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 equipment sales system? Continue reading “What Makes a Great Equipment Sales System?”
I get phone-calls and emails almost weekly from new commercial equipment 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 Equipment Dealership Team”
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”
As a salesperson, your job is to get in front of decision-makers and facilitate productive conversations that lead to a commitment for business. Previously on the blog, we’ve discussed what it takes for a salesperson to put together an Ideal Sales Day that is constructed to maximize opportunities for networking and sales. The real point of the post was that organization and planning are the keys to your success. Continue reading “10 Tips for Creating an Ideal Sales Day”
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 by commercial sales consultants who tell me they started their careers cold calling and it was how they built their business. That does not mean it is the best method to grow sales, at the time most sales consultants had no formal training on how to properly grow the business. I am not against cold calling. In fact, when I am in the field with sales consultants and we are on an appointment call, I will always ask this question: “Mr. Prospect, thanks so much for taking the time to meet with us, your time was appreciated. Could I ask one more question? Do you happen to have a relationship with any of the businesses around you?” If the prospect says yes, I ask “Would you mind if we dropped in just to leave a business card and mention that we had just met with you?” They always say yes! Now your next call becomes a warm call since you have a referral source! Continue reading “It Doesn’t Have to be Cold Out There!”