When it comes to automobile sales training, it's true that there's plenty of good information out there. The problem is, if it's not simple to do, and easy-to-understand; then it will probably not be duplicated or taught very well to the others inside of your dealership. First seven years of my sales career I focused on becoming the best sales person I could by getting my hands on the best information, listening to the best trainers; and practicing, drilling and rehearsing every bit of what they taught until I was blue in the face.

I have always been a forward thinker, and unafraid of hard work; I wanted to make sure that if I was going to take years of my life to become good at something – that I could also position myself to help the next generation; whether it was inside of my family, or inside of my industry. The last three years have been very different - because I learned a very powerful lesson, about breaking things down into "steps of three" for easy to duplicate success. One of the things I feel is missing from all of the sales training that exists, is the emphasis on the fact that each individual is unique and possesses a one of a kind product… Themself. In a nutshell, I can't sell you "you"– and here some really good news – I can't buy "you" anywhere else… Therefore, if you become good at selling "you"; you will have everything you need to be successful in any sales career of your choice.

Here's my opinion, you can take the time to master the following skills: meet and greet, fact-finding, building rapport, prospecting, handling phone ups, handling Internet ups; doing dynamic walkaround's focusing on features, advantages, and benefits – plus tiedowns to each unique and individual clients needs using concrete imagery to build value and develop a vision of future ownership… Also called "trial closes". You can also become a well-versed closer, by learning the hundred and one closes; and become a master of negotiations through rigorous study and practice. You can take the time to transition with either or questions, fact-finding with open-ended questions – and make it second nature to ask yes questions with lead-in's and tiedowns. Reduce objections with pre-clobbering; and practice in depth for a few years to understand the complexities of body language, tone, and inflection. Let's not forget about product knowledge – the new cars have new technology that changes every year; and there are literally thousands of different used cars – with millions of combinations for you to take the time to master… If you really want to be good, and know your product well. Next, you will need to become a master of goal-setting, and tracking your every move and action so that you can place the blame on your inadequate results on a specific step that you missed, or need to work on more… Because you can trust me, when I assure you that your career is going to be a struggle; and your results will continue to be mediocre. Reason being, I have found this is not what makes a salesperson successful. So I am going to tell you the three easy steps you need to master – and yes, they are the only ones you need to master:

#1. Meet new people on a daily basis, and let them know what you do. It is very important that when you meet them, whether it is on the phone, by e-mail, or in person; you take the time to make an impression on them that you are cordial, polite, helpful, and a person they would want to put at the top of their list as somebody they would want to do business with – now, or at a time in the future. This will result in a steady stream of phone calls, referrals, and appointments with people that want to do business with you.

#2. When the time is right for them, and they have met with you to look at options for solutions to their problem; you should take the time to give them the best information and the kindest level of service that they have ever seen. Trust me, they are a have a good idea of what will work and what won't work – they just want to see for themselves, that you are a person worthy of doing business with. Never try to talk them in to anything, and never try to get them to move forward when they are ready – do things on their time frame, and guide them to what would be your best solution to offer them. Remember: your product is "you", not the car they have chosen to consider buying from you.

#3. Put a system in place to send a thank you card, and let them know how much you appreciate them for taking the time to meet with you to consider options – or send them a card to celebrate their new purchase with them. Continue to build friendships and time, by staying in touch – you'll never need to ask for business, or remind them of what you do… I can assure you that they remember. I only use greeting cards - because the message is clear and simple: I care enough about you to remember you, and take the time to stay in touch. If they are ever in a position where they need your service, or know somebody else that would benefit from meeting you – they will be able to refer you with confidence. You do not need to enclose your business card, just make sure you have your phone number where the return address is. Here's where most salespeople really miss it: the people who didn't buy from you yet, are in just as good of a positon to refer you to others as those who have chosen to buy from you already! Incessant phone calls, spam e-mail blasts, and junk mail (even if it's disguised as a newsletter) will tear down relationships; and project one message loud and clear: "You care about yourself, not them"… So my advice is that you don't do it – ever – unless you want to go the traditional way which our industry has proved, over and over again; does not work.

