April 27, 2013


Every day is a new opportunity to set goals or achieve one. You might even visit somewhere you have never been before or re-connect with someone from your past. It is a chance to make new friends and contacts or change the course of your life. It is an extension of time, to complete the things you wanted to complete—but never did. It is a new day of fresh goals.


First off, goals are usually confused with hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams are just wishes inside our head or spoken aloud. Hopes and dreams are the beginning of goals. However, until you write them down on paper they do not solidify into goals—they remain hopes and dreams—they remain wishes.

Goals are completely different. Goals are specific, defined, clear, measurable and written down objects we hope to reach, dreams we want to fulfill, results we aim to complete, desires we strive to obtain, or actions we will set forward. They are a prioritized list of things you want to do in your life in the short, intermediate and long-term.

You can set one goal or develop goals for all aspects of your life. Our goals can be broken down into eight, core areas. These eight areas or goal units are Personal Growth, Health, Income, Career, Social Life, Relationships, Belief and Family.

When setting goals look at these eight areas and think to yourself what of these is most important to you. Start with that one first, setting out action statements that will clearly define what you want to accomplish in that core goal unit. Then work on the next one that is important to you. You may only want to work on one goal unit, a few or all of them. Working on all of these may allow your life to be well-rounded.


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

April 26, 2013

Manage Last

I am a Sales Manager at an Automotive Retail Dealer. The other day I was thinking about my title as a Sales Manager and I really thought about the manager part. What do I do as a manager? Then the phrase "manage last" popped into my head.


What does that mean? Well, what I mean by that is this; I do a lot of other things that are important to the well being of employees and the company I work for. Not only am I a manager but I am many other things.


I lead by example and don't ask anything that I wouldn't do myself. I set the example of the attitude and ethics I would like to see out of them.


I cheer on my sales people and give suggestions for improvement. I am by their side in training and in application. I urge them to do better.


I support my team with guidance and help them out when needed. I help my employees set and meet their goals. I get them involved with some of the decisions of the department, so they can learn and grow.


I role play and practice. I pass on my wisdom and practical knowledge to them freely. We talk about ways to improve and streamline our processes.


I assist them with their problems. I help them through down cycles and rough patches. Sometimes I help sort through issues.


I supervise my employees to ensure they are all working to the best of their abilities. Rarely do I have to do this with my team. If I work on the other areas, then this last part "just happens."

So, Manage Last. Work on being a good leader, coach, mentor, trainer and counselor and you will have to manage less.

-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

April 23, 2013

Coffee Sticker Quote #1 - Be A Good One

I used to go to a coffee shop where they gave you coffee spill stickers for the top of your to go coffee cup.  They had interesting quotes on the sticker that I collected.  Here is a quote that I have stuck next to my phone at work.  I read it often.

"Whatever you are, be a good one!"

- Abraham Lincoln

Wow! What a message.

I think about this often as I try to be the best manager I can every day.


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

Automotive Sales Training Book For Beginning Car Salespeople

Automotive Sales Playbook Basic Training
For Beginning Automotive Sales People

Are you starting a new job in Automotive Retail Sales?

Well, you started a challenging and difficult career that can be also rewarding and lucrative. It is an exciting time for you with with many things to learn.

Get off to the right start. Learn some basic sales skills that will help you assist your customers in finding the right vehicle that suits their needs and in return gives you a chance to earn their business and get the sale.

It is not going to be easy--if it were, everyone else would be doing it. The odds are stacked against you. However, if you persist, learn, and apply a whole lot of enthusiasm you will be a success!

Managers, do you have some new recruits starting?

Don't just throw them on the showroom with a brochure in their hand. Give them some basics to help them be successful. Keep in mind, your success comes from their success--not their failure.

According to Automotive Career Consultants, “Studies have shown that automotive dealerships have a 76% turnover rate compared to a 12% turnover in the private sector.” Why is this number so staggering? The turnover is due to three factors. One: some sales people treat automotive sales as a job and not a career. Two: the pressures of the business becomes too much and they quit. Three: they are not trained properly and they end up failing.

Mr. Northburg has completed this guide book for new Automotive Sales Consultants to address the third factor; proper training. Automotive Sales Playbook is a step by step tutorial on how to become a successful automotive sales person and is geared towards Automotive Sales Professionals that are new to the business or want to learn needs based selling skills.

Imagine yourself as a football player starting your first day at rookie training camp. When you get there the coach tells everyone he does not have a playbook or a game plan. He says, “You are going to go out there and wing it and just PLAY! PLAY! PLAY!” You are going to learn by trial and error in the games and you are going try to win!

Now, you and I are not football players, but that is how many dealerships approach new sales training. Many sales people are told to study the product brochures, know your inventory, go talk to that customer on the lot and try to sell them. Daily learning is done by trial and error and after the fact coaching with no real game plan.

We all know that is not a formula for success. If professional athletes have playbooks, game plans, practice daily, and scheme for their opponents to win games and become world champions, then why shouldn’t we?

This Automotive Sales Playbook is designed for the new automotive sales person to have a “game plan” and to be able to study the basic and fundamental techniques that will help them be successful from the start. It is 40 quick plays that will help build a customer focused sales process, while helping the sales person take their customers further down the Road to the Sale and to sell more vehicles. Also, this book is for veterans to “remain sharp” and sell more vehicles.

With this training guidebook, dealerships can control a majority of their turnover by properly training their sales team, all on a minimal budget. They can send their team out on the field with a written game plan and know that they are going to be more successful from the start. Dealerships can decrease the turnover with properly trained sales staff.

Buy the Book on Amazon:

 Automotive Sales Playbook
40 Basic Plays of Automotive Sales Professionals

Managers, hand this to your new salespeople on their first day. In this playbook, for beginning or relatively new Automotive Professionals, you will learn the basics of needs-based sales and lay the foundation for a great career selling vehicles. These basic plays are key elements to your success and longevity in the industry. If you are a veteran, you can use this book to “stay sharp” and refine your automotive sales skills.

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

Copyright Notice

LifeWork Elements © 2011 by Tim Northburg and LifeWork Elements. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tim Northburg and Lifework Elements with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.