You Often Say “Improve and Grow” or “Sell More and Grow,” but if you Improve and Sell More, Don’t You Grow?

By: Joe Verde

You Often Say “Improve and Grow” or “Sell More and Grow,” but if you Improve and Sell More, Don’t You Grow?

Great question! I agree, it sounds like if you improve and/or sell more, you would grow by default. Unfortunately, that isn’t always true.

Figuring out how to sell another car is one of the easiest things we talk about. In fact, in classes I always ask, “How’d you like to sell more cars, have more fun and make more money?” And then I remind everyone in the room that they already know how to do that.

It’s easy to sell more – just train and manage your salespeople to do a better job with customers, teach them how to close, make them ‘go to work’ at work, get them to follow-up with everyone who left without buying, and manage your (expensive) leads correctly.

Selling more is a no-brainer. Growing – now that’s a different story.

Short-Term Event vs. Long-Term Process. Selling more is a short-term vent, while growth is a long-term process. You can sell another car this afternoon just by getting your salespeople to talk to an extra customer, make more calls or write up another prospect. To grow this year, you will also have to follow today’s plan in the growth process.

Growth example: Deliver 1,500 units in 2011 vs. 1,200 in 2010 (300 more)!

Selling more units today requires selling activities that generate a sale today. Selling 300 more units for the year requires a quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily management activity plan to make sure your salespeople consistently do all of their sales activities.

If management does their job (daily management activities), salespeople will do their job (daily sales activities).

Salesperson’s Activity List: How To Sell More Today

These are the daily sales activities that when followed, guarantee sales everyday:

  • Come to work to work. Leave the problems at the curb, tell the family to stop calling so you can bring home more money, and stay out of the huddle.
  • Do your ‘good morning’ walk through the dealership. Say “hello” to all of the employees and customers.
  • Walk the lot right away. Inventory changes and moves around daily, so you have to know what you have and where it is so you don’t miss a sale.
  • Check your appointments and your ‘to do’ list for the day and get to work.
  • Review your key goals – all of them, every day. Keep your goals on a 3×5 card or in the ‘notes’ on your smartphone and read them several times a day.
  • Go through your working prospect files in your CRM or Monthly Planning Guide. When you’re just sitting around waiting for a customer, get busy and check your call backs for the day.
  • Using your 45/90 day retention plan, call all of your sold customers.
  • Prospect. When you aren’t with a customer or making a follow-up call with a customer, use the referral script in your CRM and start dialing for dollars.
  • Track everything you do in the planner and CRM – everything. Why? So you can spot what’s working and what you need to improve.

To sell more units every day – train, coach and manage your salespeople daily.

Management’s Activity List: How To Reach Your Daily Sales Goals

Check the statements you agree with.

If salespeople are basically unmanaged:

  1. They’ll do everything we just covered.
    • All salespeople will do everything on their daily activity list every day.
    • Some salespeople will do everything on their daily activity list every day.
    • A few salespeople will do everything on their daily activity list every day.
    • No salespeople will do everything on their daily activity list every day.
  2. They’ll only do some things we just covered.
    • All salespeople will do some things on their daily activity list every day.
    • Some salespeople will do some things on their daily activity list every day.
    • A few salespeople will do some things on their daily activity list every day.
  3. Most salespeople will not do most things on their daily activity list we just covered every day.

Because they will never do everything on their own, it’s important to understand:

  1. You’re in charge of the group of salespeople, but you have to learn to manage each individual in sales.
  2. You don’t manage people or results, you manage what the people do (their activities) that will generate results.
  3. You continually manage each person’s activities throughout the day, not just in a quick one-on-one or a morning meeting with the group.
  4. You don’t get what you wish would happen or expect people to do. You only get results from the activities you inspect, manage and require each day.

Solution: First define, then train, inspect, manage and require critical daily activities, and you’ll sell more every day.

But doesn’t that mean you grew?

Yes – you grew. If you were at 1,200 units last year (100 per month) and if you got your salespeople to do their job each day – you would have had more sales, higher gross, more retention, lower expenses and you’d have reached your next level in sales. So yes, you grew, and it was significant; somewhere in the 50 percent range.

Understand the word ‘growing.’ Growing is a continuous process, not just a one-time event.

Yes – you’ve grown and now you’re at your new level. To keep growing, the dictionary defines growth as ‘developing.’

Developed means you have grown (past tense), developing means you are growing (present tense). So yes you grew, and now it’s time to stabilize and then set another growth goal and create a step-by-step plan to continue developing your skills and activities, so your dealership can grow again to your next level.

Continuous growth is exactly what we’ve done at Joe Verde Sales & Management Training, Inc., for the last 25 years. We’ve grown (reached new levels) 22 of the 25 years. Our average growth rate for 25 years is 55.9 percent per year, including recessions. We can grow – and so can you.

At this point, I’ll assume two things:

  1. You realize that to increase sales you have to learn how to train, coach, inspect and manage your salespeople’s daily activities.
  2. You understand that growth is a continuous process, based on developing yourselves and your salespeople.

Now what management skills and activities affect your salespeople’s development?

How To Control Your Growth: Management Skills & Activities

Skills you have to continue developing in management to continually improve in sales, gross, profit and retention:

  1. You have to have clear processes so people know what they have to do, and therefore, you know exactly what you will train, coach, inspect and manage each day.
  2. You have to hire the right people and fire the ones who can’t, don’t or won’t learn more, do more, sell more. You cannot grow with the wrong employees in sales or management.
  3. Once you have processes and procedures, you have to train, coach and manage your salespeople every day to develop their core skills and to continue developing their related skills.
  4. You have to track every number that affects a sale, gross, profit and retention. If you don’t inspect every area, you can’t focus on the right activities.
  5. You have to motivate your salespeople, as individuals. In class, dealers and managers discover that management and bad processes demotivate salespeople 5 to 1 versus motivating them to higher levels.
  6. You have to have clear goals, but you can’t set clear goals until you track everything. Tracking + Goals = Success.
  7. Every manager has to become a leader, period. Weak management will not generate growth. Stop saying ‘yeah but’ and get to class, so you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, and what skills you need so you can rate your management skills and personal strengths – and then improve. Also read my book for dealers and managers: “Recovery & Growth.”

I said ‘you have to’ in nearly every statement above, because if you don’t do everything on the list above without exception, you will not grow year after year.

I hope you’re starting to understand that selling another car is easy, but growth takes new skills and new habits.

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- has written 56 posts on Agent Entrepreneur.

Joe Verde Sales & Management Training, Inc., is an automotive sales and management training company focused on leadership, management and sales training. Joe Verde holds workshops across North America and pioneered virtual training with JVTN.

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