Sales Leadership Series – Working Hard (Part 1)

Jeff Williams

Trainers, last year you led Sales Leadership Workshops and Facilitated World Class Events in over 2,000 dealership in 19 countries. You confirmed more than 300,000 appointments and you personally interacted with more than 160,000 customers and help to facilitate 95,000 car deals.

So I need all of you to eat, breath, drink and sleep the principals and the best practices of Sales Leadership. That’s the purpose of this five part mini-series.

Today we’re going to talk about second pillar of Sales Leadership – Working Hard, and we’ll define the four Operational Priorities.

A few lessons ago we discussed that Working Hard isn’t about how many hours we work. We are in the retail car business, of course we’re going to work long hours. It’s what we are going to work hard at doing. How we’ll prioritize and spend our time, that’s what differentiates a Sales Leader.

For our Sales Leadership discussions on Working Hard, we are going to focus on Four Operational Priorities. We’ll review and reflect on each one so we are clear on the what and the why, and our next session will be dedicated to the most important Operational Priority. 

The First Operational Priority is Creating an Appointment Culture…why is this so important? Because without quality appointments every day, we don’t have consistent opportunities…and our success becomes accidental instead of intentional. We’re forced to live in a reactive world, and that affects everything.

Trainers, think of your last World Class Event…how successful would it have been, if you didn’t have any appointments? What would you do? Light a candle and hope that the marketing worked? Accidental Success or Intentional Success?

Once we have an appointment culture in place, then we can focus on the Second Operational Priority – Process Driven Success. We need a simple selling process to serve and to maximize these opportunities that we created through our appointments. Trainers, that’s why our Four Selling Steps are key. We’ve designed a simple process based on how customers buy…their three buying decisions, and this four step process is designed to engage the customer physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Trainers, think of how you connect with every customer four times in the selling process…at the virtual meet & greet, the registration, the product confirmation and before completion…and think for a moment, if you didn’t have this simple process in place, would your team still have a 57% + conversion or closing ratio…probably not.

Many dealerships have built personality driven success rather than process driven success. The problem with personality driven success is that when the personalities leave, so does the success…and it’s not duplicatable or scalable.

The Third Operational Priority is Developing a Thriving Sales Team. Remember how in the last video about Thinking Right, I said, “that to be unclear is to be unkind.” It’s impossible to build a Thriving Sales Team, if you haven’t first defined a pathway to success for that team. That pathway needs to be defined by our processes. Think about it…what are the success indicators you measure at our events and then you coach to them. Is it the appointments? The Test Drives? The Deals Written?

You can’t have a Thriving Sales team, when you haven’t clarified the steps needed to create success…or when you have a personality driven sales team, and there are different rules for everyone.

Trainers think of dealerships where certain sales team members weren’t required to attend training or who were exempted from participating in the appointment activities. Did those teams ever achieve record breaking events?

And lastly the Fourth Operational Priority which is delivering a High-Value Customer Experience. Why is it last? Because it’s a by-product of the first three.

An Appointment Culture allows us to prepare for the customer and to be ready to deliver a high-value customer experience.

Process Driven Success gives us steps to follow for the team and the customer, aligned with the customer’s 3 buying decisions.

A Thriving Sales Team, will treat the customer with confidence, respect and care because that’s how they are treated by the managers. It flows from the dealer culture.

Trainers, do you notice how all of these Four Operational Priorities are all based around developing, coaching and empowering people? They revolve around the interactions of a customer with the sales team or the Sales Manager and a Sales Professional? That’s where the value is created. So many of the old functions of sales management, that Sales managers have historically said are the most important and that they have clung to as their badges of honour – appraising trades, pricing vehicles, purchasing and managing inventory…many of those have been or are being automated and if you don’t think that’s true then you need to look around.

If you want a successful 10 year career rather that a 2 year career in the retail car business, become a master at connecting, inspiring and coaching a sales team. 

Trainers, after this video, I’d like you to take 20 minutes to write the names down of a Sales Managers or General Managers, you know who are true Sales Leaders, and who you feel will have the capacity to shift and lead their sales team into the future. Then write down ways that they have developed process driven success and a thriving sales team.

We’re all going to work hard in the retail car business, but keeping focused on these Four Operational Priorities, keeps us focused and Working Hard on the right activities.

Thinking Right, Working Hard, and Being a Good Person…that’s Sales Leadership.

Now let’s apply these principles and let’s lead well…

Listen Now
Jeff Williams


Jeff Williams is the CEO of Absolute Results and has dedicated the last 20+ years to helping dealerships, OEM’s, and sales people across the globe rethink how they sell cars. His three greatest passions are his family, his business, and his charity work.

Leave a Reply

Notify of