Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dealing With Customer Complaints

Everyone will come into contact with a complaining customer. You should try to handle them with confidence and deal with them in a constructive way.


  • SHOW CONCERN: In the way you sit, stand or in facial expression show that you are concerned about their problem, or issue.  Lean forward.  Don't frown or scowl if you don't agree with their complaint.

  • SIT THE CUSTOMER DOWN: Preferably without a barrier between you and them. Think about the height placement of chairs. You want to be on the same level as your customer. Sitting them down allows them to naturally relax.  Moving them to a different location you choose subtly gives you control of the situation.
  • LISTEN - REALLY LISTEN: Do not pre-judge what is being said or devote your mind to how you will reply, listen to what the customer is saying.  You may not agree, but listen.  You may pick up on something non verbally.
  • TAKE NOTES: If the compliant is complicated in any way, take notes so you can respond accurately to the situation. This makes the customer fell as if they are being taken seriously and that you are really listening to their issue.
  • ASK QUESTIONS: Open ended questions without any aggressive edge should be asked. This can gain more insight to the problem at hand.  Keep in mind there are two sides to every story.  Customers see the situation only from their perspective.
  • OFFER ALTERNATIVES: You may not be able to give the customer what they want, but you can be positive by offering them a partial solution. Most times a customer will not want compensation just that you right the problem or are working toward some kind of resolution.  Maybe all it means is that you implement a new process so the situation doesn't happen in the future.
  • DON’T ARGUE OR GET ANGRY: You may win the argument, but you will lose the customer and any of his/her friends etc. If the customer is using negative language don’t agree with him and don’t use the same language. Stand your ground and listen to the underlying problem and stick to the facts of the situation. If a customer gets belligerent, you have the right to stop them and tell them that if they keep acting that way or using bad language the conversation is over and they can leave.
  • AGREE ON WHAT YOU AGREED: When you complete discussion, go through the main points again and confirm your agreement on the situation so there is no misunderstanding on the customers part.
  • FOLLOW-UP: After the dust has settled phone the customer back to check that they are satisfied with the solution.


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

Thursday, May 15, 2014


COMMITMENT: This is a pledge or a promise by someone, to oneself or others, to do something by engagement or involvement. The act or state of being committed is short-term or long-term depending on what you are committing to.

What are you committing to in your daily life?
  • Your Relationships.
  • Your Job.
  • Your Friends.
  • Your Goals.
  • Your Dreams.
  • Your Finances.
  • Your Health.
  • Your Word.

Are you sticking to it, or are you just fooling yourself and others?

Read more about commitment in my book:

Realize It!

A Pocket Guide To Help You
Get What You Want In Life

Available on Amazon

Available on Kindle

-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Give Freely To Others

Have Benevolence!

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary says Benevolence is: "The disposition to do good; good will; charitableness; love of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.

I know too often, in these days, we as humans are out to promote our own will. Unfortunately sometimes that means we step over others, don't care for what others are feeling, say things that make others look bad--just so we can get ahead.

Many years ago I started implementing an idea in my life. "Give freely to others." For the last ten years I have lived my mantra, "You get as you give!"


If you focus your attention to helping others, without the expectation of return, it naturally comes back to you.

What does, "Give freely to others," look like?

There are three ways you can give to others: MONEY, KNOWLEDGE and HELP.


You can follow the old adage here, "give 10% of what you earn." If you don't believe in doing this then give $10 here, or $50 there. You may buy Girl Scout Cookies, candy bars, cookie dough or donate to a charity like United Way, Cancer Foundation or some other worthy cause. If you are in a position to help others monetarily then do it. Economic times are tough, if you are not in a position to give money then give possessions. Some people donate their unused stuff to ARC, Good Will or the Salvation army. You may give an old clunker car to your church or civic organization. That all boils down to money, and helping others less fortunate.


Money is not the only way to help others. You can pass on your knowledge. Whether you know it or not, you can pass on something that will help another person in life.

The most profound thing I have ever done in my young, adult life was become a Lifeguard and Swim Instructor. Twenty years ago I was a swimmer in High School and I decided I wanted to help others learn how to swim. In one semester I obtained my Lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor's certificates and got a job at the local outdoor pool.

That summer I helped hundreds of children learn to float, hold their breath underwater, swim, and generally just not to be afraid of the water. But the most meaningful thing to me that summer were the two boys I helped in the water. These two boys had Downs Syndrome. At first they were terrified of being in the water. At the end of two weeks I had each of them floating on their backs, calmly, with their head on my shoulder. That moment was solidified inside my soul, I gave something to those two boys that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Five years later I was teaching swimming lessons at a local Gym, that had a pool and was offering swimming lessons for their clients. I started an adult class and had an 83 year old woman sign up. At first I did not know what to expect. I asked her, "Why do you want to swim?" She told me, "I have been afraid of water my whole life, and before I die I want to overcome my fear of the water. I want to swim!"

