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?”
As part of my sales-consulting and dealership-training work, I often interview candidates for job positions in equipment 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”
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 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 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”
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”
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 machinery. Continue reading “10 Equipment Dealership Tips for Working Smarter”
There are many ways to develop leads and connections, from growing your networking leverage and building a sphere of influence to advertising through emerging technology and bold marketing strategies. Personable relationships and attention-grabbing campaigns are certainly effective and lead to a great deal of sales. However, these are only two parts of a strategic, connection-generating trifecta. What is this third, final piece of the puzzle? We’re glad you asked, because today we’re talking about Generating Leads Through Content Development!! Continue reading “Generating Leads Through Content Development”
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 Equipment Dealership Success — and yes, they require work!! Continue reading “9 Steps to Equipment Dealership Success”