Tag Archive | "business skills"

Dedicate Yourself to Educate Yourself


One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life is that no one else is going to look out for you as well as you will look out for yourself. To become and remain a professional in the automotive industry, you must recognize that you are in charge of your own education and act on that fact. Build on your strengths and correct your weaknesses. If you aren’t sure of what to work on first, there is certainly someone in your life who will gladly assist you—your manager, your spouse, your children, or a trusted friend.

There are some common, basic skills that apply to the business world. They all impact how well we relate to the needs of others to feel important when they’re around us; to accept the education we provide about our vehicles and the industry; and to help them own a vehicle that’s truly a good choice for them.

Here are six skill areas that I strongly recommend you consider developing or strengthening as they have made all the difference for many of my students:

Memory

Having a good memory is critical to anyone in today’s world, but especially for those of us who meet many new people every week. I have learned to make a game of it in my career. I challenge myself to remember as many people and their stories as I can. There are some great courses and books written on this subject. Even if you learn and use only one small strategy, I guarantee you’ll see the benefit of having done so. One little strategy that I learned and have used for years is to repeat each person’s name to myself four times when I first hear it. “Jim and Sally Parker.” “Jim and Sally Parker.” “Jim and Sally Parker.” “Jim and Sally Parker.” It may sound silly, but it works. Just remember to say it to yourself.

A Second Language or a Culture Study

Consider the part of the country in which you live and those people you do business with. As our country continually redefines itself by its people, be aware of the advantages of being able to communicate with others in their native tongues. Today’s projections show that both Hispanic and Asian portions of the population are on the increase. To be able to work with more people, you must learn more about them, their language and their cultures.

Voice

Since your clients choose to get involved with you based on what you say, doesn’t it make sense that you train your voice to give the highest level of professional presentation? If you’ve never considered voice training before, record yourself giving a portion of your presentation. Then listen to it. Most of us hate the sound of our own voices. Just imagine how our clients must feel when listening to us. Your goal is to project your message with clarity and power.

Public Speaking

Many professionals in this business find that giving short speeches in their communities helps build their name recognition and their businesses. Public speaking is also a great way to build your confidence. Try your skills out by speaking to your child’s class about what you do for a living or a hobby you have. Teachers love it when the students can learn first-hand about careers. Join Toastmasters International or take a Dale Carnegie course. There are local chapters in just about every city. They provide excellent opportunities to hone your skills and meet other business professionals with whom you might do business or share referrals.

Math

Don’t cringe on me here. I know many people hate math. However, in business, you need to have some basic math skills. Invariably, you’ll have a potential client who will have champagne tastes and beer budgets. You need to understand what they can truly afford before trying to find them the car of their dreams. Know the current interest rates on vehicles and play with the math on a range of vehicle investments. Learn how to quickly determine what a monthly investment might be on a vehicle prior to persuading the client that it’s right for them. I know the favorite computation of every salesperson who works on a fee basis is to determine their percentage of every sale. Don’t stop there. Play the numbers game often and you’ll get better at winning.

Negotiation

Do you consider yourself a trained negotiator? Trained negotiators can quickly and effectively analyze the details of situations and determine the best route to resolution. If that brief description doesn’t fit you, make an effort to find a book, audio or seminar on the subject. Then, schedule the time to learn from it.

Choose just one of these six areas and dedicate yourself to improving in it this month. Then, next month, choose another. Once you get started on this journey of self-education, you’ll be amazed at what you learn and how simple things can have a powerful impact on your overall success in life.

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What’s the Most Important Skill for an Entrepreneur to Have?


I want to open my own business but I’m not sure I have what it takes.

There are a good number of skills that are important. But in any business, nothing happens until a sale is made, so I would say the number one skill is learning to sell – or how to sell better.

Unfortunately, that’s an answer a lot of owners don”t like to hear. Why? Because most of them are specialists or “technicians” who like to do the work, but don’t really know how to sell it to customers.

If you are a good salesperson already, your job is to become better and train those around you to do what you do. It’s also important to transfer your own knowledge to your coworkers so they can know what you already know.

This will help leverage your skills in your own enterprise, and will help turn your company into a real sales machine. If you aren’t a great salesperson, you have two options: Learn how to be one, or hire a great sales person to sell for you.

Hiring a salesperson is a great option, but easier said than done.

Learning the sales process for yourself is harder, takes some time and has automatic failure already built into it but will teach you things you will need to know to succeed longterm.

Plus – depending on your business – people will want to deal with the owner in the sales process at some level and the more skill you have in this area, the more success you will have. So, start honing your sales skills.

You can always improve, and if you are sales deficient, the lessons you learn will continue to serve you well.

This article was written by Brad Sugars and published in Entrepreneur magazine.

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