The Former Car Salesman That Didn't Know Why He Failed

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 @ 16:07 PM

George was at the house today, reinstalling our home theater projector.  He asked what kind of work I did and when he learned I was a sales expert he told me two things.  First, he said that his company needed some help. It seems that their salespeople were great when people were spending money but now that people have stopped spending money they're not really so great after all.  He said, "they were great at being near the phone when it rang!"

Then he said, "I tried selling cars once - I wasn't very good at it so I quit. I went to the same training as everyone else, sold the same products as everyone else, had the same management as everyone else, but got different results.  I don't know why I sucked, but I knew enough to get out."

I said, "I can tell you why you struggled.  You're a nice guy and you want pepole to like you, right?"


"So you couldn't say, do or ask the things they taught you to do because it didn't feel right, right?


"You probably shop around and think things over when you buy things for yourself, right?"


"So none of the techniques to stop them from shopping or to stop them from thinking it over came from conviction, right?"


"You're a pretty trusting guy, right?"


"So when they told you they'd be back on Monday to buy the car, you believed them, right?"


"And you never handled rejection real well, did you?"


"So that's why you weren't any good as a car salesman, George."

"Thank you SO MUCH.  I feel so much better knowing why."

"You're welcome."

Don't make the mistake of believing that this conversation only relates to selling cars.  These are a handful of the common reasons why salespeople struggle and what's worse, is that many of the salespeople who are IN sales today and struggling have these among dozens of other issues getting in their way.

Recognize any of this in any of your salespeople? 

(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan


Topics: coaching, assessment

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned awards for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for eleven consecutive years and of the more than 2,000 articles Dave has published, many of the articles have also earned awards.

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