August 29, 2013

Book Review: Who Moved My Cheese?

Who Moved My Cheese?Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 Great book about change. Sometimes seeing the need to change is hard. Other times we understand we need to change but we are afraid to do it. This book explains change through an interesting story. An easy read. Fun, yet informative.

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-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

August 17, 2013



What does it look like?

I asked those questions to my group of sales people and they gave some really good answers. Fist, to really define persistence, it is the continuance of an effect after the cause is removed. When we get it in our mind that we are going to accomplish something, or be successful at something than over time what is it that we do to keep continuing the course? After that feeling, emotion, spark fades a bit or you encounter some obstacles, how do you have that continued effort to achieve your goals?

I know it is easy to just say, “Oh foregt about it!” and move on to something else. Quitting is easy. Persistence is hard and painful. It can also be long and drawn out and very emotionally challenging at times. A life coach of mine used to say to me, “If success wasn’t hard, then everyone would be doing it!” I always get a chuckle when I remember that.

Ok, so what are some of the things that go into persistence?

Here they are:

STEADY MOVEMENT: Always be working, moving towards your goal. Movement breeds activity and you never know when you might bump into someone, or an opportunity that will catapult you to your goals. Movement may be backwards (one step back might lend to two steps forward) but it is movement. A rolling stone gathers no moss. If you stop moving you will stagnate. (I don’t mean job jumping here, because you will never get established. ) What I mean by moving is being active. Doing. Learning. Practicing. Being pro-active rather than reactive.

KEEP AFTER IT: This is a continuance of the above. Don’t see a setback as a negative thing. Many times obstacles and challenges are there for us to learn from and to get better. If you learn from your failures or mistakes, it may just help you in the future land that big deal, make that sale, or get that big break. No matter the challenges, always be learning and getting better.

WORK TOWARDS GOALS: For starters, set goals. Small, big, sort-term, long-term and work towards them. If you keep them in mind and work towards them you will eventually accomplish them. In sales, set a goals for how many people you talk to, how many people you prospect, how many people you hand you business card to, how many people you present your product to, how many you ask to buy, and How many you close. Those are the main important goals to work towards. No matter what your dream and aspiration is you can set goals to work towards it and accomplish it.

CLOSING: If you are in sales you must have the “A,B,C” of sales. Always, Be, Closing. If all you are doing is being a tour guide, or product information dump, then you won’t be successful. Always look for clues to where you can ask a closing question.

ASKING FOR THE SALE: This also goes hand in hand with the previous one. Go for the sale and ask for it. First, build value in your produce and make sure you show the features and benefits. After that, you earned the right to ask for the sale. If they say no or give you an objection, don’t give up. Have persistence. Ask, “Why not?” or “What makes you say that?” and try to overcome the objection and ask for the sale again. Remember it is way too easy to give up.

PROSPECT: Always be on the lookout for your next opportunity. Have your radar ears on. In sales, follow up with your customers and keep building those relationships, they will turn into referrals if you do. In everything else, make contacts. Talk to people. Network. You never know who you will run into that could help you reach your goals and dreams.

The main thing about persistence is this . . . How bad do you want it? If you want success, accomplishment, or to reach your goals (and you want it bad) you will persist, no matter what, to reach it. You will crawl through broken glass to get it. You will have that burning desire and tenacity to get there.


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

August 8, 2013

Automotive SalesTraining Book For Phone Sales

Automotive Sales Phone Mastery Guidebook
Phone Skills and Techniques of Top Sales Professionals

“Call until you ear hurts—then switch ears!”

I must have made a million phone calls since I started selling vehicles in 1996. Today, now that I am a Sales Manager, I still take and make phone calls to customers.

Like many things in Automotive Sales, phone skills are usually learned through trial and error. Many sales people have had little or no training on the phone. They may have had some word tracts passed to them from their manager or other sales people but that is where their training ends. Others may have had a trainer come in and share proper techniques and word tracts.

