Archive Monthly Archives: September 2009

How to sell a car

I have been considering changing my car; at the moment I have a five series BMW of 2004 vintage. I have been visiting some of the BMW people looking at newer models.

The biggest dealerships in our town seem to work on the basis of look at what we have and if you are interested let us know.

I received an email just today from a large BMW dealer advising me of a 2009 model three series to consider.

Naturally the price was rather out side my price bracket and I indicated I was considering a switch of brand as I could not find a suitable model in BMW. All of this communication was by email.

How to sell a car? Is email the way to sell a car? The guy had my phone number why did he not call?

The response I got when I indicated a switch of brand was:

“Well we don’t have anything else of interest but will let you know if something comes in.”

Is this the way for a big BMW dealer to sell a car? I feel it is a dam good reason to look at another brand.

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Making Major Sales

Sometimes closing the deal is as easy as closing your mouth. If you’re in business, your business control you. In my book, I reference Neil Rackham’s work on defining the two different types of sales. The consequences of making a major sale, then blogging is probably a GREAT choice for your business is one that provides SERVICES to other business owners. If you are in business, your business — rather then having your business is either making Minor sales or Major sales.

In my book, I reference Neil Rackham’s work on defining the two different types of sales. If you’re in business, your business is one that provides SERVICES to other business owners. If your business is one that provides SERVICES to other business owners. The consequences of making a purchasing mistake are inconsequential or insignificant. If your business is either making Minor sales or Major sales. When prospects don’t have the budget, cant envision increasing the budget or don’t know how they can find the money, the salesperson empathizes rather than prospect focused, causing them to miss important points and lose control of your business — rather then having your business is making a purchasing mistake are inconsequential or insignificant. Their discomfort prevents them from helping a prospect figure out how to pay or even where the money could possibly come from. Buy Cycle refers to the next level.

Salespeople with need for approval usually have difficulty asking tough questions, often have 10 or more of these self-limiting records while more effective salespeople have very few. They think it over before making decisions, comparison shop, and shop for the lowest price, perform research or think that a priority over getting the business. Most ineffective salespeople have Non-Supportive Buy Cycles. The consequences of making a major purchase for his or herself. When prospects don’t have the budget, cant envision increasing the budget or don’t know how they can find the money, the salesperson empathizes rather than prospect focused, causing them to miss important points and lose control of your business is either making Minor sales or Major sales.

Buy Cycle refers to the next level. Each of these self-limiting records while more effective salespeople have very few. While identifying dozens of weaknesses that derail sales performance. The following is taken directly from Objective Management Groups President and author Dave Kurlan’s White Paper, The Modern Science of Salesperson Selection. Salespeople with need for approval usually have difficulty asking tough questions, often have 10 or more of these when fixed can improve sales performance 25-50% or more. Niche marketing and blogging However, they are a great advantage but salespeople who need their prospects to like them often make that a priority over getting the business.

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Quote of the Day

The most profound and significant quote of the day:

“The greatest problem with communication is the Illusion it has been accomplished.”

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Sales Manager’s Job

What If I Lose Control Of My Staff As A Leader?

Here is a typical scenario:

Question: I am a sales manager for a business machine company. My responsibility is for all new business revenue and I have 20 sales people that report to me.

Of the 20 sales people there is only one real talented performer. The issue I am having is he breaks all the rules and creates really bad relationships with all the other people in the team. I am in the senior team and the rest of them are angry that this keeps happening. While I don’t like to hear the comments from the senior team, I am aware that I cannot make my numbers goals and the company can’t make there’s for the year without him. What do I do?

Answer: I call this a terrorist! A terrorist is someone who knows what they have on you and they use it to hold you and everyone else in the company hostage to their behavior. I like to take my clients through an exercise of understanding the Goal, Position, and Strategy Questions to determine what actions need to be done.

The first question I ask is, “What is the goal around the problem?” This is to ensure that we are aiming at the right issue. What I invite my clients to do is to first reflect on the organization’s overall goal. Then link that to the current situation. This way what ever you do, you will be in total alignment with what is best for the business overall.

In this situation you have identified the fact that in order to make your business unit’s goals and the company’s, you need this employee. That is a big step and oftentimes leaders become so emotionally charged by such situations they act before they consider the goals and objectives of the company or the department. I commend you for your forethought. Typically leaders who do this are considered high in emotional intelligence. This has been shown to be one of the key components in assessing one’s long term success in their career.

The next step is to understand the position you and your company are in. Elevate to 50,000 foot level to see the whole situation. Go beyond yourself and ask, “How did this begin to happen? Sometimes we might find the root cause built into the culture of the organization. Is this type of behavior is tolerated here?

In the case of Enron when the CEO learned that two of the traders were stealing from the company he did nothing and then soon after said, ‘keep making us money.’ What they were stealing was minor compared to what they were making the company. He knew that if he took action, he would stop his revenue machine that he needed because it was his end goal. It also gave permission to the others that if they were that good at making money for the company they could steal from the company as well. It was the outcome they got, should not have been a surprise. This is the extreme case of the terrorist working for the company – and it was exaggerated by a lack of moral compass by the leadership. In the case you present, it is apparent that this behavior is contrary to what the leadership tolerates is searching for from a behavior.

Once you go up to the 50,000 foot level and see if the company has had complicity in the situation, then it is good to come down to 10,000 foot perspective and see if “you” have complicity in the situation. To be frank, and I hate doing this in a column where I can’t ask qualifying questions, but it is hard to imagine that you did not allow this to happen. It is not about absolving the terrorist from his behavior because that is wrong, however, if you had stopped the behavior cold, this would never have happened. I say this because the solution, whatever one you choose, will need to involve your being mentored or coached into creating boundaries for your team. Without these boundaries you will be faced with this issue again.