We spent the next month working on getting comfortable with the water. I taught her techniques on floating, breathing (blowing bubbles) and kicking. By the end of the month she was floating on her back, kicking, and moving her arms across the whole length of the pool. It was the greatest feeling in the world, helping this woman overcome her fear of the water. The great big hug I received from her was the reward!

It just goes to show you that people, no matter what the age or circumstance can receive knowledge from you. You just have to figure out what it is you have to give, and give it freely. (Yes, it was my job in those cases, however I decided to do it. It was my choice.)


The last way we show our benevolence is by helping out others. At times we can choose to help others, or not. Some people feel that if they do help, they need to get something in return. The key here is to help others without the expectation of return. The feeling you get for just helping out is greater then any reward you can actually receive.

I have spent the last fourteen years training sales people how to sell cars. I have trained over a hundred sales people, how to provide good customer service, discover their wants and needs, follow-up, and take care of their customers problems. I passed on my knowledge to better their abilities selling, whether they stay at our dealership or go somewhere else, or do something else. Working with them, I take on the attitude that my success is their success. If they end up doing something else, I hope I was able to give them something they can use for the rest of their lives.

A single act of helping someone can follow you for the rest of your life.

Last night I was lying in bed thinking of this. Twenty years ago, I was a lifeguard. I made three saves during a five year period. Each time, I made a choice to jump in and save the child. (Yeah, it was the job I signed up for. But, had I not been working there, the outcome might have been different--who knows.) Today, I can still picture each child's face. A little blond hair, brown eyed girl about three years old who jumped into the deep end of the kiddie pool. A boy about the same age who just slipped under the water when no one was looking, and a boy about five who's babysitter pushed him to the edge of the pool and turned to get another boy, he did not make it to the edge.

As I lay there in bed I thought to myself, "I wonder where these three are today? What are they doing? Where are they working-doing with their lives?" They would be about 23-24 years old now, maybe having a family of their own. Then, the same feeling entered my body as the day I jumped in and saved their lives. A rushing warmth of whiteness that was a mixture of happiness, joy, caring and love filled my soul. It was the best feeling I had experienced, EVER in my lifetime and it consumed me again.

It is amazing how a single act can change a life. Does that mean you have to save a life? NO. You can do the simplest things to help someone. Hold a door open. Carry a box for someone. Help a friend move. Help a co-worker fill out their paperwork. (Whatever it is, you might be able to help out.)


Give to the needy, or a charity!

Teach someone something!

Help someone!


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Automotive Internet Sales Training Book

Skills and Techniques of Top Internet Sales Professionals

The World Wide Web is powerful. Knowledge is power, and there is everything and anything available on the internet. Thirty years ago, a customer was limited on how they got their information from dealers. They had to look in the newspaper, call, or visit the dealership. Fifteen years ago, an automotive customer could to go to the library or a bookstore to find a book on trade values or look up invoice prices. The information was more difficult to find and car sales people had an easier time—because they held the information.

Now days, information is at a customer’s fingertips. They don’t have to leave the comfort of their living room or office to get everything from the average transaction price to trade values. They can look up interest rates from competing lenders or credit unions and communicate with eight dealers from their cubicle, home, or smart phone.

Dealerships no longer hold the information. More and more shoppers are doing everything online. It is said that by the end of 2011 over 90% of customers will have at least done some preliminary shopping online. But the dealership has the vehicles on their lot. A customer still has to contact the dealership, get their trade appraised, and take delivery at the facility.

How is your dealership prepared to handle the internet customer? What are you doing on a daily basis to contact, follow, track, and get that internet shopper to come into your dealership? Does your process stop with setting the appointment and getting the customer in the door, or does it incorporate all areas including the steps to the sale and prospecting?

Automotive Internet Sales Mastery is a complete guidebook for handling today’s customer effectively and efficiently. It has a step by step process for contacting and following your online customers and converting more of them to appointments. It incorporates a simple step-by-step Road to The Sale process for those Internet departments who take the customer all the way through to the delivery. The proven scripts, word tracts, skills, and e-mail templates will take you from being average in internet sales, to conquering cyberspace! You too, can master Internet Sales.

So, use these skills and techniques to SELL MORE VEHICLES!

Buy The Book On Amazon
Automotive Internet Sales Mastery
In dealerships today, Internet Departments are growing and many dealerships are going to an all Internet based sales force. What processes do you have in place to handle your Internet customers to appoint and close more leads? Automotive Internet Sales Mastery is your complete guide to handling, appointing, and selling more Internet customers. This step-by-step guidebook takes you through the first call, the first text, and the first e-mail. It outlines a rigorous 90 day follow-up, breaks down the Internet sales process, and more. Become an Internet Sales Master and sell more vehicles!

