“Nature’s first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; but only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, so dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.” – Robert Frost
In the famous poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” Robert Frost makes an observation on nature, and on life. He uses the story of the leaves changing and dying to represent the idea that nothing can stay the way that it was. People, places, events, all of these things will eventually lose their luster, and not shine as they did when they were fresh.
As a sales trainer in the automotive industry, I respectfully disagree.
While I believe that this is the standard, there are always those who choose to live above the status quo. This is easily recognized within automotive sales, as you will see salespeople who once performed to the best of their ability, and now simply get by.
You will also, however, notice the top dealership salespeople, who show up ready each and every morning. Unlike those who have become complacent, these top performers have found a way to stay gold.
Staying gold requires a person to make the conscious decision each and every day to get better. In sales, everyone is either working on growing or working on dying. If you are not actively seeking out some form of sales training, then you are one of those who are dying.
In order to stay gold, and remain at the top level of competition, you will need to train. Here are some ways to do so:
1. Read a sales book. Re-read classics like Zig Ziglar, Tom Hopkins, and Dale Carnegie. Check out modern books by Gary Vaynerchuk, and Dave Anderson. Seek out blogs such as Sales Hacker, and Fill the Funnel, both have great information for salespeople.
2. Talk to top performers. Pick the brain of the top three salespeople in your dealership. Ask them for assistance on prospecting, overcoming objections, following up, and closing sales. Ask their opinions on your current sales process, and accept advice if and when it is presented to you. Top performers remain on top for a reason. If you want to stay gold, ask those who are doing so.
3. Read motivational books. Your training does not always have to be sales-based to assist you in sales. Reading motivational books can both encourage you, as well as show you various methods in which to motivate your team. This will make you more effective as both a salesperson AND a manager.
4. Roleplay. Everyone hates it. It is awkward, and it can feel uncomfortable. Roleplaying with your peers, however, is as much a training moment for you as it is for those who are listening. Go over objections in detail, and formulate several ways in which to overcome them.
5. Create a process, and stick to it. You must have a set sales process if you hope to perform each and every day. If you are not sticking to a set schedule, you will have a difficult time keeping up with your prospects and clients.
6. Evaluate your process regularly. If something is not working, then find out what it is! You cannot grow what you do not know. Make sure that you take the time to analyze your own sales process. Tweak what needs to be tweaked, and discard that which does not work.
The fact that you are currently reading this indicates that you are actively looking to improve. While our training can be very beneficial, it is all in vain, unless you take the time to do these six tasks. By finding several different avenues in which to train, you will maximize your effectiveness, and learn how to stay gold.