Aristotle wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” In the world of sales, everything counts; what you do daily determines what you cash monthly. Each month, selling requires a mixture of both speed and endurance-your month is determined not only by how fast you can get “on the board” (i.e. your first sale), but also the endurance to finish a grueling 25 day course. With an end goal in mind (you do have one don’t you?), endurance runners check their pace times at various stages of the race and make immediate adjustments. If they are running too fast, they won’t have the “legs” to finish the race; conversely, if they are running at a slow pace, they won’t finish in first place. If your month ended in ruins and this month is beginning much the same way, don’t throw in the towel, but instead check your E.A.R.
Expectations: Your expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are on track for a 20 car month, you expect everyone to buy from you. Your expectations are so high it’s as if you are an evangelist of the blacktop. With one lay of your hands or whisper from your lips, it seems as though all of your customers are agreeing to buy. Although your word tracts are the same, your expectations are not; selling is contagious. On the contrary, despite using your lucky hand-carved pen, wearing your lucky underwear, donning your special red closing tie, and reading the free ebook, “How to hook any customer in 10 minutes or less,” you are on track for another 5 car month. You think to yourself, “I couldn’t close the lid on a toilet much less a customer!” You haven’t lost your touch, you have the wrong expectations. Every customer you up, you expect them to be waiting on a settlement, flipped, in a bankruptcy, or have bad credit. Take a golf-like mentality into your month, “Play the round, not the h***.” Despite the setbacks-and there will be plenty, never take a negative experience from one customer to the next. Expect your next customer to buy, eventually you’ll be right.
Action: When things aren’t going right, work harder. When a salesperson is having a poor month, most fall into a rut of self-doubt, negativity, and poor expectations; because of this rut, they begin to work less and take a “bird’s eye view” of the ups. Instead of taking an up, the slumping salesperson perches and watch others catch the “unqualified” up; two hours later, perched in the same spot, the slumper is relieved to know that he didn’t waste his time with the up, screaming, “I knew they couldn’t buy!” Your month will not get better until you take action. Athletes know the quickest way out of a slump is to take another shot. Action breeds self-confidence; self-confidence leads to a sale; a sale is the salvation from a slump.
Review: Swearing off your customers won’t get you better, only bitter. Become better by reviewing each day’s game film. After each customer or on your way home, review your interaction with each of your customers and critique yourself-I said critique not criticize. Criticizing yourself becomes a millstone around your neck drowning your career; critiquing yourself becomes a milestone in your quest for success. Ask yourself questions such as, “Did I offer them a used car even though they were looking at a new one;” “Was I emotionally trying to prove my point instead of trying to solve my customer’s problems;” “Did I try to sell them what I wanted them to have instead of what they needed;” or “Did I give my customer’s a chance to say no?” Too often we think we know what our customers will say, so we never offer them a chance. Remember, you’ll get more customers to say “Yes,” by giving them a chance to say “No.” Honestly reviewing each of your interactions will hone your skills for future performances. (P.S. you should never grade yourself an A)
It does not matter how your month ended or how it has begun because yesterday ended last night. Today is yours, what you do with it is your choice. When your expectations are high and you act with excellence, you will find that today’s problems were never problems after all…they were merely opportunities in disguise. See you on the blacktop!