Four Keys to Integrity Selling: Part One

September 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Sean Wolfington - Also by this author

Ever notice the same 20 percent of the sales force is consistently at the top of the sales board while the other 80 percent will reach a mediocre plateau and stay there? Why do some people struggle to sell the same products in the same market to the same customers while others earn into the hundreds of thousands of dollars? What does this cost a dealership in terms of owner loyalty, CSI and employee turnover? More importantly, what is the key to success for the top 20 percent?
The answer is surprisingly simple and available to every new and used car sales person in dealerships everywhere: top producers possess and cultivate four key traits that enable them to sell with integrity. They approach every prospect with the purpose of uncovering their true driving wants and needs so they can do the right thing for their customers. They focus on building value and believe that selling is something you do for your customers, not to your customers. Before you dismiss this for sounding a little too warm and fuzzy, I’d like to offer some ideas that you and your sales staff can put into action and make part of your daily routine. This article is the first in a four part series that will examine the four key traits of top producing salespeople so that you can nurture those traits in your current staff and seek out those traits in your next interview situation to target which of your prospective new hires have the potential to become top producers.

The Key Traits That Drive Successful Beliefs And Behaviors Are:
  1. Achievement Drive
  2. Goal Clarity
  3. Healthy Emotional Intelligence
  4. Excellent Social skills

Achievement Drive: People are motivated by accuracy, comfort, security, power, prestige, social recognition, freedom and, of course, achievement. The primary motivator for top producers is achievement. These are people who get a charge out of beating the odds in order to accomplish their goals. They are so driven by the need to triumph over challenge and adversity on their way to accomplishing a task that they often respond positively to “I bet you can’t …” with a fiery “Oh, yeah, says who? Just watch me!” as they proceed to devour their objectives.

High achievement drive can fuel a person’s persistence, and with that comes a dogged determination and a never-give up attitude. This enables these sales people to “thicken their skin” or “get deaf” when faced with particularly confrontational customers. When combined with healthy emotional intelligence and excellent social skills, not only do these sales people refuse to take rejection personally they also manage to win over the toughest of customers. Achievement drive is something every one has although it may be little more than a latent, potential power in some sales people whereas others greet every day (even vacations and Sundays) with a need to ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING. Once released, achievement drive acts as a multiplier. Comparing people with similar product knowledge, sales and phone skills, experience, education and training, the sales person with the highest achievement drive has the greatest potential for reaching higher sales goals because achievement drive will multiply the net effect of all their other skills, resources and abilities.

So, how can you cultivate achievement drive in yourself and your staff? It helps to conduct a self-evaluation to determine where you’re currently at by rating yourself on a scale of 1 – 10 in the following areas:

  1. What is my level of desire for higher goals?
  2. What is my level of self-motivation and commitment to high achievement?
  3. How fully do I believe that my goals are within reach and that I am deserving of those goals?
  4. How effectively do I plan rewards for myself as motivation for reaching my sales goals?
  5. How well does my need for achievement overpower my fear of rejection?
  6. How well do I handle challenges, objections and failure?

If your score is less than 50, select the questions you’d like to improve and write an action plan to detail what you can do to take your score to a 50. To get ideas for creating your action plan, it may help to find a person you know who demonstrates a high achievement drive and emulate them. What is their goal setting process, their inner reserve of self-motivation and commitment to high achievement? Ask them about the rewards they set for themselves and how they deal with their fear of rejection and ability to handle challenges, objections and failure. Whether you interview this person (or people) as though you were a reporter or whether you share a casual conversation, you’ll be amazed what you can learn from someone who exhibits high achievement drive. Take what you learn, build it into your action plan and complete the most difficult activity first each day. This will give you a surge of momentum and confidence you can build on through the course of the day and the week.

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