Shop Talk: A Farewell to Sales (For Now)

Having trained over 15,000 sales, management and finance professionals has been a long journey.

As I have mentioned in past articles and as many of you have experienced, 2020 was an eventful year. Between COVID shutting my state down and relegating me to work only from home and then having both knees replaced, it was a challenge. But not in a negative way. Time in one’s office creates opportunities you’d never see on the road.

Being in sales, training sales and writing about sales has provided me with more opportunities than one person actually deserves. Having trained over 15,000 sales, management and finance professionals has been a long journey. Almost every step of that journey has been a rewarding one.

No time to read? Listen instead!

A 22-year-old kid came to one of the dealerships I was training at and asked if he could really make great money doing this. I asked him why he would want to. When he answered, “I’m a bartender and I make good money, but I’m going to be a father and I don’t want a bartender raising my kid.” I knew I had to train him. That was in 2011. We stay in touch.

He is now a general sales manager and trains his people as I would have. Most importantly, he’s living where he wants to live, doing what he loves to do and raising a family the way he wanted to raise them.

I share this, not to impress you, but to impress upon you the importance of commitment. Whether you’re a dealer, a manager, a trainer, or a brand-new salesperson, it’s all about commitment. You see, I never could have lasted or had the credibility to continue training for over 30 years, without a commitment to stay on top of what works, what changes, and the principle of process.

Even a brand-new salesperson, with no training can have moderate success if there is a commitment to listen, learn and give every day one’s full effort. That can be difficult for someone inexperienced if managers or owners didn’t bring their commitment to work that day. But in dealerships that are committed, you’ll not only see consistent top performances. You’ll see low turnover. High morale. And an ever-renewing commitment to get better.

So, while we’ve been together these last two years talking about performance, training, expectations and the like, my one desire was that you all could see my commitment to bringing a little bit of value that you could share with your team.

Bottom line is, I never claimed to have all the answers. Odds are that for many of you, I didn’t provide any answers. But, somewhere out there for someone I had an answer. And that is the only reason I ever needed to put words on paper to share. I did that for all of my books, all of the speeches and all the dealerships I trained in. I made a commitment to give it all I had so that if that one person was there, they got the answer they were looking for. If so, I did my job.

So, as this year begins to get rolling, I think my time is at an end. Any of you may reach out and contact me with your specific questions and I will do my best to answer them. In the meantime, I wish you all continued success and look forward to hearing from you all.

John Fuhrman has committed to training only a select few dealers each year for the near future. However, he invites any and all questions to be sent to [email protected] and he will definitely respond.

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