About The Author

Tim Northburg started his automotive career in 1996 selling at a Saturn retail facility where he learned highly valuable customer service and needs based selling skills. In 1998 he gained international experience while managing a Rover, MG, MINI Cooper dealership in Chester, England. Since 2000, he has moved into upper management where he currently trains, motivates and leads his highly successful team of sales professionals. He has three years experience running the Business Development Center where he learned valuable customer follow-up, incoming phone call, prospecting, and owner retention techniques and skills. He spent six years as a Used Car Manager /Desk Manager and is fully trained in Finance, Marketing and Public Relations. In 2010 he became a Sales Manager and E-Commerce Director at a highly successful Honda, GMC, Buick Dealership. Tim Northburg’s commitment and dedication to the business, and the sales people he leads, is evident in this complete training guidebook. He shares the knowledge gained, throughout his career, because he wants others to succeed like he has.

-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cofee Quote #10 - Leadership

Here is another inspirational quote to go with your morning coffee.

"The only training for leadership is leadership!"
--Anthony Jay

I thought about that for a while and paralleled that with my management career. I think that quote is right. I have taken courses and read books about managing, success, motivation, etc. I have even read tips for leadership, but there is no replacement for the natural ability to lead.

Leadership is an innate talent that not everyone has. It is the ability to do things, at the right moment, that instinctively feels right to do. It boils to the surface and naturally comes out. Leaders don't train for those moments, they use their experience and judgment to make the right decisions that impact others.

Leaders get out there and lead. They learn from their mistakes and recognize what to do differently next time.

-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Positive Mental Affirmations


The Digital Recordings in Your Head:

We all have them. They are little sub-conscious sayings that pop into our heads and feed our inner being. They can be good recordings or bad recordings. However, it is mostly in our nature nature to doubt ourselves and beat ourselves up over the things that happen to us on a daily basis.

Stop and think about the things you are saying to yourself, inside your head. Many of these recordings come from outside sources. Your parents, teachers, coaches, mentors may have said things to you over and over as you grew up and now they are mental recordings that go off when certain things happen. For example:
  • You are no good at that!
  • See what happens when you do that!
  • I knew you were a failure!
  • Get your head out of the clouds!
  • You can't accomplish that . . . it is too difficult!

Other self talk or recordings in our head are ones that just pop out of nowhere. They really do not appear from nowhere. They appear as manifestations of our feelings based on what happens to us. They come out trough jealousy, anger, fear, hatred, love, excitement or joy. For example:
  • I can never be like that person!
  • I will never have what that person has!
  • I don't know if I will make it!
  • I'm a failure!
  • I am loved!
  • People really care for me!
  • I knew I could do it!
  • Today is a great day!


If you look around at everything in the world. The media, your co-workers and even friends and family thrive off of the "negative" things in the world. This is unfortunate. Negative news is good news. No one would watch the news if all it has was positive stuff. This is a sad truth. This permeates into our lives. So much negative stuff is thrown at us on a daily basis. Gossip and drama around the workplace is rooted in the negative. Listen to what people say:
  • "He siad this..."
  • "She said this..."
  • "The economy is in the toilet!"
  • "I can't afford to live!"
  • "The stock market is down!"

No wonder the recordings inside our head are going at full speed all the time . . .


The Realization:


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Best Motivational Song Ever!

Muse is an English rock band that, in the last few years, has risen in the world stage. Known for their energetic music and live stage performances they produce some interesting, alternative rock and new progressive sounds.

I recently purchased their latest album, The 2nd Law which has some different songs on it. All, which I like. One song is called Survival. It is the ultimate motivational song! Whenever I get in a funk I throw it on and blast it in the car. It get me pumped and energized again to face the day head on and overcome life's challenges.

Hear it for yourself and listen to the lyrics. Here is a YouTube video featuring Muse's London 2012 Olympic Games official song; Survival.

Go out there and win!

-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What Will The New Year Bring You?

It is that time of year where we throw out the old and bring in the new. 2014 is full of possibilities and new uncharted waters.

What do you want to accomplish in 2014?

What is keeping you from doing it?

What areas of your life do you want to improve?
  • Mind
  • Body
  • Money
  • Work
  • Social Life
  • Relationships
  • Belief
  • Family

What is keeping you from getting it?

Take a moment in the next few days to write down your goals, then keep them in front of you until you accomplish them in 2014.

You can do it--you deserve it!

You can also try these books to help you decide what you want in life, set goals, and realize it.

Decide On It!

Realize It!

Realize It! Goals Workbook

-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

Saturday, November 30, 2013

What Is A Good Goal Setting Workbook?


I have been setting yearly goals and tracking them since 1996. It is amazing at the end of the year how many goals I have crossed out. The challenge isn't sitting down and setting goals. It is looking at them on a daily or weekly basis and focusing on the things you want to accomplish.

If you don't set goals first it is impossible to reach them. I took the tools I used each year, to set goals and monitor them, and put them into this handy goals workbook.

Realize It! Goals Workbook

What is "it?" Anything you want in life is "it" and becomes the focus of your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. You may have goals to reach, but you may not write them down, monitor them on a daily basis, and work towards achieving them. This workbook will help you, understand your purpose, identify what success means to you, and set short and long-term goals to help you monitor and realize "it" in all areas of your life. Now, realize it!

So . . .

Set Goals . . .

Look at them daily . . .

Monitor your progress . . .

And you will realize them!

-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements