Today’s professional athletes are paid an enormous amount of money. Some would argue too much. Others might say based on low difficult it is to break into professional sports athletes are not paid enough. How did they get to the point they are in life? Do you think it just came naturally to them? Sure, many of them have natural abilities, but I will bet if you asked them, they would tell you they work at their trade every day. How about your doctor or lawyer? Do you think they just rely on what they learned in medical school and law school and wing it from there? If they did, I’ll bet you would get a second opinion.
A sale is where it all starts. Without a sale, nothing else gets put in motion. The trucker that delivers the automobile doesn’t work, the factory worker that builds parts for the automobile is laid-off, and the manufacturer doesn’t have the money to develop new models; not to mention even build the automobile.
We play a key role in driving the economy. Why then do many of us in the sales profession just wing it? We wouldn’t let our doctor or lawyer do it. Sales ability has to be worked at every day. Let’s go back to the restaurant server again. Have you ever ordered lunch from a server that is obviously not aware of what is on the menu? There are at least two approaches the server can take in this situation. Maybe he or she doesn’t know the menu, but they are so friendly and confident, it doesn’t bother you. They use humor, smile a lot, and seek the answers to your questions from a more knowledgeable staff member. The other approach, a server who doesn’t seem to know anything is copping an attitude showing they don’t seem to care. They obviously have no sales or leadership skills. The first server can at least lead you to answers and still get you to order a piece of cream pie after you’ve had your lunch. The second server can hardly get you a clean fork, let alone get your order right.
An F&I manager’s study of how to enhance sales ability should not end with this book. Sharpening your sales skills needs to be an ongoing process, which can be practiced in just about any setting in life. Check out other sales people when you go shopping. Make mental notes of things you heard that grab your attention. Listen to how a parent convinces his or her child they don’t need that piece of candy right now. Study your co-workers, strangers in the mall, actors on TV, or learn from people who have actually been successful in sales through the numerous book, audio, and video programs available.
Commit yourself to studying your profession every day. If you committed 20 minutes per day to reading or listening to something about your profession it would add up to 120 hours of learning per year. That is about 15 eight-hour days or about two weeks. How much better would you be at your profession? How much more income would that be for your family? We could assume the obvious and say two weeks of income, but it would actually be much more than that. Studying your profession will give you exponential growth. Since you are continuously improving the income source (you), the results will exponentially increase/improve. I know this works because I practice it myself. Here are some programs that I know work, but there are many to choose from (share in the comments some of your own suggestions to help others):
- Advanced Selling Techniques by Brian Tracey
- Awake the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
- Low Profile Selling by Tom Hopkins
- Personal Power by Anthony Robbins
- Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- Winning Every Day by Lou Holtz
An excellent way to find good sources of information is to ask the best sales people, no matter their profession, and most will be able to give you a few they enjoy. While you are at it, ask them how they got to be successful. Make sure you have a notepad available because you are likely to get some very good rules to live by. They will be tremendously flattered and will enjoy talking to another person that shares their same goals: getting better.