Article

Four Keys To Integrity Selling: Part Two

September 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Sean Wolfington - Also by this author

In the first article we introduced the four traits that drive successful behaviors and hold the key to peak performance. Dealers, managers and sales people alike are aware (and sometimes painfully aware) that 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. The four keys to integrity selling determine whether a salesperson will struggle to sell 10 units a month or become a top producer who earns into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Selling with integrity means focusing on building value and believing that selling is something you do for your customers, not to your customers. This article is the second 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 prospective new hires.
The key traits that drive successful beliefs and behaviors are:
  • Achievement Drive
  • Goal Clarity
  • Healthy Emotional Intelligence
  • Excellent Social skills

Achievement Drive was defined as the power to beat the odds, to triumph over challenge and to tap into deep reserves of persistence, determination and a never-give-up attitude. Building on this need to achieve, Goal Clarity means having clear, specific, written goals, either personal or professional in nature, which you truly believe are attainable and that you feel you deserve to achieve. For example, “sell more cars” is a professional goal and “improve my health” is a personal one, but neither is clear nor specific. To gain clarity, it helps to ask the following questions: When you say “more,” how many more? What will that enable you to do? What is the time limit?

A good internal dialogue can transform “sell more cars” into “My April goal is to sell two additional cars each week to hit 20 total sales and take over the top spot.” Once a clear specific written goal has been established you will need to break down the goal into small daily steps and list the obstacles you will have to overcome. For sales people, those small daily steps include every activity on the road to the sale such as:
  • Inbound calls
  • Inbound Internet leads
  • Outbound follow-up calls
  • Outbound follow-up emails, postcards and letters
  • Appointments
  • Appointment confirmation calls
  • Client interviews
  • Product selection and demonstration
  • Dealership tour
  • Write-up
  • Turn to management
To increase these activities, sales people will need to track and measure what they’re currently doing to establish a benchmark and identify the areas that represent the best potential for improvement. Once an area is targeted, he or she can outline the action steps they need to take, skills they need to build and obstacles they need to overcome. Make sure you are working toward an attainable goal and not reaching for a wish. For example, if analysis shows that a person’s greatest opportunity to improve sales lies with increasing success with inbound calls, a salesperson might find they need to get faster when reaching for the phone. Maybe it is being more comfortable with a script, more proficient with product and pricing questions or more skillful with setting an appointment that sticks. This knowledge holds the key to creating a meaningful daily action plan.
 
So, how can you cultivate goal clarity 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 one to 10 (one being never, five being sometimes and 10 being always) in the following areas:
  1. I write clear, specific and measurable goals for sales and income.
  2. I revise and update my goals each month.
  3. My goals are consistent with my values and I feel worthy of achieving them.
  4. I break my goals down into small daily steps.

I identify the additional skills and training I may need and any obstacles that may stand in my way.
If your score is less than 50, it might be time to heed the Nike slogan and “Just Do It.” Consider starting your day a few minutes early to tackle additional sales activities and steer clear of obvious time-wasters throughout the day. If High Goal Clarity is a trait you’d like to seek in prospective new hires, ask them to complete the survey and provide examples. Sales people with high degrees of Achievement Drive and Goal Clarity will often find a way to succeed, selling volume and gross regardless of product and market. However, they can wreak havoc with your CSI scores and the morale of your dealership if they lack emotional intelligence and social skills. Watch for the third installment in this four part series when we turn our attention to Emotional Intelligence.

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