PS: I know you're sales manager is probably going to think that I'm wrong, and a little crazy, perhaps – but let me assure you of this one thing: I have walked miles in his shoes, and miles in your shoes; and miles in your trainers shoes – and I can attest that this is the only method that I have seen work in my career, and in the careers of the others I have shared it with. Your life inside and outside of work will be much more pleasant, and stress-free; because you will feel very good about what you're doing, have lots of friends, and the results that you have always dreamed about.

Best wishes,

Tobias Sedillos


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Comment by MANNY LUNA on September 29, 2010 at 2:55am
Great Post!
Comment by Tobias Sedillos on September 28, 2010 at 10:04pm

Thank you for that addition - on that same line of thought, consider this: "mirrorng" people (or aligning yourself with their body language) is a skill we all had perfected on the playground when were 6 years old... it's just that many quit paying attention to it. One side of the coin says "mirror other peoples body language so that they will listen to you and become more engaged with you"... but here is what I have found to be true, as well: If you are friendly, helpful, and polite - they will begin mirrorring you. Soon, you will find yourself saying this about everybody you meet: "That sure was a nice person." Want to know the best part?! They will be saying the same thing about you.

Have a good one!
Comment by Tobias Sedillos on September 28, 2010 at 7:51pm
Thank you very much for taking the time to read it Bobby! It's very important that people find something that works for them. I think we've all seen this happen before: a genuine, friendly, enthusiastic person applies for a job at a dealership in sales. The interview goes great – the manager really likes this person, and therefore hires them; with the understanding that before they can start selling cars – since they've never done it before, they will begin with the training process. They get bombarded with different techniques, and encouraged to immerse themselves with product knowledge – so they can start selling cars. By day three, this genuine, friendly, enthusiastic person has become unsure and hesitant – exuding everything but confidence; and heads out onto the floor on day four – destined for failure. If a family member, one of my close friends, or even if one of my kids asked me to tell them how they could be successful in a sales career; my answer would always be the same:

1. Meet new people: This means either go shake hands, or master the art of making your phone ring.

2. Be friendly and helpful – deliver exceptional service. Some will want to do business with you today, and some will want to do business with you in the future; and some will just send others your way. All three outcomes are okay… But you never want to burn the bridge for future business by trying to make the sale today – your reputation is at stake; and you only get one chance to make it right.

3. Follow-up the right way. Following up the right way means expressing your appreciation – either for visiting you today and having the chance to meet them; or to celebrate the fact that they chose to do business with you… Or to thank them for referring somebody to you. This is the way you follow-up the first time: it is always one of these three. From there, all you need to do is stay in touch in time with the occasional "hello". Your electronic Rolodex of contacts will continue to grow in time, and your casual relationships will turn into friendships; which will begin to automatically replace the hardships of step number one.

I appreciate your kind contributions Bobby!
Comment by Tobias Sedillos on September 28, 2010 at 7:32pm
Thank you very much for your input Rick, I know you do a great job – and that's because you really seek to help others. Hopefully, I am wrong about some of the managers out there. I feel that there are a lot of people in the industry that lead others to be "technical"– instead of really helping them to embrace the fact that they are an individual; and their best path to success is to create a friendship bond with the person in front of them, formulated by the simple chemistry of two people liking each other for who they are. Hope you're having a great day!
Comment by Richard Emmons on September 28, 2010 at 6:02pm
Well done, Tobias. I agree with you especially with respect to constant contact and meeting new people everyday by phone e-mail and online. I call & contact literally, over a hundred Dealerships each week and over time even though they do not need services now they will, just as prospective car buyers do at some time. Making a great first impression than followup with no pitch and treating everyone like family or "Dead at Midnight" see AutoMax Recruiting for that. Some day they will pay for your services or refer you, providing we all do good followup. Well in my opinion you were only wrong about one thing. Managers... Good ones will not think you are wrong or a little crazy. If they could have a store full of people with your forward thinking philosophy they would retire soon.

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