Never Underestimate The Outcome Of Tomorrow By What You Do Today

Entrepreneurial leadership has never been more important in business than it is right now! Entrepreneurial Leaders need to be developing great people, teamwork, hiring practices, smoother processes, better profit pictures and enhanced customer relationship experiences. Positive emotion creates positive motion. And, when you engender positive motion, positive things begin to happen like everyone begins looking in the same direction instead of at each other. When driving at night, you must rely and trust upon your headlights and your ability to guide yourself to your destination. You can actually drive from Maine to Key West at night if you trust in the small steps to get you there by relying upon your headlights. In doing so, we usually spend more time looking through the windshield and not the rear view mirror. Looking forward step by step with positive and encouraging leadership day after day will create new ground from which your team can stand upon with confidence! Sure, in the past there are old, bad experiences which sometimes drive our thoughts and decisions regarding new opportunities. Again, keep your eyes off of the rear view mirror. Letting go of the past is very important because every new experience should not have to go through that same “past bad experience filter” or it will hamper your growth going forward. As a leader you must guide the direction of your team and create faith that the processes, team member development and new ideas you implement will indeed lead the team to the right destination. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of...

Dealing With Objections Properly

My recent article entitled “Are You Converting Opportunities into Accountable Business” took an unabashed perspective into the posture or mindset of the internet shopper and subsequently the elements involved in that process. At the end of that article I offered a total store CRM checklist for anyone who wanted to join the “We are growing our business club.” I was impressed with how many of you were interested in receiving that document and are now pursuing new avenues towards true CRM in your stores. Good for you! If you happened to miss the offering for the checklist send me an e-mail (cbarker@digitaldealer-magazine.com) and I will forward you one. One of the critical elements of that article necessary for solid CRM is how to deal with objections. Again, success here hinges upon being in possession of rock solid 21st century communications and telephone skills. Without these it is like raking water; it just won’t work. The following is a paraphrased rendition of my in store curriculum The Fine Art of Negotiations where I train sales professionals and managers in taking a new look at handling objections. Objections in our industry essentially come in four forms: 1)  Personality conflict (this should not be a problem if you have trained your team in identifying behavioral profiling) 2)  Money 3)  Timing 4)  Product How we deal with these objections will determine if the deal continues to move forward or crumble in its tracks. I ask; are objections good or bad? An objection, frankly speaking, is a good thing. It is all about attitude. If your attitude is good then you will look upon...

Are You Converting Opportunities Into Accountable Business?

Now is a good time to seriously evaluate how we are doing and how we need to improve. On the top of the planning list had better include solid 21st century phone skills. When we look at the complexion of the Internet shopper and what they go through in their process of locating the perfect vehicle for their family’s needs, it sort of looks like the following: 1) Recognize they need something. Not sure what, just need something. 2) Discuss what they can afford according to their budget. 3) Discuss what type of vehicle the family needs. 4) Research various makes and models usually on manufacturer’s web sites. 5) Narrow down the vehicle selection process to two or maybe three makes and models. 6) Revisit manufactures’ web sites, enter their zip code and receive five to eight or more dealerships they can purchase from in their area. This number goes up or down depending on population and distance selected from the zip code they provided. 7) Print out the provided list of web sites and or telephone numbers for the dealers provided by the manufacture. Note: this could now involve 15 to 24 dealerships that represent possibly three competing makes/models from three manufacturers. Now here is where it gets tricky: 8) The prospect either goes to the dealer’s web site and makes initial inquiry via e-mail and/or, 9) Chooses (as most prospects are now doing) to telephone the dealerships and obtain the information they require to make a decision. Keep in mind that they most likely are shopping a lot of dealers. 10) Then they narrow down their dealership choices...

Blind in Plain Sight — One Opportunity after Another Lost

How would you respond if one of your best friends during a social gathering came up to you and said something like this: “Wow, you really have to try that new restaurant on the corner of Elm and Main. We had such an average meal there. The food quality was average, the service was average, the décor was average and just everything about our experience there was average.” Most likely you would not even get close to visiting that restaurant. Why? Because who chases average around? Would you wish for average grades for your kids? Average food for your family? How about taking just average care of yourself? So why is it so many dealerships settle and many actually camp out with being average? Because being average and even below average is just what these stores are settling for; average sales people, average managers, average customer experiences, average training, average everything. Sure they might experience a flurry of business activity out of shear market swings or luck and think they are above average but then they fall right back into average again. You know, maybe it is because being average is just the easy way to do things. I call this blind in plain sight. Remember what temperature water boils at? Sure you do – 212 degrees Fahrenheit. What is it at 211 degrees? Just real hot water. One simple ‘extra’ degree takes hot water to an energy level that is explosive in energy. Many stores out there are the same way; one degree off of truly developing winning players: sales people and leaders. One more “extra” degree provided...

Leadership Fuels Success

IF YOUR STORE DOESN’T HAVE IT, BETTER GET IT Coaching an individual by influencing his view of CRM processes into a positive growth potential is one of the most valuable investments leaders can give their team. “Cosmetic managers” (old school) quickly need to get a grip on what is going to be required to develop sustaining human capital if they are not to go the way of the dinosaurs. They have to bust through those old paradigms of “business as I have always done it” and begin leading people into greatness through solid sales processes and solid people development. Most of these managers would much rather manage paper than people because paper does not challenge them, talk back to them, rat on them, ignore them or in most cases, demand immediate attention. I visited a large dealership recently where the owner wanted me to talk with a key manager regarding the store’s existing processes. This fellow immediately claimed to have everything in order and knew everything there was to know about processes. After seven minutes of discussion with him I accurately surmised that this guy could not even spell processes much less enact effective solutions toward developing them. All too often we find that arrogance or defensiveness is a camouflage covering up ineptness and as a consequence they tear down the place because they never open up and learn new things. I call this fuel exhaustion and they either need to be replenished by a paradigm shift or replaced because business is being lost and you don’t even know it. Don’t settle for good enough; expect and demand the...

The Costs of Inadequate Training Can Far Exceed the Costs of Educating Staff

How Do We Develop Our Sales Team to Its Fullest Potential? How many times have you or one of your managers come over to a sales person and asked why did your customer leave?  And, the sales person answered with some erroneous or conventional overused answer?  Or, how about the over eager sales consultant that chases down as many ups as he can yet has a low closing ratio?  Or, how many sales people are taking prospect’s incoming phone inquiries and yet only a few are actually converting them into appointments? Do you really know what is being communicated through sales consultant’s word choices to your prospects out on the lot or on the phone to prospects who could potentially give you thousands of dollars for a vehicle?  You do realize that your store’s reputation is on the line all the time and the aforementioned are only a few customer touch points where you are possibly losing thousands of dollars and/or acquiring a harsh reputation every single day.  We seem to only count the ones we get but we need to begin pondering the importance of every single prospect’s expectations of us and our Sales team’s ability to fully capitalize upon every single opportunity to acquire business for our store.  We can no longer, not that we ever could, afford to blow off potential sales. Our marketplace is changing and so are the consumers.  Consumers are now demanding that dealership’s exhibit enhanced professional skills in dealing with them much greater than ever before.  And, guess what?  They are also quickly eliminating where not to shop for a vehicle due...