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John Fuhrman

John Fuhrman National Sales Manager

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Goals for 2012

While the majority of my time is now spent training new salespeople, I still get to work with experienced teams on occassion. I enjoy this break, especially during this time of year. It's always easy to get new people to set high goals becasue they're still excited about their new career and want to make a great impression. Getting veterans to set goals is more like trying to get a college student to be done with a major paper BEFORE the night before!

As an expert in human personal development, I can tell you that people who consitently set goals also are more likely to be top performers. It's because they tend to focus on a destination rather than individual events that happen along the way. They don't let a customer telling them no, dictate their month. They understand that selling 20+ cars consistantly is more about getting customers and not about what they tell you one at a time.

So, here I am, faced with a sales team of "seasoned" pros. As I mention goal setting, you could almost hear their eyes roll into the back of their heads. But, they were forced to be there so most wanted to make the best of it. When I asked the question, What goals have you set for the coming year?" The answers were typical. I did have some great ones though.

One sales person said, "Ask me next December and we'll see how I did."

Another said, "It all depends."

And one said, "I want to make $100,000!"

Finally. One I could work with. So, I took his answer and fired back a question. One that I thought might help him out in planning his game for the coming year. I asked, "What stopped you from earning that much this year?"

Here is the answer (at least what can be put in print).

"First, the banks killed me. I couldn't get any deals bought unless they had perfect credit."

I acknowledged this and he went on.

"Our advertising was mostly awful. And we didn't spend it in the right places."

I continued nodding.

"Plus, our new car inventory sucked."

I let him take one more shot.

"We put way too much money in our used cars!."

Once he sat down and began to calm down a bit, I took his information and broke it down. I was looking for the missing factors. When I couldn't find any, I did what all good sales people should do, I asked a question.

"Is there anything YOU could have done to have a better year?"

Simple reply, "Nope."

"So, unless all the stars line up, the dealer changes advertising, inventory, pricing and banks, there is no way you can ever earn 6 figures. Is there?"

I remember he mumbled something but that's not the point. Missing your goal is about what you could have done better, what you didn't do that you should have, or what you did do that should have been done differently. It's never, I repeat never 100% someone else's fault. While blaming others may make you feel abit better about yourself, it certainly doesn't get you closer to your goal. The only sure fire way to reach goals you've set, is to take matters into your own hands.


Take a look. Let's assume that all the above excuses are valid. What could we do differently?


If the banks only lent to perfect customers. Is there any way for us to find just a few more perfect customers every month?

If the advertrising program was the worst in the world. Could we begin marketing ourselves through social media, referral networks, or just plain prospecting? (Remember there is $100,000 at stake here).

If inventory is as bad as it gets. Can you do a better job of qualifying rather than walking the lot with a customer in tow? Selecting the right vehicle for the customer can increase income by as much as 40%.

If used cars are over priced. See the above. Qualify. Qualify. Qualify. Be the authority and show them the "perfect" vehicle for their needs and wathc what happens.

Remember, most of us are only a few short steps away from our goals. The question is, are you willing to take those steps or are you expecting someone to do it for you?


John Fuhrman is the Senior National Trainer for Carolina Automotive Resource Services, a unit of The Dealer Resource Group. Our Trainers are ready to work for you and develop a sales team you can be proud of. Email us by Wednesday and we're in your dealership on Monday ready to interview. John's ten books have reached 1.5 million readers and he has trained sales professionals around the world. When your dealership needs amazing results hiring new people, visit ATTENTION DEALERS: VISIT OUR WEB SITE AND REGISTER TO KEEP UP ON MONTHLY TRAINING SAVING SPECIALS. Our trainers are ready to show you our "WOW!" factor. (c)2011 by John Fuhrman - Permission to reprint this post in its entirety, including contact information, is hereby granted.

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