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.
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”→
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”→
Many commercial sales managers can get caught in a dilemma I refer to as “the disparate sales team.” A disparate sales team includes both new and experienced sales consultants. The novices, those who are new to commercial sales, are often millennials in their 20s and 30s and bring with them an awareness of new, innovative ways of connecting and an enthusiasm for trying new strategies and methods. The old pros, those who have been around the sales block a few times, are often in their 50s and 60s and offer classic sales lessons that can stand the test of time.
Each team member, the novices and the old pros, each bring helpful knowledge and abilities to the table. But without guidance, they may not learn from each other. This is a big risk, as there are more dealerships than ever getting into the commercial side of the business. I know, because we are contacted constantly by retail dealers interested in pursuing commercial sales. Clearly, it’s incredibly important that commercial sales managers unite their novices and old pros, and together develop relevant skills that can keep your dealership productive and competitive. That’s why today we’re breaking down 7 Steps for Creating a More Productive Sales Team!!Continue reading “7 Steps for Creating a More Productive Commercial Vehicle Sales Team”→
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”→
For years, researchers and trainers have been trying to discover why some salespeople are so successful. Some have tried to prove sales skills are the key reason while others say it is the ability to prospect. Numerous other factors have been included in the equation, yet the answer seems elusive. Some salespeople with well developed sales skills fail and some people who make prospecting contacts daily do not succeed. What is the answer to this elusive question, “why are some sales people so successful?” Continue reading “The Sphere of Influence”→