Let me tell you what life was like for Paul just a short decade ago. I was completely broke and on the edge of giving in. I had one of the worst months ever and bills were beginning to really pile up. I had almost given up on making a living selling cars at that point, but I knew it was possible to be successful in this industry.
Was it just me?
I was following all my training and doing everything we were supposed to do to meet our numbers.
But here I was struggling and not sure if there was anything I could do to get out of the slump I was in.
Focusing on One Thing
I decided that I had to figure out my entire sales process and focus on one area of improvement at a time. Running the numbers, I found that getting leads wasn’t the issue. Between organic walk-ins, direct mail, and some savvy digital stuff we were running, I was having enough conversations according to my records for the prior 6 month period.
But my closing rate was abysmal…
I was closing half the deals my peers were or less each month.
So, this is where I decided to start. Instead of relying on an automated email follow-up our sales director setup, I started picking up the phone at set intervals to check in with my prospects.
I made it a habit to immediately record details from each conversation I had so that I would remember as many personal details as I could about my prospects.
‘Just checking in to see what you thought about that Camry you looked at last week’
‘Are we thinking the Camry will fit all the kids when Bradley goes to 3K this year, or do we need to look at a few crossovers?’
Basically, I realized that I had become complacent and didn’t take time to look at the big picture every month. That’s what turned my sales career around and it’s been my go-to strategy ever since.
Checking the numbers
Each month I laser-focus on one part of my sales process – the one that’s suffering the most according to the numbers. I look at lead counts to make sure I’m doing enough work to have the conversations I need. Then I look at conversions and the time it takes to convert prospects into sales.
Over time, this analysis has grown as I have reinvested into my own lead generation sources and I have to evaluate each one to make sure it’s producing enough conversations to be worth the investment.
This allows me to pick one area to improve in each month and I devote a set block of time each day to that, whether it be improving my communication skills or working on a new sales video for the ads I’m running locally.
From prospect to sale there’s a lot of steps along the way. Each of these areas might be the focus in a given month, depending on where I see myself being the weakest:
- Prospecting and lead generation
- The Initial Meeting
- Vehicle Selection
I’ll be back soon to update this post with some pro tips for each step of the buying journey. For now though, I wanted to leave you with one thought. If you’re not focused on the most critical thing at any specific time in your sales career, you’re wasting your time and closing less sales than you could be. Find where you’re weakest. Fix it. It’s that simple, but it requires a lot of introspection and analysis that many of us in sales just don’t have in our nature without a lot of self discipline. This understanding was a game-changer for me and I hope you’ll take this post to heart.