Categories
Business Information Life Sales

Yeti Sighting in College Station, Texas

A Yeti walked in the door, continuing to the parts department in the auto dealership. Seven feet tall with long dirty, matted hair all over its body. AND NO ONE SAW IT.

Lately, several cartoons have depicted big happenings surrounding people who don’t notice because their heads were looking down at their phones. This was a brief experience I had last week at a car dealer.

Back Story

My son and his family were on vacation and spending time with us. My son was actively looking for additional transportation since the oldest granddaughter is now sixteen.

He spotted a car of interest while perusing CarGurus.com less than an hour away. Since the next day was his birthday, I said I would drive him over and back. This accomplished two things. He got to see and test drive a car on his list and I got to spend time with him.

We saw the car in the huge lot and walked around it to get a feel. Since he was interested in a test drive, we went to the showroom and consulted with a salesman. He found the keys, they climbed into the car and drove off into the sunrise. Since the back seat was all but non-existent, I declined and went back into the showroom to enjoy the air conditioning.

Then, as happens when you’ve finished several cups of coffee, … well, you get the idea. I walked to the front counter to ask the location of the restroom.

Cell Phones Everywhere

I approached the desk and the receptionist was on her cell phone. It was several moments before she noticed me standing there. Embarrassed, she looked up, and with my question, pointed me through the parts department to the last hallway. “Then take a left,” she said. I thanked her and headed back.

When I was returning to the showroom I noticed that the lady in the first office was on her cell phone. Then passing the second office, she was too.

Looking to my left, I noticed both Service Writers were busy checking their phones.

The Battle is Lost

The battle is lost and the war is not far behind. Here is what I remember from my work experience before the ubiquitous cell phone.

When there were no customers that needed help, we found work to do. Filing, sweeping, cleaning, sorting, whatever. Obviously, the options are different at different types of workplaces. Now the time is filled with heads down looking at social media. I’ve never worked anywhere there was not work that needed doing when the calm hit. Sometimes even preparing for the next onslaught.

I would like to see a study on how many million man-hours we lose daily to these devices.

My personal experience is no different. When I would walk into the warehouse, several people would scramble to put their phones away, while trying to look innocent. Speaking to them didn’t make a difference, neither did scolding them of writing them up. Addictions are hard to overcome.

Sadly, the only solution I found was firing people. That would help all workers in the short term but not for long.

Categories
Business Sales

Product Knowledge is King

Do you know your products? I mean really know them. I believe product knowledge separates the order taker from the professional salesperson.

I can’t tell you the number of times working with Reps in the field a customer would ask a simple question about a product. The auto-response from the Reps was always, “I’ll check on that and get back with you.” That’s not selling.

Why?

Bud Dodge Magnum: The King of beersFirst, selling is finding out why the prospect needs to know. Is it important? Is it a critical requirement for their solution? Why did they ask the question? Sometimes they are just curious. Sometimes it’s important. You need to know.

Second, the delay presented by “getting back to them” will many times kill your chances for a sale.

If you don’t know enough about your products to ask the right questions, how do you expect to make the sale?

If you don’t know, find out why it matters to the prospect. Ask. You might be surprised.

My old-school sales training was to always answer a question with a question. Not just any question but a question that clarifies their question. The detective Columbo is an excellent example of the technique. He always asked good questions and always had a final question that got to the heart of the situation. No, he wasn’t selling, but he was asking good questions. That’s the point to take away.

Smart Questions!

Smart questions are ones that cause the prospect to stop and think before answering. They aren’t intrusive but do reveal the intent.

So?

Let me ask, Do you know your products good enough to ask the smart questions? Then to have the smart answers?

Categories
Business Information Planning

Goals, Motivation, and Leadership

One of the constants in my life had been my interest in Motivation, Leadership, Management, and Goal Setting. That interest led me to run a website and podcast back in 2005 called Motivation on the Run. It revolved around those particular interests.

Then life happened and it slowly passed into insignificance. My wife and I began a new business and made a physical move to get nearer to our new granddaughter.

Now life is happening again. I’ve wanted to revive a website and podcast on these topics but the needs of others are taking precedence. No complaints, just the facts.

So where does this leave me? With planning.

What do I want the new website and podcast to focus on? Only one aspect of the four intetests specializing on one topic? It’s difficult to pair down since all these topics are highly integrated. One cannot exist without a relationship to one or more of the others. Intertwined is the word that comes to mind.

Hince the planning. Between the mindmaps in Xmind and outlines in Evernote I can be as confused as all get out.

Confusion is my middle name the last five months.

Currently I’m in the local Whataburger having a completely free breakfast. I redeemed a reward for a taquito topped off with a senior coffee. Best deal in town.