Calling and talking on the phone is not natural for a lot of sales people. It can be boring, monotonous, and painful. You get hung up on, yelled at, ignored, and abused. This is where call reluctance usually comes into play.

Sales people would rather stand on the lot and wait for a fresh up to come to them, instead of sitting in a stuffy call center or office hammering out calls. It is becoming more and more difficult to reach your customer and control them over the phone.

Customers know that they have the “distance” between them and you. They are more likely to be untruthful about their intentions. They are more likely to want all of the information possible without having to bridge that distance and come into the dealership.

I compiled the information in this book, to help sales people prepare for any phone call and to increase their skills so that they can get more customers to come to them.

In 2000 I became the Business Development Manager for my dealership. I set up the call center and instituted our calling best practices. I trained incoming phone call scripts, follow-up guides, and prospecting guides to our sales people. I made a ton of Public Relations Manager calls, took sales incoming calls, and prospected orphan owners. As a Sales Manager, I make these calls to this day.

In this Automotive Sales Phone Playbook I break down the finer elements of phone sales etiquette, how to properly handle incoming phone calls, leave effective messages, conduct proper prospect follow-up, and most of all prospect for more sales. You will learn word tracts, skills and techniques that will help you strengthen your phone work and help reduce call reluctance.

There is nothing worse than not being prepared to take or make a phone call. You might as well not do it at all! The average dealership spends $250 - $300 per customer in advertising (sometimes more) to attract a customer and get them to inquire with the dealership.

So, if each customer that calls in costs $300, don’t you think you had better be on your best to handle that call for your dealership? It is the “hottest” lead (next to a fresh walk-in customer) and the most important lead to handle correctly. You can always get a turnover with a customer on the floor, but it is more difficult to get a T.O. with a customer on the phone. You only have a few seconds to make a good impression and to control the customer without having them feel like you are controlling them. If don’t start off right, you will be holding the receiver with a dial tone on the other end. If handled properly you will set more appointments and be able to follow-up your phone prospects, that did not set an appointment or come in.

Now, a dealership spends less advertising money on retaining satisfied customers. (Usually half) So the second most important call is the owner base call. What are you doing right now to contact all of your past customers? What is your dealership doing right now to contact all of your orphan owners? Are you getting your owner base working for you and taking advantage of your referral program? There are a lot of things you could be doing, that are easy, when making your calls.

Also, a good sales person knows what their closing ratio is. They know how many people it takes to get in front of in order to sell the number of cars they want to sell in a month. So, if it takes 30 customers to sell 10 vehicles with a 30% closing ratio what are you gong to do if you only get fifteen to twenty fresh customers in a month? A top sales person knows that they will have to prospect. This is done either with lost opportunities from previous weeks and months, or cold calling. From working in insurance for three years, I know what I would rather do. I hate cold calling. I still have nightmares with phone books attacking me in my sleep.

A “warm” opportunity is better than a “cold call!” It still don’t understand it when a sales person lets a customer go with the hope that they will return. It blows my mind even more when they don’t follow up with the customer. On top of it all, I cannot fathom it, when this is done with multiple customers.

So, let’s go back to the question; where do you find more customers? You prospect. If you get in front of 30 customers a month and sell at a 30% close you have 20 customers left unsold. Add that up over several months, you have a good list of “warm” prospects.

Everything compounds. If you add your phone up’s that didn’t buy, your owners that you can ask for referrals, orphan customers who don’t have a sales person any more to your lost opportunities, you will have enough people to call to add to your sales in a down month.

What are you going to do? Are you going to learn the skills in this book and put them to work? Or, are you going to stand out in the wolf pack and wait to pounce?

Someone once told me . . . “If you live by the floor, you will die by the floor!”

The choice is yours.

Buy The Book On Amazon
Phone Skills and Techniques of Top Sales Professionals
What sets top sales people aside from the rest? They know how to work the phones. This complete playbook walks you through the various phone calls, word tracts, and objections an Automotive Salesperson takes, makes, and handles many times each day. Master the phone 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

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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.