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

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

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

February 15, 2014

Book Review: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal ChangeThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very good book about how to bring change to your life. Classic.

View all my reviews

-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

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

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

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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.