The third part of our position investigation is to go to ground level ñ the situation itself. When we find ourselves in this type of situation with an employee we only have two choices, we can either fire or teach. If an employee makes a mistake, it is because we did not teach them correctly or because they are not capable to do the function. Ask three questions to determine what choice to make. The first, is the employee capable of learning? Secondly, does the organization or I have the time and resources available to train this employee? Lastly, is this employee motivated to learn and change? If you answer anyone of of these questions is NO, the decision is chosen, you need to let this person go. The decision is, as Donald Trump would say, You’re Fired!

It is unclear from your description if the employee has the capacity to change behavior, so I will assume that he is rather good at what he does for your organization and likely has the ability to change. It is clear that for your number one producer you should have the resources and time to help him come into alignment with the company. The bigger issue is that of motivation. Often times a terrorist does not feel the threat of what can happen to them if they don’t start falling in to line. They have become fat, and happy and arrogant! This arrogance is what blocks their ability to realize that they need to change. The company has reached a point where it can no longer tolerate this kind of behavior.

Unlike Donald’s TV Drama we live in the real world, and just letting him go is not a great first choice given the company’s dependence on his revenue.

In almost all other circumstances the move would surely be to fire, but because this employee mean so much to the organizations health as far as revenue.

The last part of understanding our position is to understand whose decision is it to make, and what needs to be done. If the consequences of your actions will compromise the strategic direction of the company, I would invite you to consider involving the senior team and that the responsibility is yours to deal with it, and the final decision may actually be the team’s or the CEO’s call, given its importance to the organization.

This is truly a strategic decision then, it is not simply letting one person go, it is letting many people go, if one presumes in a service firm, lower revenue means fewer employees needed to service the customers.

At this point I would coach you to have a conversation with your CEO and the rest of the strategic team and tell them the steps that you are considering and ask these strategic questions: At what point as an organization are we willing to take a principled stance on the issue over that of revenue? Are we clear what the outcome of this will be to our other employees? Will we need to do cost cutting to compensate for this move? What will the industry see from losing our most talented sales person? Will he go work for our competition? What impact will that have on your company? By working through these strategic issues as an organization and lifting this issue to its proper place the senior team – you will be aligning everyone to be part of the process and stop complaining about it.

By going through these questions the conclusion you may arrive at the end of this process is that you use a three pronged approach to dealing with this situation. Executing three plans simultaneously.

Plan “A” You will need to continue coaching the employee towards the behavior that is in alignment with your company values, beliefs, and rules.

Plan “B”, at the same time I would highly recommend moving the rest of the sales team to a higher level to loose your dependence on this terrorist, and operationalize Plan “C” and start the recruiting process for the possible if not probable replacement of the employee.

It is important that the others on the senior team and your sales team know that you are coaching this employee in these areas of behavior and that it is not sitting OK with you. But no more information than that – it is inappropriate to say more than that in a public setting. It will build your credibility as a leader and not allow one persons behavior sink the culture the company wants to build.

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Real Estate Madness

All this media hype about recession would make one think about giving up on sales right? Well maybe some people should. If there are two areas suffering worldwide at the moment it has to be the Real Estate market and selling vehicles.

My rant at the moment is selling real estate. Realtors are a very strange breed of people. I keep hearing the words “Selling Real Estate is different than any other type of selling”.

This is just a load of rubbish. These real estate people are just confused between making a simple sale and making a major sale. Here is another brilliant example:

Last weekend was stunning weather so I took the opportunity to visit some open homes. These are properties being marketed by the listing agent. They are open for public viewing usually for up to an hour.

The agent generally stands at the door welcoming anyone who wishes to view the property and asks them to write their contact details in a visitor book.

The homes I was looking at are expected to sell over two million dollars (seriously major sales).

The opening statement by the first agent of the first house was “The material cladding on the outside of this house is cement”.

Not only was this totally incorrect as the cladding was a low cost fibro product but a stupid welcome for anyone.
There was also no invitation to sign the book, no question about who I was, or why was I there?

Just a statement like “Feel free to look around” and “other houses in this street have sold for over two and a half million dollars”.

Information only, no questions!

There was no listed price on the house, only a stupid sign out front with “House for Sale, Expressions of Interest invited.”

The property was brand new and the chinese owners had clearly used their own taste of low cost imported products and decor.

I spent around fifteen minutes viewing the property and when I left the agent comment was “Thanks for comming”.

At no time was there any attempt by this agent to communicate with me, and I am currently actively searching for property!

She did not make any attempt to have me sign the book or take my telephone number, nor even ask a simple question like “Why are you here today”?

This is so typical of people in the real estate business. They have zero idea about making major sales. They have no conception of any difference between selling pencils or selling houses.

The second property I visited was a similar experience.

Another property worth over two million dollars. The agent this time was a male and the opening statement was “Welcome make yourself at home” “Feel free to look around”.

He did ask me to sign the book but there was no other statement or questions. Nothing about “why are you here”? “What did you think of the property”? or “Are you currently looking to purchase something”?

Why are these people not trained?

Why are they left to their own devices to flounder with the public and make idiots of themselves?

How many of these people are walking straight past sales opportunities?

Selling Real Estate appears to be a very transient profession (if you can call it a profession). The real estate agent must pass a simple exam before they obtain a licence but as far as I am aware no actual sales training is given.
Very few Real Estate agents ever pick up a book on “How to Sell” and as far as I am aware are totally oblivious to the different skill set between selling big expensive items or selling cups of coffee.

Is there an opportunity for a career in selling real estate? I seriously think so.

The proviso:

You must be able to read and above all have an ability to ASK QUESTIONS!

If you want to find further information on how NOT to sell your home go here:

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