When it comes to sales management training for vehicle sales, I’m reminded of a quote I recently read by John Wooden, “The best leadership tool you have is to lead by example.” 

It bothers me to see parents teaching their kids that it’s okay to break the law, to mostly adhere to the laws and rules that they agree with.  Let me explain.  I live in a neighborhood that has expanded over time, and it became necessary to have stop signs placed right in front of my house, plus a few up and down the street. I have heard comments from people in the neighborhood that the signs are unnecessary and ridiculous. 

Every day I see people roll through the signs, sometimes at a reduced speed, and then some who barely brake at all. I think about their audience, the kids in the car, many on their way to and from school (Get the irony? “School’s always in session!”). 

What behavior is being formed by example? A “green light” to run the stop sign. Yet it is also forming a way of thinking about rules and policies that will make a difference in their lives, both personally and professionally.

Management should consider these tips to effectively lead by example:

1. Stay committed to the sales process and avoid short cuts.  Managers instruct about the benefits and responsibility regarding the full sales process and building maximum value prior to a proposal. However, on occasion they may speed through some deals, which waters down the 100% commitment to the sales process we talk about in the meetings. 

2. Profanity. Enough said here.

3. Avoid negative comments about other employees, customers or supervisors. 

4. Be aware of your treatment of other employees in every department.

5. Show dignity and respect to those sales members who are struggling, as well as those experiencing other issues that are proven obstacles to the purchasing mission. 

6. Don’t only focus on hot prospects.  Be aware of giving little thought to the ongoing follow-up of all internet leads, calls and showroom guests. Of the 80% who don’t close right now, nearly 100% will buy multiple vehicles in the future, and they can influence where others shop. It’s just too short-sighted to think only of right now. That’s too first grade, “they built those school desks small for a reason—so we don’t fit in them later in life.

7. Be early for work.

8. Open the door for others. In addition, if you get the opportunity, show others the importance of escorting a guest to their destination, instead of simply pointing.

9. Be professional and polite in how you answer all calls.  “Thank you for holding; this is ________________.” That sounds personable and professional. If you sound disappointed, interrupted, chaotic and just too busy to take a call, both with internal and external calls, then you’re saying it’s okay to be that way.

10. Stay off of social media at work.

11. Dress for success. I know a GM that told one of our employees that one of the last things he does every Sunday is shine his shoes. I worked with this gentleman thirty years ago, and he has always dressed for success.

12. Keep the facility clean. People need to see you taking care of the facility.

13. Eat smart. This includes the quick during-the-day snacks.

14. Be an expert at all of the skills at which you expect your salespeople to excel. Examples: phone scripts, objection handling techniques, counseling with customers before vehicle selection, consumer lease presentations, and the dozens of other areas that are great for the cause.

Some of you may know the song “Watching you” by Rodney Atkins.  Atkins asked his son, after the four year old used the four letter word starting with S, “Son, where did you learn that?” and the son replied, “I’ve been watching you, Dad. I want to do everything you do!” 

Bottom line, you are in the driver’s seat.

As a sales leader, make certain that your examples are the most valuable thing your people will experience.

For more information on sales management training, please contact us for details. Check out our newly launched 90-Day Boot Camp for your sales and service team. Dramatically change how your underachievers perform! 

Visit our website for more information, or call 888-300-4629.

Richard Keeney
The Mar-Kee Group
251-680-6633 (cell)