I don’t watch T.V. but I have heard of the show
“The Walking Dead” and I get the concept. The funny thing is when I first saw advertisements for it I thought it would be better suited to call the program “The Majority of Sales Teams”.
When I started my career back in 2000 I was too young to even notice the make up of our sales team. The fact that I was able to wear a shirt and tie to work had me ecstatic compared to working in a factory so I was already winning! Like many new automotive sales consultants I experienced success right away. My first month I sold 12 units followed by 14 in my second month and I was feeling really good about where I was headed, not to mention I was making three times the money. Â It was around this time when I started to notice the toxicity of the sales floor.
Our team had 12 sales people, three of them were top performers and had been with the company for a number of years. Then there were six average performers, two guys who couldn’t cut it and were on their way out the door and me, the new guy. I noticed the top performers tended to stay to themselves, they would say encouraging things to me in passing but the majority of the time they were at their desks focused and constantly working. The “middle six” were always floating around talking about anything but selling cars and smoking what seemed to be a million cigarettes a day.
Initially everyone was pleasant to me as I was a young kid filled with “piss and vinegar” in their eyes. At the end of my second month we had a sales meeting where the management started calling out members of the “middle six” because here I was the new kid out selling them while some had been there for 5 to 10 years. It was during this meeting I’ll never forget the words of Bob, and yes his name was really Bob. In defence of his weak performance that month Bob made a comment directed towards me while under the scrutiny of management. He looked at me with this smart-ass face and said “new broom sweeps the floor” followed by his future prediction that I would “come back down to earth” in due time.
The “middle six” all nodded in agreement with the buffoonery of Bob’s comments and it was then and there I realized that I needed to avoid that bunch if I was ever going to become successful. These are the exact “zombies” that are crawling all over the sales floors in our industry. They sloth around the dealership like the walking dead looking to consume the ambition and desire to succeed from everyone in their path. These “zombies” exist in a world where the glass is always half empty and their destiny is mediocrity. They feel as though success is a unicorn that is unattainable for you or themselves. Much like the Walking Dead show if you let these “dealership zombies” get to close you could become infected as well which is why it is so important you avoid them.
Hopefully if you’re reading this you haven’t been infected and understand how dangerous these “dealership zombies” are. The fact is over the last 6 years working with numerous dealerships I continue to see individuals fall victim to these lifeless, ambition sucking zombies so I wanted to give you 5 vital tips on how you can survive and flourish amongst them.
Here we go!
1) Stay Active – each day you arrive at work you should have a specific game plan on what you are there to accomplish and how you are going to accomplish it! I personally believe in creating these game plans the night before so I can hit the ground running when I arrive at the dealership. This will allow you to maximize your efforts in an effective and efficient manner.
Here is wisdom: A rolling stone gathers no moss. If you are constantly taking action not only will you not have time to cross paths with the zombies, they wont be able to keep up with you.
2) Control Your Environment – fill your space with reaffirming messages. Have motivational quotes pinned up on your wall or at your desk. I encourage salespeople to have a “goals book” specifically at their dealership so they can maintain their focus on their goals and purpose for carrying out tasks that day. Here is wisdom: Purpose provides Discipline. Having an acute focus on your goals will provide you with the disciple necessary to stick to your game plan and avoid the zombies.
3) Be Aware – understand that at one point or another the zombies on your sales floor were once like you! Individuals who were filled with a strong desire to succeed before they became infected. Misery loves company and this is why so many have fallen victim to the zombies. While it is simple to be successful in this business nobody said it was easy.
Here is wisdom: The path to Hell was paved with good intentions. Don’t speak about it, be about it. Affirm your goals and game plans daily, then carry them out.
4) Guarantee Success – look, all of the zombies that are selling 8 cars a month are only talking to 35 people/month. If you want to guarantee your success it’s really quite simple. Here is wisdom: Create enough opportunities to afford failure. One of the biggest ways to keep the zombies off your tail is through performance. 8 car guys can’t keep up with 20 cars guys period. You must aim to have 5 new conversations about vehicle purchases with potential customers each day. If you do so over 22 working days during the month you will be working with 110 potential customers. The industry closing average is 20% so by doing so you should sell 22 units, that’s if you’re average and you’re not!
5) Protect Yourself – you must protect yourself and your goals. Surround yourself with empowering individuals who are driven and focused on creating their lives! Here is wisdom: You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. You should aim to be the dumbest and poorest in your inner circle. This will allow you to grow into greater levels of performance and success. As I mentioned many ambitious sales people fell victim to the zombies because they were comfortable existing amongst mediocrity. There is a reason only 3% of the country make a six figure income and it’s because they understand how dangerous comfort is. Comfort is next to apathy and apathy is next to death, by surrounding yourself with the right people you will constantly be pushed in a supportive environment that will allow you to realize your full potential.
Regardless of your current situation or dealership environment I want you to consider this:
The rear view mirror in your car is much smaller than the windshield, that’s because I don’t care where you’ve been, I care where you’re going! With these tips we can not only guarantee success, we also just may turn our sales floors from “The Walking Dead” to the
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