As leading providers of innovative solutions that connect buyers and sellers in the equipment and trucking industries, we’re committed to using this blog series to help dealers reach more customers.

If you want to learn more about how internal metrics can maximize website data to help dealers attract customers, check out Part 1 of our series HERE. Today, we’re talking about how technology can influence sales pitches!! Continue reading “Successful Selling: How Technology Can Influence Sales Pitches”